The Rand family road trip planning is kicking into high gear now. This week, we started making hotel reservations for our summer vacation. Fun, fun, fun!
I love having my daughter home from college, because she is taking the lead on the trip planning and is spending time on her laptop researching places to stay. The problem is that I work from home. So it’s getting a little difficult trying to stay focused on client work, when my daughter keeps interrupting me to talk about room availability! Could be worse, I know. I could be the one in charge of doing everything! So no more complaining, I promise! :-)
Alison’s method of searching for hotels or motels is to visit the online reservation sites like Kayak and review sites like TripAdvisor. I reminded her that we are AAA members, so it’s a good idea to check their website as well. And last year, we joined a travel club called Vacation Station, so I wanted to make sure we explored their site too, since they give 10% rebates if you book hotels through their site. Our goal is to save as much money as possible on lodging, since this is going to be such a long trip.
One challenge we have run into already is that we’re visiting smaller towns, so our lodging choices are limited. And the areas of Canada that we’re visiting, like Canmore, Alberta and Jasper, Alberta are in high season, so we’re going to be paying more regardless. On the other hand, I am a member of some hotel frequent stay programs, such as Wyndham Resorts and Starwood Preferred Guest. I started checking my points, and it looks like we may be able to stay a couple of nights for free! I plan to compare prices in our 3 big cities, Vancouver, Seattle and San Francisco to see where I can get the best deal.
My advice for those of you who are booking hotel reservations is to utilize every source you can for the best price. I’ve read on other travel sites that it sometimes pays to call the hotel directly. I haven’t tried that yet, but I just may do that this weekend. I’ll let you know if this strategy pans out.