4 websites for great hotel bookings at affordable prices
There's hardly anything more fun than traveling and exploring new places. The excitement of creating an itinerary and the thrill of being on the road is unmatched, but it's so much better if the "getaway" is well in your budget. Accommodation is an important factor that determines your overall travel expenses, so deals on that front can help you save big. Here are some of the best hotel booking websites to help you compare deals and plan a budget-friendly trip:
Priceline may come across as your regular hotel booking website, but it offers some outstanding features. For instance, it offers amazing discounts through its Express Deals® feature and free cancelation on most hotels to ensure flexibility. Additionally, Priceline offers a generous best-price guarantee and assures a 100% refund of the price difference if you find a lower price within 24 hours of booking. That's not all! They offer a 200% refund of the price difference if you find a better price on an Express Deal®.
Kayak is one of the top hotel booking sites for comparing deals and is known for its filtering options and map feature. Just click on your destination on the map, and Kayak will give you all the information you need, including stay options. Clicking on any option will display the booking prices from several websites. A unique feature of this website is that it allows split booking, wherein you can save more by partly booking your stay from one website and using another site to book the other part of your stay.
This is another top entrant on the list of the best websites to find deals on hotel bookings and is known for its ease of use. In addition to deals and free cancelation on most hotels, Hotels.com offers excellent discounts on flight bookings. The rewards program that offers one free night on a 10-night stay is one of its notable features.
Tripadvisor is the place to go if you want to check out genuine customer reviews before making a booking. The website lists travelers' experiences with the stays, helping you pick the best deals on hotel bookings. Simply enter your destination, and Tripadvisor will list the hotels and other stay options ranked according to amenities, deals, and customer reviews. Being an aggregator, Tripadvisor allows you to compare the prices offered by multiple hotel booking sites.
Top 5 hotel booking websitesIndeed, booking hotels has become easier than ever. But there's no denying that the sheer number of booking platforms and offers can overwhelm most travelers. Typically, the best hotel booking sites feature great deals, scores of room options in any given location and allow you to filter your search results based on your preferences. We've listed some excellent hotel booking websites that can help you get a great room at an affordable price. Booking.com This is one of the most popular and reliable hotel booking websites. No matter where you are traveling and what time of the year, you can easily find amazing deals on a wide variety of hotels, apartments, and hostels on the platform. Another advantage is that the website is easy to navigate, filters search results accurately, and the search engine displays total upfront cost (pretax), allowing you to determine what fits into your budget quickly. HotelsCombined HotelsCombined is a top-rated metasearch engine or aggregator, meaning it shows you the best results after comparing listings from hundreds of travel sites in seconds, including top online travel agencies like Booking.com, Hotels.com, Expedia, Agoda, and many more. It's a great platform if you're looking for something at the lowest possible price. HotelsCombined even refunds you the difference if you find a hotel listed cheaper elsewhere after booking with them. Kayak If you've booked a flight ticket before, you're already familiar with Kayak's interface. It's uncluttered, easy to use, and has many filters that can help specifically look for something you want. Being an aggregator, you can easily find a wide range of hotels and other types of accommodation at amazing prices on Kayak. TripAdvisor Here's another popular metasearch engine that you must check out. TripAdvisor has a reputation for curating some of the best hotel deals from an array of sites, including top ones. It allows you to sort results by Best Value, Traveler Ranked, and Price. Since it is also a famous review website, you can quickly read about the experiences of other travelers to ascertain whether the accommodation you like is worth it. Agoda If you're looking for the best and cheapest accommodations anywhere in Asia, Agoda is the go-to website. It offers unrivaled deals and shows the most eclectic results across any Asian city. That said, it features good deals on hotels in US cities too. Plus, its range of filter options ensures you quickly get a hotel or other accommodation in the location you prefer and within your budget.
