Luselu Resort

Staying in Discount Hotels

Discount hotels can be wonderful places to stay, while allowing you to save money on your hotel stay and have more to spend sightseeing or on other travel adventures. If you think that you might be interested in staying in a discount hotel it is important to do your research to make sure you select the right hotel, and get the best deal possible.

Most discount hotels are discounted through a particular club or organization, and are discounted primarily for its members. If you are a part of any types of groups or organizations check with them to see if they have any deals set up with hotels, and if so what types of discounts those particular arrangements will supply you with. In many cases you can get a discount if you stay a certain number of nights in the hotel, or if you stay in a particular type of room. If you choose the wrong combination of those things however, you can often be denied the right to the discount.

Make sure you fully understand what is required for you to get the discount before you make your reservation. Often times if you do one thing incorrectly, such as book the wrong type of room, or stay one day less or more than is required you can forfeit your right to the discount. Pay careful attention to the rules, and make sure to tell the hotel that you plan on using the discount when you make your reservation. That way, if you are doing something incorrectly the hotel can possibly catch it before it’s too late, and the hotel clerk can make a note that you are getting the room reservations for a reduced rate.

Another type of discount hotel, will offer discounts through coupons or just in general to all of their guests should they choose to come visit the hotel during certain times, or stay in certain rooms. In some cases a discount hotel will always be discounted, but it will also lack some of the things that you might have become accustomed to in their hotels. By discounting the price of a nights stay, they also take away some of the perks of staying in a hotel. What you don’t gain in amenities however, you will gain in discounts.

Just like any other hotel stay you will want to make your reservation at a discount hotel as early as possible. Discount hotels have superior rates to other hotels, so in many cases they will book up more quickly than other similar hotels in the area. As soon as you know that you are going to take a trip to a particular area and would like to stay in a discount hotel, go ahead and give the hotel a call and try to make a reservation. In some cases you may be able to get a much better rate for booking your reservation early rather than later, and you will also be able to finalize your plans knowing that you have a place to stay.

Discount hotels can be a great way to save money while traveling to locations that you would like to visit. If you are planning a trip, give a discount hotel a call to see what kind of rates and accommodations they can offer you. Always ask any hotel you call if they have an specials, or discounted rates. In many cases what you are currently being offered is not the absolute best that you can get. You might be surprised at the savings that you can receive, and the types of locations you can travel to, while staying at a discount hotel.

Save Money by Bidding on Hotel Rooms

Rick Archer sat down with Don Nadeau, the president of BidonTravel.com, which provides Priceline bidding advice.

RA: Why would anyone want to use Priceline?

DN: You’ll save a lot of money.

RA: Yes, but who wants to get up in time for a 6:00 a.m. flight? You can’t pick your departure times or airline or anything like that.

DN: Well, just use Priceline for air tickets when you’re going to Australia or traveling at the last minute. You’ll save hundreds of dollars. When you can plan your U.S. travel well in advance, Priceline may not be your best bet.

But always bid on Priceline hotels. That’s easy and you don’t have to get up at 4:00 a.m.

RA: Sure, but I don’t want to stay in some crummy place.

DN: No, no, no. Bid for three or four-star hotels. You pick the quality.

You’ll end up at a Hyatt, Hilton, Holiday Inn Crown Plaza, Sheraton, Marriott, or Doubletree-someplace like these.

And, over a few days, you’ll save hundreds of dollars.

In fact, I predict you’ll save on average at least $100 a night over the prices you get on Expedia, Hotels.com, or similar discount hotel sites. Priceline hotel savings average some 40 percent over these sites.

RA: What about location?

DN: You pick that, too.

In the Orlando area, you have a choice of 11 neighborhoods, in or near San Jose, eight.

RA: So you can’t pick a specific hotel, just a general neighborhood?

DN: That’s right.

That’s why hotels use Priceline to sell excess inventory at prices they don’t want their regular customers to find out about.

