Here’s One More Thing That Can Go Wrong At Hotels With Bulk Toiletry Containers

IHG hotel group announced earlier this year that by 2021, they will remove all the miniature toiletries from hotel rooms worldwide and replace them with bulk containers. Many IHG hotel hotels already employ this practice, including many Holiday Inn Express and Candlewood Suites properties.

While I’m OK with the changes, some have a stronger opinion on the subject.

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Is It Worth The Extra Money To Book A Room Directly From The Hotel Website?

The hotel chains have spent a lot of money on marketing to try to get you to book a hotel room directly with them by using their website or app and have gone with the “carrot and stick” approach to achieve that goal. On one hand, they’ve gone out of their way to market special low “Member Exclusive Rates” that are only available to members of their loyalty program and “Best Rate Guarantees” that tell you if you find a cheaper rate after booking with them, they’ll match it and lower the rate even further. At the same time, the hotel chains penalize you for booking anywhere except directly with them. Some of these “sticks” are they don’t give you any recognition of your loyalty status or let you earn any points in their program when staying on externally booked stays. They’ll also only give perks like free WiFi if you’ve booked directly with them.

When I say you need to book direct with the hotel, I mean you use the hotel’s website, the hotel chain’s website, the smartphone app for the hotel chain, or by calling the hotel to make a reservation.

When I mention using an “external” website, that is basically everything else. Websites like Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, Hotels.com, Priceline, Hotels Tonight, Hotwire and Booking.com are just some of them. If you’re completing the booking anywhere but with the hotel, it’s an external website.

Hotel search engines like Trivago, Kayak and TripAdvisor show you prices directly from the hotel as well as from external sites, so it’s best to use something like that to see who has the cheapest price.

So, should you only book your hotel rooms directly with the hotel even if an external site is less expensive?  Continue reading “Is It Worth The Extra Money To Book A Room Directly From The Hotel Website?”

How To Get A Free Flight and/or Save 50% Off Your Room, I’d Avoid That Country Right Now, & More!

Happy Sunday to all of our travel friends, both near and far! Here are some articles we’ve read from other bloggers (and other sources) that we think you may like, as well, so we’re passing them along.

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AAA Membership Provides More Than Roadside Assistance – They Save You Money On Travel!

AAA. It’s a name synonymous with travel. Most people associate them with the roadside assistance they provide when you have car trouble. But they also provide many other services, some travel-related and others that seem to have nothing to do with automobiles.

roadside-battery

For me, my first knowledge of AAA was their  TripTik®  maps. When we were going on a road trip, we’d tell AAA where we were going and they’d give us a road map with a route highlighted. For an obsessive planner, this was heaven. I remember looking at these things way before I could drive.

aaa-66-loop

Times change and as you know, getting a map to your destination is now as easy as looking at your car’s GPS or pulling up an app on your phone.

Even though we no longer need the maps, I still have my membership and have no intention of getting rid of it. I use my AAA card for several other purposes:

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These Are America’s Most Hated Travel Companies

There are some companies out there that are HORRIBLE. They’re the ones that make you roll your eyes and sigh a few times when you hear their respective names. Of course, that’s not healthy. But you can sometimes feel a little better about the whole thing when someone else agrees with you; a someone who or a something that justifies what you’re feeling about those lousy places that give you nothing but agida (Hey, I’m from NY…look it up LOLOL). Welp, an online site called 24/7 Wall Street came out earlier this year with its list of the top 20 of American’s Most Hated Companies of 2019 and lo and behold (and to no surprise to anybody), a few of them are in the travel industry. Take a look…

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