Locking down a hotel for your family vacation may seem like a no-brainer; however, doing so is much easier said than done.
While it may be more tempting to focus on fun and games versus your lodging options, it’s crucial that you understand exactly what to look for to ensure that your family gets the most out of your next trip. After all, since hotels tend to take up the bulk of any travel budget, shouldn’t you actually enjoy where you stay versus simply tolerating your experience?
In five simple steps, you can ensure that you get exactly what you pay for and then some when it comes to your hotel.
So, where do you start?
Book Your Hotel Well in Advance
From saving money and locking down the ideal location that’s nearby the attractions you plan on visiting, you should make sure you do your hotel homework and book in advance. Beyond avoiding surge pricing, you can also save money online via coupons and deals.
Just as you should book your hotel in advance, you should be aware of the fact that many tourist destinations such as Disney World have adopted surge-pricing based on the time of year. In other words, popular travel times such as the holidays or the summer are typically more expensive. While traveling during the off-season may seem like a headache, attractions are typically cheaper and less crowded, representing a win-win for families looking to get away on a tight budget.
Ideally, your hotel will have a shuttle service to help you get around town and visit attractions. If not, you should plan on taking your own transportation, walking or relying on a service as such as Uber. You should be aware of whether or not the latter options are cost-effective or realistic before planning on them: for example, frequent Uber rides may quickly become costly. Likewise, it may not be realistic for your family to walk everywhere if you’re spending day after day at at theme park.
Figure Out Your Food
Beyond lodging, food can quite literally eat away at your travel budget. Scout out deals on local fare and try to book a hotel that serves free breakfast. In addition, you can bring your own snacks or take a quick trip to a local store to stock up on cheap eats.
Know Your Attractions
Make sure that you pick attractions that are truly cost-effective and give you the most bang for your buck. For example, a theme-park ticket may seem expensive at $70 a pop; however, such an attraction will keep you entertained all day versus a $20 attraction that only occupies your time for an hour or two.
Also, keep in mind that it’s easy to get burned out on activities during a vacation. Therefore, consider taking a lazy day to relax at your hotel or read a book by the pool. Lazy days are yet another reason to lock down a hotel that will provide you with peace and quiet versus noise and disturbances.
Don’t ignore the seemingly small details of vacation planning. Instead, book in advance and do your homework to ensure that you and your family actually get to enjoy your vacation.