5 affordable hotels for a luxurious stay
The country is a traveler’s delight as there is a lot that you can see and explore, but before you head out for your next trip, you must make a list of the hotels that you would like to stay in while you travel across the country. Here is a list of best hotels to check out in the country for a luxurious yet affordable stay on your next vacation:
- Hotel La Croix, Hawaii
Hawaii is not exactly a place for tourists who are on a tight budget, and the hotels are quite expensive too. Hotel La Croix, however, is an exception. The three-star hotel that was recently renovated offers an excellent view of the nearby Waikiki Beach and is, arguably, one of the best hotels in the country. The rooms cost less than $150 for a night-long stay and feature a balcony each. The hotel boasts of excellent room service, and all the studios, rooms, and suites are designed with a luxurious touch to help you relax on your holiday.
- Eagle Ridge, Illinois
Eagle Ridge offers most of the services that you would expect to find in a high-end resort, but what’s great is that staying here will not burn a hole in your pocket. There is a spa in the premises and hopes to send across the thought that a luxurious stay does not have to be expensive. Apart from a spa, it has six restaurants and as many as four championship golf courses. There is also a wide range of activities that you can choose from.
- La Quinta by Wyndham, Chattanooga
If you wish to spend some quality time in a quiet, undiscovered location, heading to the riverfront city of Chattanooga would be a great idea. The hotels here are quite cheap as it’s not a destination frequently flocked by tourists, and the area has some great hotels. La Quinta by Wyndham is one of the finest hotels you will find in Chattanooga, and the three-star hotel combines quality and comfort for travelers on a budget.
- The Jane, New York City
New York is among the most expensive cities in the world, but the city has numerous options for tourists with varying budgets when it comes to accommodation. The Jane has tremendous historic value as it opened doors for customers way back in 1908, and a few years later, the survivors of the Titanic had stayed at this very hotel. As it was built for traveling sailors, the rooms were designed like cabins in ships. The rooms are small but comfortable and offer great convenience in minimal space.
- Homewood Suites, Manhattan
If you’re in Manhattan, you must stay at Homewood Suites. This hotel offers all the modern amenities you hope to find in a city-based hotel. The best part? The hotel is close to landmark venues like the Times Square. The rooms are available for less than $200, which is a great price given the location of the hotel and the amenities provided. You get complimentary breakfast, free Wi-Fi, and complete access to its business center and fitness center with every stay.
- Hotel La Croix, Hawaii
3 river cruises to board in 2022If you are planning to go on a long vacation and would love to relax on a deck overlooking a river, then river cruises are for you. From the mighty Mississippi to the scenic Columbia, you can unwind with comfort and luxury on the country's many rivers. Here are some of the best river cruises of 2022 that will help you make a memorable trip. America's Great River by Viking Cruises One of the best river cruises of 2022, Viking Cruise offers a unique opportunity to discover American folk music and learn more about the country’s civil rights movement. This 15-day river cruise spans the Mississippi River, letting you explore historic and beautiful cities such as New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Natchez, Vicksburg, Memphis, and many more. The cruise originates from Louisiana and takes a scenic route up till Minnesota. On this cruise, you can enjoy views of the scenic coastline on the full 360-degree deck and treat yourself to a variety of cuisines. Nashville to Chattanooga (or Reverse) by American Queen Steamboat Company This is a nine-day river cruise that spans the scenic Columbia River. The cruise offers unlimited shore excursions beginning with a hotel stay at Chattanooga, Tennessee. The ship cruises along small river towns and lush landscapes. It lets you explore stories of the Civil War at Decatur and unwind to some R&B music in Florence. While on deck, the cruise offers world-class wines, locally brewed craft beers, and specialty coffees. The cruise also has a dedicated fleet of deluxe motorcoaches. Hudson River Cruise by American Cruise Lines This company offers cruises that last more than a week, and they include a wide variety of destinations. For instance, the Hudson river cruise lasts for seven days and eight nights, and takes a mesmerizing route along the Hudson river, which is surrounded by the Catskill, Taconic, and Berkshire mountains. The cruise includes a trip to the West Point Military Academy and Vanderbilt Mansion, among other sites. Onboard experiences include daily cocktail hour and drinks with meals. Through this cruise, you can get exciting insights into many aspects of American history, ecology, and culture. American Cruise Lines also offers exquisite cuisines from highly trained chefs.
