Have you ever found yourself checking into a hotel that looked nothing like the pictures online? The pictures they must have taken 10 years ago because now what was once a beautful entryway is now a dirt caked carpet and sprinkled with sun faded furniture. We've all been there. And while you didn't mind the price you were paying for what you thought was an upscale hotel, the quality of the establishment now doesn't match the price. A lot hotels run this gimmick and get away with it too! That's why you as a consumer have to be smart.
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If you're only staying a few days, then a hotel may be you're only option. Be picky about where you stay. Make sure you visit multiple travel sites such as travelocity, kayak, and hotels.com . Also make sure you read as many reviews as possible. Look for real reviews by reputable users and that were given with the past month or two. A hotel could have went downhill since that review a few years ago. Or possibly, it's been completely rennovated and is now worthy of such a traveler as yourself. While you should give most of the weight in your decision to reviews, don't let a single bad review deter you from staying somewhere that a close friend or family member recommended. Or if a hotel is close to the main activity of your trip, it should be given extra consideration.
But what if you're staying more than a couple days? If this is the case, then I would suggest looking into a vacation rental. Vacation rentals are usually a house or condo that are rented out on a weekly basis by an individual or vacation property management company. The benefits of staying in a vacation rental are numerous. First off, you're usually not 1 of 300 different guests staying at that location like a hotel. That means you get one on one service from the staff. No more waiting 2-3 days for a busted shower to be fixed or when, god forbid, the t.v. goes out. Second, vacation rentals commonly include a kitchen area. While you may think, "Oh no! I don't want to cook on vacation!", cooking on vacation can be quite the godsend after a couple days eating at the tourist traps. Towns with heavy tourism sometimes lack a quality meal at decent price. You're either over paying for a home cooked "diner" quality meal that at most should be $5 or you're stuck eating fast food. By having a kitchen, you have the option to cook whatever you'd like. And if you're particulary far away from home, the grocery store might have some locally grown ingrediants you've never had the chance to cook with. Local produce stores, by the way, are a joy of their own. You can really get a feel for the local community and vibe by visiting places like this on vacation. Lastly, if you're on an extended stay (anything over a 2 weeks), then a vacation rental will save you money! And who doesn't want to save money? Because you must book these places for a week at a time, most often you get a lower daily rate than staying night to night at a hotel.