7 Ways To Find Great Savings On Hotels

“The gladdest moment in human life, me thinks, is a departure into unknown lands,” said British explorer Sir Richard Burton. And while there aren’t many places left in the world still unknown, you can venture forth into foreign lands— counties or countries, whichever—you’ve never been to. What’s more, you can do this and still get the benefit of relaxing in a comfy room at the end of the day.

Your adventure doesn’t have to use up your life savings, either. Here are seven ways to help you find great deals on accommodations, whether you’re staying at a cozy bed and breakfast or a luxury hotel.

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Check out vacation packages.

Vacation packages are a godsend for those who don’t want to look into the nitty-gritty of the costs of travel and still save money. Many of these travel packages already include a three-day, two-night stay in a hotel (usually with free breakfast and Wi-Fi) and a guided tour of the city (with meals and private transportation). Vacation packages are often cheaper than spending money on accommodation, transportation services, and activities separately, plus you avoid having to do some DIY itinerary-making, which could be a hassle.

Use coupon codes.

If you are a fan of DIY trips, you can still save money by using coupon codes when booking hotel rooms. You could get up to 40 percent off the published room rates and you can even score points the more you use these codes on hotel booking sites.

Compare prices.

There are websites that gather hotel price quotes from different travel search engines, and you can check these out so you can have an idea about how much you’ll have to pay for a certain hotel during the dates you plan to travel. If there’s a big difference between rates, check out the fine print to see what’s included in the price.

Visit hotel websites for promos.

Comparing hotel room prices via booking sites is good if you want to score great deals, but don’t rule out booking directly via a hotel’s official website, or by calling the hotel and talking to the reservations officer or manager. Hotels would often offer seasonal deals and promotions that are not reflected in the prices listed in third-party booking sites, so be sure to check them out first. Direct booking also gives you greater flexibility if you need to cancel your reservation or have it moved to a later date.

Take a chance with same-day booking.

If you have a lot more flexibility in terms of your itinerary and have no specific hotel in mind, go straight to the local tourist office and avail of their room-finding services. Hotels that fail to sell a room sometimes notify the local tourist office and you can then see different options and decide where to stay, depending on your budget. Many, if not all, of the room rates would already have been discounted, plus you can always negotiate for a bigger discount.

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Consider smaller hotels.

Small, independent hotels and lodgings may not appear on travel search engines, but offer the same comfort and amenities for less. You can check out sites like TripAdvisor to identify these hotels get contact details so you can make reservations directly.

Visit during off-peak times.

Traveling during the off-peak months would give you lower hotel costs, but the key here is to do your research and see which months or seasons are considered off-peak in your desired destination. There are also off-peak days: in a business hub, off-peak would be weekends, while in resort areas, you’ll have a better chance of scoring deals during weekdays.

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4 Amazing Cities That Are A Must See For Those With A Case of Wanderlust

The world is a huge place, and there are so many fantastic places to go and see. The places we can visit completely vary and offer us different unique and incredible experiences. So I am just sharing with you today, a few of those different and varied cities that are across the world. You might have been to some; you might have some on your bucket list. Either way, they are all fantastic places that are a must visit at some time in your life.

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London

Where do I start with London? It is a city like no other. You might think that it is quite a bland English place to visit, but you would be most incorrect! It is a bustling and diverse city, full of variety. There are the grand historical sites to see, including things like the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, and Big Ben. There are also much more modern sites and attractions to see, including things like the Tate Modern and Millenium Bridge. The food is varied; the shopping is fantastic. There really is something for everyone!

Perth

There are only a select few cities that have dream beaches to go with them, alongside the bustling city scene. Perth in the western area of Australia is certainly one of them! The beaches are beautiful; some of the best in the world. You could enjoy a picnic and a swim and then check out some of the best tourist attractions in Perth. There is a great food and music scene in the city too.

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New York

If you are looking for a city that never sleeps, then look no further than New York City. One of the great things is that there are so many shows and movies that have been filmed there. So you can visit a lot of the different spots that have been in movies. The weather is varied there, going from snow in winter to hot sunshine in summer. So you can choose ice skating or sunbathe in Central Park, depending on the time of year that you visit. The shopping is fantastic, as well as lots of things to do like visiting a comedy club or Broadway. The street food vendors are a must when visiting the city too.

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Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a vibrant city that is full of life. There are parks and skate parks, as well as plenty of museums and tourist attractions. It is a big center for culture with an art institute and the shipyard area. You can take a boat ride down the canal, or cycle around taking it all in.

Paris

What would a list of cities to visit be, without a mention of the city of lights? Paris is just as glam as it might seem in the movies. With plenty of parks to stroll around, you can enjoy the great cuisine and atmosphere. A walk down the Champs De Elysee is a must, as well as the Eiffel Tower. With good transport links, you can see other areas of France easily from Paris too.

San Jose – the Capital of Costa Rica

SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA: Capital of Costa Rica, San Jose,  is the heart of this beautifully country that is ringed by green mountains and deep valleys. I wouldn’t call it a huge metropolitan or modern town, like Panama City, nor it had small cozy feeling to it.  While Costa Rica was my most favorite country in this trip, its capital was the least impressive place for me. I am sure it has its own charm and hidden gems… obviously we weren’t looking at the right things.

The main pedestrian street in the heart of San Jose, Costa Rica

The main pedestrian street in the heart of San Jose, Costa Rica

TIME of TRAVEL: Costa Rica was our second country to visit in this Central America trip in the mid-March of 2015. We first visited El Salvador, then Panama and from Costa Rica we finished our trip with Nicaragua. It was very hot and humid, especially when we toured outside San Jose to the mountains and rainforests.

OUR HOTEL: We stayed in Radisson, about 15 minutes’ walk from downtown San Jose. It was a fantastic place with free breakfast and Wi-Fi. Other than its excellent customer service, we had a big swimming pool and a hot tub very close to our room. Radisson in San Jose is a very big hotel and had a big gate at the entrance for extra security.

EATING and SHOPPING: We saw plenty of fast foods in the heart of San Jose. But we did have a hard time finding a local Costa Rican restaurant…maybe we were just looking at the wrong place. We eventually had lunch in Mercado Central after few locals directed us there. Inside the market, there were some small places and quick-serve counters who were offering local dishes. We had some fish with rice and pickled vegetables, like jalapeno and chili peppers. Other than those, you can find fish soup, ceviche (raw fish), and other seafood options too.

Our lunch (fish fried rice) in San Jose, Costa Rica...inside Mercado Central

Our lunch (fish fried rice) in San Jose, Costa Rica…inside Mercado Central

Again, Mercado Central was the only place where we saw only a hand-full of stores selling local hand-crafts and souvenirs. We didn’t see any other place outside this market selling souvenirs…eventually, we didn’t buy anything from San Jose.

PLACES WE’VE VISITED: We had three full days to explore Costa Rica, out of that we spent a day in San Jose. We arrived in the morning and it was enough for us to just take a short tour of the capital for the rest of that day.

An interesting statue we saw while roaming around San Jose in Costa Rica

An interesting statue we saw while roaming around San Jose in Costa Rica

1) MERCADO CENTRAL: We walked quiet a far from our hotel to come the heart of San Jose. Once we hit the center point, we followed the pedestrian road to hunt for some local meals and after about 10 minutes, saw this market. When we asked some locals about where we can get some good seafood, they pointed at Mercado Central and gave a name of a restaurant (which I forgot).

Mercado Central is a very old and bustling indoor market and has been there since 1880. Countless shops and restaurants are packed inside this place. You can find almost anything and everything here. Quality may not be of good standard but they are very reasonably priced.

2) METROPOLITAN CATHEDRAL: While we were walking towards the main square to our hotel, we took a little detour. On the other side of the street a big square showed up with a giant Neo-classical edifice in the front. A mass was going on while we were inside the cathedral, so we couldn’t walk around much. But it’s a big place elegantly decorated with some stunning stained-glass windows from Paris and Germany. A new group of bells were installed here in 1998 which came straight from Spain. The tabernacle is a replica from the original one in 1855. The artistic tubular organ is from Belgium that was inaugurated in 1891 and it is considered as one of the best tubular organs in whole Central America. The structure suffered few major earthquakes in the past few centuries.

Catedral Metropolitana in San Jose, Costa Rica

Catedral Metropolitana in San Jose, Costa Rica

3) MAIN SQUARE with TEATRO NACIONALE: We honestly didn’t find a name of this square. It looked like the main square where people and pigeons gather to chill. Many buildings and eateries surround the square. Beside the square is the National Theater of San Jose…an old but nice architecture. There was ice-cream store where we stopped and picked up some nice flavors while walking back to the hotel at the end of the day.

The main square of San Jose, Costa Rica, which houses some museums and important buildings, including the National Theater

The main square of San Jose, Costa Rica, which houses some museums and important buildings, including the National Theater

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