6 best upcoming Viking Ocean Cruises in 2021-2022It’s no secret that Viking Ocean Cruises is one of the best cruise lines to enjoy a luxurious cruise vacation with your friends or family. Their fleet of state-of-the-art ocean ships takes you to the most exotic destinations around the world. This article looks at some of the best upcoming Viking Ocean Cruises sailings in 2021-2022, along with Viking cruise deals and airfares. Panama Canal and Central America If you want to explore rich Caribbean diversity, this ocean cruise is the perfect opportunity. It’s a 15-day Florida roundtrip cruise that takes you to seven gorgeous countries, including Panama, Jamaica, Honduras, and Mexico, among others. Pricing: Cruise fare starts from $4,299. With Viking’s Special Cruise Savings deal, you can save up to $300 on airfare. You can also save up to $500 on basic accommodation (Veranda). Departure dates: 26th November and 10th December Los Angeles, California, to London Witness the diverse landscapes of Oahu (Honolulu), Kauai (Nawiliwili), Bora Bora, New Zealand, Tasmania, and Brisbain, among other places. This 119 days cruise could be a vacation of a lifetime for you and your family. It departs from Los Angeles, California, and its last stop is in Tilbury, London, which lasts for two days. Pricing: Save $3,998 on air fare with this Viking cruise as the $54,995 cruise fare includes business class air. The accommodation at this cruise fare includes a Deluxe (DV4) 270 sq.ft. Veranda. Whereas, a DV6 has limited tickets left, and one can save a whopping $1000 on these tickets. Departure dates: 10th January, 2022 Southeast Asia and Hong Kong This 15-day cruise allows you to explore Southeast Asian countries like never before. It starts from Bangkok, and en route visits several sought-after places in Cambodia and Vietnam and cruises the scenic Gulf of Thailand and the South China Sea before reaching Hong Kong. Pricing: Cruise fare starts from $5,999. Deals on this Viking cruise include a $500 discount per person on airfare and savings up to a few hundred dollars on certain types of accommodation. Departure date: 31st October Southern Atlantic Crossing If sailing the Mediterranean Sea and South Atlantic Ocean has always been on your bucket list, it may be time to get yourself a cruise ticket for Viking’s Southern Atlantic Crossing. The 22-day journey begins from Barcelona and sails the Mediterranean Sea to reach Granada. From there, you’ll visit Casablanca, Dakar, Recife, Rio de Janeiro, Montevideo, and the last stop, Buenos Aires, all while cruising the South Atlantic Ocean. Pricing: Cruise fare starts from $5,299. You can save $500 with Viking’s Special Cruise Savings offer on this cruise. Departure date: 14th November Iceland’s Natural Beauty This Icelandic tour is a nature lover’s delight. For all eight days of the tour, you get to discover Iceland’s spectacular raw beauty. The Reykjavik roundtrip cruise takes you to gorgeous places like Ísafjördur, Akureyri, Seydisfjördur, Djúpivogur, and Westman Islands. Pricing: Cruise and airfares start from $2,799 and $999, respectively. Note that Viking Ocean Cruises does not offer any deals or discounts on this cruise. Departure dates: There are several departure dates in July, August, and September. Please visit Viking’s official website for the complete list. Alaska and the Inside Passage Marvel through the skylines of Seward and Vancouver, and soak in the gorgeous evening sunset by the deck. If you’re planning a cruise holiday for 2022, check out the deals on Viking Cruises. This 11-day cruise tours through Valdez, Skagway, Juneau, Sitka, and Vancouver, among others. The cruise covers two countries and offers 7-guided tours. Pricing: The $6,199 package includes a deluxe veranda (DV2) of 270 sq. ft. and charges extra $399 for airfare per person. However, if you need no more than 3 tickets to get on-board, small families can get the $5,499 package that includes a (V2) 270 sq.ft veranda. Departure dates: The cruise departs on 2nd June, 2022, and reaches Vancouver on 12th June, 2022. Apart from the cruises mentioned above, Viking Ocean Cruises also visit Antarctica, one of the least explored places on the planet. The company features multiple cruises offering 13-day to 44-day trips, covering several countries en route. The cruise line’s Antarctica trips with airfare start at around $15,000 per person. Moreover, there are other excellent cruise lines that visit Antarctica. These include Abercrombie & Kent, Hurtigruten, Lindblad Expeditions - National Geographic, PONANT, and Silversea. The cheapest cruises to the continent start at approximately $5000 per person for a 6 to 10 days trip.
