When you hit the road over 100 days a year, people start to take notice. Below are some of the frequently asked questions, tips and thoughts to get the most out of your travel experience.
How Do I Get The Best Deal?
This is a question we get asked a lot and there is not easy way to answer it. The best answer we can think of is be patient, plan ahead and keep checking for sales. Researching your trip will help you understand the average cost and in return you will know when you come across a deal. Most travel websites run sales during the middle of the week to help boost numbers so looking search your favorite sites weekly to tracking down a sale. Another way to save some big bucks is to go to a destination in off-peak time periods, like the Caribbean in the Summer or Europe in the Winter. Going off peak can save you as much as 40% to 50% off peak rate and the best part is that your destination of choice shouldn’t be too crowded.
::BONUS TIP:: Searching sites such as Kayak.com, Travelcity.com, Expedia.com etc can all be great ways to spot a good deal. Another way to bump up your bonus miles is check with your credit card company if they offer travel. We’ve found huge savings booking our travel straight through American Express.
How Do I Book A Last Minute Getaway?
So do hotels and resorts really offer last minute deals? The short answer is yes and no. Hotels will fire sale rooms to fill them but resorts often stay booked up so they are less likely to offer a reduced rate. None the less great deals are still out there. Websites like CheapCarribean.com, AppleVacations.com or a quick google search can get you on step closer to scoring a last minute getaway on the cheap. We’ve had great experience with CheapCarribean.com, last year we booked a last minute trip for 3 to Jamaica and it was only $1800 total, that was airfare, hotel and transfers for 4 days….a killer deal.
::BONUS TIP:: A great way to save some money on your last minute getaway is by using reward points. Banking your frequent flyer miles, hotel loyalty points and rental car rewards are all great ways to cash in on a last minute getaway.
How Can I Find A Great Place To Eat or Fun Things To Do?
Everyone always wants to find that great hole in the wall, cool dive bar or a locals activity but how do you do it? This one is pretty simple really. It all comes down to research. We spend a few hours researching a new place before we go to make a list of places we want to eat or things we want to do or see. To take it a step further we use TripAdvisor.com to see reviews on activities/food and Yelp.com on restaurants. We will then weigh everyones opinions and then make our decision whether to go or not. Remember that tons of research on a new place can seem overwhelming, to minimize your stress its always good to wing it. When we travel abroad we usually make a loose idea of what we want to accomplish and we find places to eat or things to do along the way to a major attraction.
::BONUS TIP:: Use your mobile phone to find places around you and read reviews, look for crowds or ask a local. Your hotel can also be a resource of good places to go, eat or drink – but don’t ask the front desk, ask the bartender, doorman or bellhop as they are less likely to send you to a tourist trap and will almost always provide great area info that not everyone knows. Travel is all about new experience so don’t be afraid to leave your comfort zone.
What Are Your Secrets To Finding The Best Hotel?
Finding a great stay that fits your budget actually is easier than you might think. With Hotel websites like Hotels.com you can search multiple hotels in a location by price, distance to an attraction, neighborhood and star rating. After narrowing your search to a few hotels you can then go to oyster.com and see what the rooms really look like. The great thing about oyster.com is that you get photos from real people not the hotels photoshopped version, so that amazing bedroom they show when you are about to book your stay may not be the reality.
::BONUS TIP:: Besides using Oyster.com to search out the photos of your hotel, you can also use tripadvisor.com to read reviews and even learn if the hotel responds to negative reviews. It’s always best to do a little research on various sites comparing reviews to get the best bang for you buck and surprise yourself with a great room on your next stay.