getting the best bang for your buck: hotel edition

I am all about staying in beautiful hotels with exceptional service and amenities while on vacation. BUT, I refuse to pay the standard rack rate that is usually associated with these locales. Quite often, I have people ask how I found such great deals on these places and frequently, there are many factors involved with how I choose.  So instead of bore them with the complete list of do’s and don’ts (where I’m sure their eyes would glaze over) I decided to share some things to consider here:

Location:

Where do you want to stay? Take Miami for instance; do you want to be in the main hotel/beach zone? If so, is South Beach or Miami Beach more important? Priceline has a great tool that allows you to search hotels based on specific areas of town.  Once you decide exactly where you want to stay, it’s a lot easier to narrow your search for the best deal.

High/Low Season:

When do you want to travel? Many areas of the world have very specific high and low seasons which you should expect to pay substantially more (or save a lot). The Caribbean/Gulf States have to deal with hurricanes, therefore you may be inconvenienced. Because of the risk, you can travel for next to nothing from the months of June through November and potentially have no issues at all.

Supply and Demand:

What kind of conferences are in town? There is a direct correlation between the Las Vegas Convention Center and the prices of even the crappiest hotels in Vegas. Trust me, you don’t want to shell out over $200 a night for the Imperial Palace when you could be living it up in the panoramic suite at the Vdara for (on the right nights) half that!

Travel Websites:

Joining websites like Voyage Prive and SniqueAway offer great alternatives to high priced lodging. If you are spontaneous and free enough to take advantage of their offers, you’ll really get the most bang for your buck. Every few days, these companies will email you with their best offers all over the world. Everything from cruises, to hotels, to safaris—there is something for everyone!

Just do your homework and you can find some amazing deals out there. Don’t be afraid to set your travel goals high. It’s easy to travel like a king when you have some handy tricks up your sleeve.

Here are some pictures we’ve captured from our “Low Season, Spur of the Moment, Priceline Booked” trips. Enjoy.

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