5 essential tips to easily rent a car
You often require a set of good wheels before embarking on a road trip. The next best option after owning a car is renting a car. That's because a rental car offers the flexibility and freedom to travel. But renting a car has complications, such as picking up a faulty car, missing out on the fine print, and scammers. To help you have the best rental car experience, here are five car rental tips in 2021.
- Read the reviews
If you're reading car rental reviews, know that some of them could be paid reviews, while only a select few are genuine reviews. After all, a person is likely to jot down a negative review when they are upset rather than a positive one when they are content. Look for reviews concerning the cleanliness and quality of the car, customer service, and absurd or hidden charges.
- Skip airport surcharges
Airports charge a premium for the convenience of picking or dropping off your car. Sometimes the convenience might be worth paying for, but at other times it can cost you quite a bit of money. So if it isn't much of a hassle, try and pick your car rental from an office located inside the city for cheaper rates.
- Pick the right dealer
It's always best to pick your car rental dealership even before you start your trip. This way, you have enough time to find out if a dealership is legit. It also helps identify good cars available at low rental rates. Also, look for offers available on select credit and debit cards that can help earn discounts.
- Stick to one driver
If your trip isn't long-distance, stick to one driver. A second driver will generally cost you additional driver fees. Moreover, if you and your travel buddies know how to drive, do it yourself.
- Add gas yourself
Car rental companies will generally fill the gas tank before handing it over to you. But it is recommended to top up the tank yourself before handing in the vehicle. This way, you only pay for the gas you use. If the rental service tops it up later, they may charge an exorbitant convenience fee.
- Read the reviews
Top 4 luxury hotels in Boston that are stay-worthy
Be it for college visits, business travel, love for history and art, or the delicious food, several thousands of people visit Boston annually. Now, the good thing about Boston is that, much like most of the other aspects, the city has some of the finest range of hotels.
Of course, you can find a hotel to cater to your budget, but if luxury is what you seek, our selection of the top four luxury hotels in Boston will certainly excite you.
Four Seasons Hotel
Known for its incredible health club, phenomenal service, a beautiful park-front location, clean pool, 273 spacious and luxurious rooms, and an iconic restaurant serving lip-smacking delicacies, the Four Seasons Hotel in Boston attains a well-deserved number one spot in this list. The guest room bathrooms are also great, superior to the ones you’ll find in some other top-notch hotels of Boston. Nonetheless, the service you get is unprecedented. The hotel staff pays attention to the minutest details and is proactively helpful. Furthermore, the iconic location of the hotel, right next to the city’s Public Garden, only adds to its charm and beauty.
Founded in the year 2008, the beautiful Mandarin Oriental is rightfully a close second on this list. With an aim to do everything better and bigger, the hotel has fairly lived up to its own dream. From fine dining to the luxurious rooms, and the spa, everything about the hotel is much ahead of its time. Its contemporary guest rooms are by far the largest in Boston. The hotel has deep tubs, luxury fittings, 42-inch LED TVs, and marble showers. Additionally, the spa of the hotel is the most luxurious and the largest in Boston. The hotel staff is helpful, and the service that you get here is fantastic. It has two of the best dining places in the city – French L’Espalier and Asana restaurant.
XV Beacon or Fifteen Beacon is a 60-room boutique hotel that is a fine amalgam of tradition and modernity. Nestled in the archaic Beaux Art Building, the hotel has preserved its ancient elegance, yet it did its very best to incorporate modern conveniences keeping in view the needs and the desires of the guests. The service you receive here is amazing. Guests are welcomed with homemade desserts or personalized business cards to make them feel special. The cozy fireplace is certainly the delightful highlight of the hotel.
