Hi travel friends! Here are our most popular posts for September 2019. Some of them were actually written before September (heads up that rules and offers change and we can’t guarantee that those older posts are still accurate), so take a look to make sure you didn’t miss any of the good stuff:
If you’re hanging around an airport for hours on end, having fast Wi-Fi is a beautiful thing. But we all know that some airports have what seems like lightning-fast Wi-Fi, and others, well, not so much. Here’s how airports in the U.S. and Canada measured up.
Ever since Sharon and I have started writing Your Mileage May Vary, we’ve learned that having reliable internet access is a necessity when we’re traveling. That’s not such a big problem now that most hotel rooms offer WiFi connections. But even those connections aren’t always the best and occasionally we’ll find ourselves sitting in a hotel lobby updating the website because we just can’t connect from the room.
In the meantime, there’s a whole different problem we’ve discovered, particularly since Sharon purchased a Chromebook. While she loves it because it’s really light and tends to load webpages faster than even her desktop (and was a ton cheaper than getting another MacBook), its main drawback is that it requires an internet connection to do almost anything. More than once, we’ve gotten to a hotel and turned on the computer only to see this:
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.
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?”