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
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.
Woo HOO! Happy Saturday, friends! Here’s a quick recap of the posts we wrote this week:
This week Joe wrote about:
- The milestone achievement he forgot but IHG Rewards Club remembered.
- How to enter to Autoslash’s contest to win a free car rental.
- How to earn a $10 travel card with every Best Western stay.
- A reminder to check your AMEX Offers – you could be missing out!
- The Entertainment Book still exists!
And Sharon wrote about:
- Something you should never, ever do with your boarding pass.
- Whether or not you can trust TripAdvisor.
- Orlando International Airport’s tweet about the addition of a new air airline with daily stops at MCO.
- Some bizarre reasons of why planes have made emergency landings.
- How you can stay off Walt Disney World property and still stay in a place that has Disney theming.
Like this post? We have plenty more just like it and would love if you decided to hang around and clicked the button on the top (if you’re on your computer) or the bottom (if you’re on your phone/tablet) of this page to follow our blog and get emailed notifications of when we post (it’s usually just once or twice a day). Whether you’ve read our posts before or this is the first time you’re stopping by, we’re really glad you’re here and hope you come back to visit again!