Fairmont Copley Plaza
Established in the year 1912, this grand dome of the city has since done its very best to welcome guests with warmth and joy. The 21-foot high multi-hued embellished ceilings and the opulent lobby make the architecture of the hotel instantly likable. The hotel, though, has a feel of a bygone era, but is still very luxurious and elegant. Of course, the guest rooms in the hotel are a bit smaller as compared to other hotels, but they do not compromise on your comfort and luxury. The dining establishments of the hotel, like the Oak Bar and the magnificent Oak Room Steakhouse with wood panels, truly make the entire setup romantic.
Planning a cruise around the coasts of North America
For holiday goers and frequent vacationers, cruise holidays around the North American continent are an excellent choice. Cruising along the west or the east coast of the beautiful continent is truly a delightful experience and lets you experience the culture uniquely. Fortunately, there is a myriad of different cruise vacations available all around North America. Here are our top choices:
Eastern Coast of North America
There are several things to do during your cruise holiday to the eastern coast of North America. It is not only ideal for a memorable cruise holiday, but is also a great pick for luxury holidays, family trips, honeymoons, luxury holidays, and even an activity-based holiday. In the cruises around the eastern coast of America, you’ll mostly cover South Carolina, Boston, Florida, New England, as well as New York in the United States of America, and Nova Scotia and Montreal in Canada.
Western Coast of North America
As for the Western Coast of North America, there’s an equally exciting range of things to do. On your cruise, you can take an exciting and fun family trip to Vancouver, venture the lively and vibrant San Francisco city, relax and unwind on the beaches in California, enjoy a wholesome experience along with fantastic music in Seattle, or take a tour around various ports like those in British Columbia, Oregon, or Washington.
Tips to find the best cruise around North America
Now, how do you pick the right cruise for yourself? Let’s find out.
Are you traveling with children? Well, the little ones are naturally more excited about cruises than adults. There are some cruise lines that cater to the children much better than the others. Unfortunately, there are also a few who completely overlook the needs of child travelers. So, if you are seeking an incredible family cruising experience, then Disney should be your top-pick. It has a rare splash area for the young children and a dedicated kid’s club. Furthermore, Disney’s fountain area is a fantastic option for the toddlers still in diapers. Some of the equally good options for family cruising other than Disney include Royal Caribbean and Carnival.
There are age limits set by most cruises. Though there are a few cruises that have set the age limit as 1 year, there are many others who do not permit younger kids. For instance, if you are seeking solo travel and are still underage, say 17, you should know that a lot of ships do not permit children below 18 years of age without adult supervision.
There are a bunch of things that determine the cost that you’ll have to bear for your cruise. It would primarily depend on whether or not your holiday is during the travel season or the off-season. Further, the smaller the ship, the higher would be the cost. The price you pay also depends on the length of your stay. In general, any cruise that accommodates 1,000 to 2,000 guests will offer you a better monetary value. So, if budget is a concern, you should take into consideration all these factors.
Business class flights and its features
All of us have daydreamed about traveling business class when we make a steady shuffle from business class to economy. Yes, it lures us with its spacious cabins, and luxe and cushy comforts. So, is it worth flying in a first-class or business class flight?
Let’s discuss some of the best business class flight features that will prove that it is worth every penny.
- Priority check-in
For travelers traveling business class, the check-in process is a lot more convenient and easier. You don’t need to stand in the long queue to finish your check-in procedure. Go ahead and sit down at the waiting room seat while the staff handles the check-in for you.
- Extra baggage allowed
Now, this completely depends on the policy of the airline. However, irrespective of the airline you are traveling with, the permissible baggage allowance for a business class is certainly more than economy class travelers. So, if you are a shopaholic, it could be a huge plus.
- Access to the special lounge
Ahead of the boarding time, business class travelers can wait in the exclusive lounge dedicated to them. Again, it might vary from airline to airline and airport to airport, but in most lounges across the globe, you’ll get scrumptious snacks and food. Furthermore, you will have an area to rest and recharge your energy. A few business class lounges also offer sleeping rooms, massages, and shower facilities.
