Travel Lodging and Places to Stay





Once you get there, where are you going to stay? Other ways to reduce travel costs are by going to destinations off-season or during shoulder seasons. For example, the last time I went to Victoria, BC I went during the off season – it was winter – I didn’t have to fight the crowds and the prices were a fraction of the prices during the peak summer season. I was able to get a room at the famous Empress Hotel for about $100 per night during the summer peak season, the same room goes for $300- $400 per night. I like traveling during the off peak periods. By going during the off season, I get to see all of the sites but never have to wait in long lines. In Victoria, the famous Buchart Gardens are open year round and afternoon tea is served daily as well.

I belong to the Westin Hotel’s Starpoint program; this has enabled me to accumulate points when I use my card that I have been able to redeem for free nights at several of the hotel’s locations. One of the locations was the W hotel in Manhattan. It was really great to be able to stay in a 5 star hotel in Manhattan an area known for high rates for free. If I hadn’t been able to use points to stay for free, I wouldn’t have been able to stay in such a nice place. That same trip to NYC, I used frequent flier miles to purchase my round trip airfare. This was almost a no cost luxury trip.

Other ways to reduce travel costs are to search on- line travel discounters like Priceline.com and Hotwire.com for deals. I have used Priceline to secure very nice hotel accommodations for about 1/3 of the going rate.

Sometimes you can get a better rate by calling the hotel directly and asking for a better rate. Many hotels offer an AAA discount rate. If the first rate the hotel quotes you is too high ask for a better rate. Sometimes, you can get a really good rate just by asking.

If you want to get away for a week or two, there are lots of options for lodging once you get to your destination. In North America, you can usually find weekly rentals that are much more affordable than renting a hotel room. They are often more memorable too. For example, in British Columbia, I rented a floating home moored in a quaint marine on a small island for a week at a cost of about $450. It was great and a about half the cost of a hotel room plus I was able to have use of a kitchen to prepare some of my meals. The internet and local newspapers are a good resources for finding weekly vacation rentals. In Washington State, the parks department has houses, cabins, and yurts in various locations that are available to rent. You can rent a cabin at Camano Island State Park of $40 per night or a teepee at Field Springs State Park of $20 per night. There are convents and monasteries in Europe and North America that rent rooms for very modest amounts. If you are traveling to an area near water, you might see if you can find a boat to stay on for a night or two. All of these are affordable accommodations that offer very unique experiences. Your memories of your stay in a teepee will be richer than memories of your stay at a generic hotel.

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