Bargain Hotels: Planning, Visiting, and Other Tips

Ready to get away? How to Plan Your Hotel Stay Online

Planning a short vacation doesn't have to be a burden if you know how to surf the Internet, have an idea what you are willing to spend, and overall know where you will be staying and what you intend to do during your stay.

Location

You already know where you are going, but do you know how close you want to be to the airport, local mall, casino, favorite tourist spot, a relative's home or a new place of employment? Pick a hotel or resort based on the proximity it is located near your intended destination.

When selecting a hotel, keep in mind that most likely people who have had a good or bad experience staying in a hotel will post it somewhere online. In another hub capsule, I provide you with a list of bargain hotels online that have already been positively reviewed at various sites you need only search for them or you can simply visit the site listed. When searching for negative reviews include the hotel name and words like "review," "bad service", "complaints" and "rip off."

Hotel Deals

Everyday online travel agencies have deals. Some are good, others are bad. Speaking of the bad ones, watch for those so-called deals that appear on the front page of the website. Sometimes you can find a better deal if you tailor your search based on your price range and location. You can also call the hotel directly to find out if they are offering any specials that are better than the online deal you have found especially if you are a frequent visitor.

Travel Memberships

Contact those companies you are affiliated with that also offer hotel discounts and reward points when you book with certain hotels. Credit card companies, travel agencies, and online programs, tend to refer their partners' specials.

Find out what major activities are occurring locally before you arrive.

Find out what events will be ongoing in or around your hotel location from the hotel staff. This is important in case you expect quiet and not much people traffic (like childrens' events complete with bands staying in your hotel, cheerleaders running up and down the hall, etc.) The more activities the more likely the hotel service will be impacted and people and street traffic may negatively affect your vacation experience, so why not get mentally prepared now?

Emergency contact

Once you have found a great hotel for a good price and have proof of reservation, inform a relative or friend about where you will be staying.

Happy surfing and enjoy your stay!

Top U.S. Hotels

During 2010, travelers wrote reviews about their experiences at various U.S. bargain hotels. The top 10 were posted on a site called, Trip Advisor, a favorite site for reviews. Most hotels scored a 90 or better on this list.

1. SeaCoast Inn

  • Hyannis, Massachusetts

2. La Quinta Inn & Suites Tampa North

  • Temple Terrace, Florida

3. Old Ranch Inn

  • Palm Springs, California

4. El Morocco Inn & Spa

  • Desert Hot Springs, California

5. The Motor Lodge

  • Prescott, Arizona

6. Staybridge Suites Las Vegas

  • Las Vegas, Nevada

7. Big Sky Lodge

  • Rapid City, South Dakota

8. Mt. Coolidge Motel

  • Lincoln, New Hampshire

9. Hot Springs Inn

  • Ouray, Colorado

10. The Varden

  • Long Beach, California

One of my favorite hotels...

When traveling with children, I enjoy staying in the Marriott Residence Inns. They have all the amenities I need such as: a kitchen, lounge area, and bathrooms. I need not worry over getting a snack for the children or having enough room for play.

In the past, we stopped at a local grocery store and stockpiled on what we needed prior to strolling around town. We also brought a few of the children's toys and other needed supplies since one was still a baby. There was plenty of room to store items.

I also liked the continental breakfast and staff was always helpful. I am not getting anything for recommending this hotel, but I thought it was worth mentioning if you have a family you will be traveling with.

What is your favorite hotel?

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    Something to think about...

    When selecting a hotel, which of the following is the most important to you?

    • location
    • customer reviews
    • price
    • food
    • service
    • discounts and freebies
    • bed comfort
    • room appearance
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