- Priority boarding facility
As soon as the airplane is ready for boarding, the first passengers to board the flight will always be the business class travelers. So, you will never have to wait to board a flight.
- Spacious and better seating
Business class flights have spacious and bigger seats to accommodate you comfortably. Usually, most of these seats are adjustable. So, you can convert your seat to a flat-bed and rest properly. It is particularly beneficial if you have a longer flying duration.
- A luxury fine dining experience
When you board your business class flight, you’ll get a welcome drink, which is a glass of fresh juice. After a while, you get served a full-course meal of lip-smacking delicacies. The good thing is that airlines love spoiling their business class passengers, so the food will keep coming in. Hence, there’s zero chance of you feeling hungry. In case of a long flight, the crew will serve you a full-course breakfast, lunch, dinner, and several in-between snacks. Complimentary beverages will also be served.
- World-class amenities
In business class, you’ll get access to a bunch of world-class amenities, including fancy snacks, comfortable blankets and pillows, and in-flight entertainment. Along with that, you will also have bigger screens, noise cancellation headphones, and an additional amenities kit to make your travel convenient. How can you not fall in love with this exquisite treatment?
- Priority check-out
Business-class travelers will always be the first ones to get off the airplane. So, again, there’ll be no queue for you, and you’ll leave the aircraft before anyone else.
Top destination travel options in Asia
Asia is a beautiful continent and is home to some of the most exciting destination travel options. With so many exquisite countries to visit, the task of picking the best once can be a bit overwhelming. Well, fret not! Given the availability of affordable flights in-between prime hubs of Asia, you can certainly visit a couple of top destinations in Asia on a single trip.
You can pick any one of the listed destinations below for your next destination travel trip.
- Chiang Mai, Thailand
A lot of travelers visiting Thailand prefer its northern capital over Bangkok. The Old City of Chiang Mai is bustling with tourist activity all year round. The most beautiful thing that you’ll witness here is the welcoming and calming smile of monks. Happening night markets, a multitude of cultural festivals, beautiful temples, and sprawling mountains for trekking-- Chiang Mai has something for every type of traveler. Every year the city gets a footfall of more than a million travelers that leave the destination enriched with hope and satisfaction. When in Chiang Mia, make sure that you take a tour of the magnificent riverside village, Pai, which is located only a few hours north of the city.
- Penang, Malaysia
If you are looking for a destination travel trip where you can relax, unwind, and experience mouth-watering cuisine, then Penang in Malaysia is the right destination for you. It is a magnificent island in Malaysia that is proudly referred to as the Pearl of the Orient. Home to some of the most scrumptious delicacies of Asia, the food in Penang is a fine blend of Malay cuisine with influences of Indian and Chinese flavors. Additionally, the island has some of the finest art galleries and delectable museums to keep you entertained.
While Singapore should be high on your list of destination travel spots in Asai, beware that it is notoriously expensive. However, this modern, green island country is worth visiting to explore and experience the unique blend of cultures. The mega-mall shopping experience and the gourmet food makes it a hit amongst the shopaholics and foodies. Singapore is more than just a delicately designed concrete shopping complex. It has abundant greenery and impressive walking and biking trails for locals and travelers alike. Its pleasant vibe, lively culture, warm people, beautiful attractions, and delicious cuisine make it worth every penny.
- Bali, Indonesia
Bali is the top-favorite destination of honeymooners, bloggers, and photographers. The volcanic landscape and the scenic beaches, make it a hotspot for travelers. The self-indulgent Kuta Beach is where maximum tourist action takes place. Adventure seekers can hike through the Kintamani Region to see the volcano at the top. However, if you want to experience much more than just adventure, then you should travel to Ubud. The warmth, extraordinarily beautiful beaches, and captivating beauty make it a top destination travel option.
Irrespective of the destination you opt for on your destination travel to Asia, you are guaranteed to experience phenomenal culinary treats, bountiful blessings of nature, and several UNESCO world heritage sites.