RA: So would it be correct to assume that if there’s a big event going on in the area and hotels are heavily booked, rooms won’t be available through Priceline?

DN: Actually not.

Groups can book large blocks of rooms at hotels, then find out not as many are traveling, and release some rooms back to hotels. I once got a Priceline discount at the headquarters hotel of a huge medical convention at the last minute.

Priceline tells you if rooms are available before you bid.

RA: How do I know what to bid?

I have an entire site devoted to that! Go to the Priceline Hotels section of BidOnTravel.com.

RA: Just give me three main tips.

DN: Okay. First, bid on three or four-star hotels. That’s where the real savings are.

Second, look up the best prices for the star quality and neighborhood you want on a site like Hotels.com. Knowledge is power, and that way you won’t overbid.

Third, find out what Hotwire.com charges.

Hotwire is Priceline’s main competitor in the ‘you don’t find out the name of your hotel until you pay category,’ and it’s prices are usually a bit higher than Priceline’s.

Therefore, bid 10 – 20 percent below Hotwire’s price.

See BidonTravel.com, though, if you want to refine this process to maximize your savings.

RA: What if I still overpay?

DN: Priceline has a best price guarantee.

If you book a room on Priceline, and then find a lower price on another website for the same type of room at the same hotel or resort on the same dates, Priceline will refund you the difference. There’s some small print, such as “this rate has to be available to the general public and you have to make your claim within 24 hours of booking,” but you really can’t lose.

RA: There must be some drawbacks to using Priceline for hotels.

DN: There are.

Most importantly, you’ll get no refund if you cancel. You won’t be able to change dates.

Also, you’ll usually end up with a standard room. At some hotels, these may not be large enough for more than two people.

RA: What about smoking or nonsmoking?

DN: This is never absolutely guaranteed regardless of where you book.

When using Priceline or other online sites, I usually call the hotel directly to make sure it has me on its nonsmoking list. I also try not to show up too late, when the hotel may have run out of certain types of rooms.

RA: Thanks. I’ll try bidding next time after reading the tips on your site.

Rick Archer is President of SearchSummit, a Search Engine Marketing company.

Do Hotel Key Cards Reveal Your Personal Information

You either love them or you hate them for their ease of use or lack thereof, but it’s a safe bet hotel key cards are here to stay. For the business traveler, this is an advantage. A hotel key card slips right into your wallet or pocket, there’s no awkward key fob to fumble with, and if you lose your card you don’t have to worry about anybody trying to break into your room.

The advantage hotel key cards have over regular keys is that should a stranger find your card, it will be rendered useless once it’s reported lost. A hotel clerk needs only to reprogram the card and issue another one to you. That can’t be done with a regular key!

However, lately the rumor is going around that hotel key cards offer more information than just a room number. A friend tells us about a trip to Vegas, and how her companion advised her to hold onto her card after checkout. Our friend was told that within the plastic of that card was an electronic strip with the holder’s personal information. Name, home address, credit card number…everything that can help someone commit identity theft. Our friend was so spooked she took the card home and cut it to ribbons!

The story, naturally, has all the makings of an urban legend. Why would a hotel encode personal information on a key card for later use when their computer system already has everything upon check-in? What purpose would it serve to add information elsewhere? A search for hotel key card fraud on the Internet will debunk this fear appeal (we found such a story at Snopes, the ultimate urban legend site, that is certain to put travelers’ minds at ease).

All the same, if you feel it necessary to retain your hotel card after checkout, rest assured you will not likely be charged extra. In fact, there are a few resort hotels (in Vegas, no less) that encourage guests to take home cards as a souvenir. No doubt collecting key cards from top hotels will become a grand hobby. For now, though, the only cards that you need be concerned about with regards to identity theft are your credit cards – always be mindful of where they are when you travel. Report them immediately if they are lost or stolen.

