Happy Wednesday 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.
Your Smartphone is an extremely valuable tool to help you when traveling. To maximize its functionality, you need to have the right apps installed and make sure they’re updated before you leave. Here’s a list of apps I use all the time when I’m out of town and I couldn’t imagine traveling any other way.
Running since February 2000, TripAdvisor is well known for comparing prices from 200+ booking sites to help you find the lowest price on the right hotel for you. However, they also tout themselves as the world’s largest travel site, with over 500 million unbiased traveler reviews of hotels, flights, restaurants, vacation rentals, and things to do. But can you trust all those reviews? Read on…
On the heels of Skytrax’ list of the world’s best airports for 2019 that came out not long ago, Trip Advisor’s Travelers’ Choice awards for airlines, hotels, destinations and beaches were recently announced.
I’ve read about something called the Law of Diminishing Returns. In short, it says that every extra minute you spend on something will get you less in return than the minute before.
Take, for instance, booking a hotel room. For every question you answer, there will always be two new questions How are the ratings of the hotels in the area? Are there any promotions going on right now that might apply? Should you use points or cash? Could you book with AAA, Costco or book a package to save money? Which card should you use to pay? The amount of things to consider are dizzying. Don’t even get me started when you also have to consider using hotel points.
Here are some hints to keep you from spending more time planning your trip than you spend ON your trip 🙂
- Use technology to your advantage. I love to look at Oyster for pictures of the hotels which aren’t doctored by the marketing departments. I also use TripAdvisor or Trivago to find a place in my price range, even if Trivago’s ads can be a bit creepy.
- Try to narrow your search and broaden as needed. If you start looking at 100 hotels, it’ll take forever. Pick a specific neighborhood or hotel chain or price range and start there.
- Learn that there is no “perfect.” The faster you learn this, the happier you will be. Stop trying to find the perfect hotel. If you’re choosing between the #1 and #2 hotel in the area, you’ll most likely be happy at either one of them.
- Know what is important to YOU. Do you need internet access in the room? Do you need a gym? What about a refrigerator or even a kitchen? Do you need a hotel with room service? Laundry? Airport Shuttle? Nearby access to Starbucks? All of these are important to some people, but maybe not to you. Use these things to help you choose.
- If using points, I look to Hotel Hustle to show me which chains have points hotels in the area. It also shows the value per point based on going rates. It’s a quick way to see if using points for a room is worth looking into.
- Know what you have to work with. If you have any free nights from credit cards (Marriott, IHG, Hyatt) don’t let them go to waste. Same goes for hotel points or gift cards. It’s always better to spend someone else’s money.
- Think really hard before making a non-refundable reservation. Will those few extra dollars be worth it if you need to change your trip? What if a really good price comes up at that other hotel you were looking at? It’s always good to leave your options open.
I’ve spent many an hour in front of the computer, trying to decide which hotel to stay at. It shouldn’t be that hard of a decision. You should spend more time on your vacation than figuring out where to stay during it.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary