Hotel Advice from a Traveler 3/25/2024

Have you ever heard the expression “you get what you pay for?” Well we are finding that is true. Recently  I booked a hotel that was cheaper than some of the surrounding ones and it was exactly that what we paid for. It had 4 out of 5 stars so we figured it was ok.We generally don’t stay at anything below 3 stars. Well, at first the front doors didn’t work right, the luggage cart had a flat tire, and there was blue tarp over the main hallway so you couldn’t enter. That should have been enough warning for us to leave but we wanted to give the place the benefit of the doubt. The staff were super nice as well so we checked in and went to our room. The curtain in the room  wasn’t even attached to the window so we had to get another room. After settling in finally into another room we went out to dinner. When we returned we realized it wasn’t really in a good area and it was very close to the hi-way. After not sleeping all night on the hard bed, worrying if my car would be there in the morning, and trying to eat the mediocre breakfast we decided to leave a day early and go someplace else. Lesson learned. Don’t just look at the ratings but also check out the reviews. You can learn a lot from reviews. You can determine if it is in a safe area, if the elevator is working, and pretty much anything else you would want from reviews.Paying a little more for a hotel in a safe neighborhood is worth it. You also want the hotel to be clean and everything in working order.

    Despite what people may think we are not rich. We have been blessed  with the ability to travel around the country ,but we are also traveling on a budget so we try and get deals, use points, and save when we can. We try and eat breakfast at the hotel or have a meal shake. We eat leftovers and when we can I go grocery shopping. There are a few other things I have learned about how to save money while traveling. Make sure you use points on your credit card and also hotel points. If you are loyal to one brand they will give you points and you can upgrade your membership by staying with one brand. For example if you join Marriott Bonvoy you can get a later check out and more points after you stay 10 nights. After 25 nights you get more points and a room upgrade etc.Also hotel breakfast is worth staying at a hotel that has it if you are not picky. Most hotel breakfasts consist of a lot of carbs and the eggs are usually questionable as to if they are real or not. If you can stick to fruit and oatmeal you are probably safe if you are trying to eat gluten/dairy free. Hotels usually give you coffee in your room. If you need coffee right away I suggest that you buy a small French press to use. You can boil water in the microwave and make your coffee. Who knows who has used those in room coffee makers and how long something has sat in it. Also if you need water if the hotel didn’t give you any you can usually refill a water bottle in the gym. Most gyms have filtered water.

  Also as a long term traveler if you can stay in a hotel that has suites like SpringHill Suites or Townplace suites you will have more room. Townplace Suites also has a kitchen area and a regular fridge in your room so you can do some shopping and eat real food.These type of hotels also have a laundry room that you can do your laundry in.If you don’t mind eating low quality food you can also stay in a Drury Inn. This is a newer hotel brand that has more hot tubs and indoor pools than some other brands. They also give you free breakfast AND dinner AND 3 free drinks at night. Dinner is usually soup, salad and maybe a pasta or meatballs with brown gravy. Not terrible but probably not too healthy either but if you are on a budget this is a money saver. One of the bet deals if you have timeshare and can use that for traveling. We use Interval and often they will have a sale and you can get a bonus week or a getaway. Timeshares are more spacious and you will actually have a kitchen, living room and a separate bedroom. Sometimes getaways are only a couple hundred dollars so even if you don’t use it for the week it’s cheaper than a hotel.           

     After traveling 3 months in hotels now you learn some do’s and don’t on the road.I hope these tips help you in your next travel adventure and I hope you get to start yours soon. I highly recommend it! What are your hotel tips?