Black PR Wire Newsroom
(BLACK PR WIRE) "" In planning your summer vacation does the thought of paying those high retail hotel room prices leave you feeling less than inspired? Worried about spending over $100 a night for a room in which the comforters and bedspreads are only washed once every millennium? Fret not. There is hope. With African Americans trekking around the globe and rates higher than ever there is a lot to be learned when booking accommodations. There are tricks to finding decent hotels in a comfortable setting without breaking the bank.
Rule number one. Travel in the off season. Tourist season can be a headache with hotels full to capacity and staff stressed to the max, think Paris in July or Miami in January. Traveling to Italy in early spring or Iceland in the early fall can prove both exciting for you and less taxing on your wallet. I once spent five days in Florence Italy, staying at a five-star hotel and flying round trip from New York for $550. Repeat after me: off season.
Rule number two. Shop around. Websites like hotels.com, orbitz.com and Travelocity.com can, at the very least, prove beneficial when starting the pricing process and often times help you lock in a four or five-star hotel at a fraction of the retail price. Phoning the front desk or concierge never hurts either as one can often bargain an even better deal, free upgrade, complimentary breakfast etc. out of the conversation with a live human being.
Rule number three. Avoid the chains with high prices and less than stellar reputations and look for mom & pop establishments, smaller boutique hotels and most importantly consider Bed & Breakfasts (B & B's). My mother once booked us rooms for a family vacation in New Orleans at a B & B that once housed an orphanage. The building, located in the quieter Garden District, had a inviting faÃ§ade, a lovely shaded swimming pool, delightful, authentic breakfasts and a charming, personable staff. The price was half what other hotels would have charged us, especially in the more popular French Quarter.
Rule number four. Do listen to friends' advice by word of mouth! A hotel you've had a bad experience with in one city might be pristine, clean and charming in another. We all have that jet-setting friend or great aunt who has learned from repeated travel mistakes and less than perfect international experiences, un-phased. Ask around! You never know what you might find.
Rule number five. Frequent guest and rewards point programs. Frequent flyers and busy business men and women often take advantage of these deals, staying only at one particular hotel affiliate or another. This is smart because it gives you, the traveler, some clout in making requests and having accommodations meet your standards. Besides isn't the customer always right?
Rule number six. Do your homework. Research, research, research! It amuses me that so many Americans opt to travel to Great Britain because English is the official language spoken there. News flash: English is the official business language of the European Union. Everyone from the Parisian cop to the Dutch gas station attendant probably speaks a good amount of English so branch out and discover other parts of the world! Great Britain is lovely yet it is also 1/3 more expensive than the rest of Europe which isn't cheap to begin with due to the decline of the American dollar!
These helpful hints will hopefully inspire you to surge ahead with this year's vacation plans. Just remember, there is almost always another budget-friendly option outside of the ordinary outlets. You are paying for a service that should meet your expectations and help you relax during those precious days away from home. Ask for what you want and you just might get it!