paris versailles garden

Cheapest Way To Book A Hotel

Lately, a few friends asked me the same question, how to book a hotel? What they meant was how did I find hotel deals, especially when traveling with kids. When you travel with a whole family, accommodation would be the biggest challenge when planning a vacation. Here are some options:

Book a Hotel

If you’re like me, a sucker for a good and convenient of the concierge service, then hotel is for you. While I have a budget on how much I would like to spend per night, I certainly do not want to sacrifice my comfort. My favorite site to look for my options is Hotels.com. My reasons are they will match the price from another site if I find it cheaper somewhere else, I like their rewards program and they have a good cancellation policy if I have to change hotel. Also, I save more money at hotels.com by going through Ebates link; I got cashback on top of my credit card rewards for booking the hotel. Isn’t it awesome?

Next, type in the destination and the travel date, but just put 1 adult. The reason is when you put more than 1 person, the hotel system will automatically charge double, triple or quadruple (or however many persons that you entered in) the price per night plus any extra fees that supposedly avoidable and the price will look abnormal, sometimes astronomical. I will let them know how many people are traveling with me, but not at this step.

When the list comes out, filter out the selections based on hotel star rating. Once I get the filtered list, then sort it based on distance to main attraction. I will look through the list and start reading the details; price, cancellation policy, room detail, etc and definitely look at the pictures. I would pick 3-5 hotels that I really like based on what I read.

Then, go to Trip Advisor and look for pictures from travelers, not professional pictures, making sure the room looks like what I saw previously and also read some reviews. Then after this, I will Google Map the location. In many places, like European countries, I would make sure it is closed to the subway station for convenient. On these sites, also compare your hotel prices.

To make sure I got the best deal, I would check the hotel’s website as well. Sometimes there are deals that is only available through the hotel’s website and not at other price comparison sites.

Lastly, before booking, I would read the cancellation policy. I normally plan my vacations 4-5 months ahead of time, so I have plenty of time to do my research, plus price tends to be cheaper and a lot more room availability. I also need to make sure that it’s still can be cancelled since I still have to notify the hotel on how many people will be in the room and making sure there will be no extra charge. Most of the hotels will not charge extra for a crib or even an extra bed for kids under 10. Some hotels do charge extra for kids age 5 and above. I would email the hotel directly once I receive a booking confirmation and go from there. If there’s an extra charge, I would just simply cancel it and look for another hotel. I have plenty of time.

Apart-Hotel or Service Apartment

Another accommodation options would be Apart-Hotel and Serviced Apartment. I actually like the size of the rooms in Apart-Hotel and Serviced Apartments; especially when traveling with kids. Depending on the location, I would certainly consider this option. But after what happened with the apart-hotel in Paris, I would make sure there’s a complete service like a hotel, the way I like it.

Rent a vacation home

Another way to stay on budget without sacrificing comfort is travel with another family and rent a big spacious vacation home. Some places would provide a maid and or a butler. It may look pricey but if you divide it among 2-3 families, it might actually not that expensive. Plus, the more the merrier, right?

 

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