How to Find a Cheap Hotel for Business Travel

It’s not always easy to find a cheap hotel that you know you would be comfortable staying in. Often, the prices charged in large cities like London, Paris, New York, etc. don’t really seem to equate with the word ‘cheap’.

That said, it is possible to find a cheap hotel. You just need to know where to look!

There are a number of budget hotel chains who offer a good standard of accommodation at an affordable price. These vary by country – you’ll probably know the ones in your own country but if you are travelling abroad, you may need to do some research.

The advantage of using a hotel room provided by one of these chains is that it will be fairly cheap and that you can rest assured that all the standards you expect from a budget hotel room will be catered for.

The disadvantage can be that sometimes the location is a bit ‘out of the way’. Some cheap hotel chains have branches at out of town locations. You may also miss out on the personal service you would expect from a smaller, owner-run establishment.

The next alternative is to look for an individual hotel. Smaller hotels are often run by their owner and this can be a good way to dig out a cheap hotel.

Because the owner is most likely running and looking after the hotel, this means that cheap hotels in the UK can sometimes be like hidden gems. The care and attention you’ll get from a cheaper place can often be much better than you’d get in, say, a mid-range hotel chain. After all, it’s the owner’s livelihood that depends on it, so they’re more likely to make sure everything is just right for you.

Naturally you will want a clean, comfortable room. Since you are on business, you should also look for other things such as an internet connection. More hotels nowadays are offering this facility but you should check what is available and how much it will cost. It’s no fun arriving at a hotel only to find that the only broadband hotspot is already packed with other business travellers. Whilst it is possible to use the latest mobile phones to get an internet connection, they charge by the Mb and this can start to get expensive very quickly.

At the end of the day, it’s probably your business department’s choice what budget you have for overnight travel costs. Of course, if you’re on a tight budget like an increasing number of cost conscious business travellers nowadays, you may not have too much of a choice of where to stay. But with very few exceptions there are almost always acceptable places to stay when you are travelling on business.

Hotel Safety Tips You Should Have in Mind on a Holiday

If you travel a lot or even if you travel only during vacation time, you should always pay attention to your valuable assets inside the hotel and outside it. Getting something stolen like your purse, your wallet or your expensive watch will surely ruin your vacation. Burglars aren’t your only worry; dangerous strangers should be avoided too. Hotels may give you an impression of safety, but they have so many different guests that the hotel’s staff can’t keep an eye on everyone. Therefore, you are the only one who is best taking care of yourself. Here are some safety tips to avoid getting unpleasant memories during your travels.

The thing you should do all the time is to keep your room’s door locked. Lock it even if you are inside the room and also put the security chain. Make sure you have locked the door whenever you are leaving the room. You can do this by trying the door to see if it is perfectly closed and locked. It may look a bit paranoid, but the lock might be broken and your room would be vulnerable to any nosy intruder who would try the door knob.

If there is someone knocking on the door, look through the view port first to check on that person. If you don’t know that person, don’t open the door. Don’t trust people claiming they are part of the hotel staff if you don’t expect any visits from the hotel’s personnel. Check with the reception to make sure that person is an employee of the hotel. If you still don’t trust that person, you could keep the security chain on while carrying on the conversation.

The windows are also important. Make sure they are closed and locked whenever you leave the room.

Always use the hotel’s main entrance no matter if it’s day or night. It is safer to use facilities that are crowded with guests and hotel’s staff. Stay away from dark, remote hallways or rooms.

Jewellery represents the item that is most stolen from hotel rooms. Put all your valuables into the safe which most hotel rooms are equipped with. If your room doesn’t have a safe, you can use the hotel’s safe or locked storage facilities. And don’t live your valuable things scattered around your room in anyone’s sight.

All these tips may sound a bit paranoid, but keep in mind that being vigilant will save you from a lot of trouble. So whenever you are travelling, always pay attention to these tips and your vacation will not be ruined from an unfortunate burglary incident.

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