With July 4th right around the corner, if you're anything like me, you might be traveling without plans! This July 4th I have plans, but if you're like me you love to travel without em! This means get on a plane and go. I take my backpack (or my carry own, depending on the length of my trip) and I get out of town! Sometimes I'm gone for weeks and months, other times I'm only gone a few days. However no matter where I'm going, I hate booking a hotel room! Rather I'm flying, driving, busing, or hitchhiking, I'm the type to find my room upon arrival.
I've always been the frugal traveler. Rather that being because of the trailer park I grew up in, my pseudo Jewish root (on my grandfather's side), or just because I'm savvy, staying in big brand hotels for lots of mula has never been my thing. In my backpacking days, and even to this day, I'm a huge fan of Couch Surfing because it gives you a taste of the local traditions and cultures and you can meet the coolest locals and get 100% immersed into the local culture. However, when couch surfing isn't an option, my next bet is a locally ran budget hotel. I've stayed in some pretty nice places for less than $20 a night in Latin America and Asia with breakfast, a/c, cable tv, private rooms/bathrooms, roof top gardens, pools and more! Staying where the locals stay instead of the westerns will save you hundreds!
However, despite all this I will stay in the big brands when traveling, especially when traveling for work or on someone else's dime! Yet, I do so carefully and for as cheap as possible. Even though one can earn free nights and hotel status, when I'm traveling on my own dollar I'm not as concerned about hotel status/awards. In fact I'm only down for staying in hotels like the Hyatt, SPG, and Hilton groups when I can get them for free thanks to points transfer from my Amex or Chase Sapphire or when I can get them at a ridiculously low rate. For example the Hyatt Regency Kota Kinabalu is taking part in the Hyatt Free Time promotion, so if I stay 2 nights, I get 1 night free in this 5 star hotel in the heart of Kota Kinabalu. This drops the rate to only $73 a night thanks to the promotion!
Yet despite this, I will continue to seek out a better deal (if possible). When traveling in the United States my go to application for finding last minute hotel rooms is Hotel Tonight. Only available as an application on android devices and the iPhone, Hotel Tonight allows you to book hotel rooms (up to 2am) for last minute rock bottom prices throughout most Major Cities in the United States, Canada and now London! Although Hotel Tonight normally will not allow your rooms to be counted towards elite status, upgrades, etc, it's a way to book a room last minute and for much less then walk-up prices. Also when checking in, al ways give your Rewards number to the hotel. There has been reports on rare occasions that the bookings end up crediting towards award nights, despite the low cost close out prices!
Hotels Tonight is a handy application for the misguided traveler who doesn't know where they are going to end up. The application is also fun to use because it breaks down hotels into different categories ranging from Solid, Hip, Charming, Lux, and Basic. Each hotel includes in info section that includes "why we like it" fast facts and the "need to know" which covers basic information like requirements to book, resort fees, check in/out times, and more. Also, if you click on the photo of the hotel, an whole slue of other resort photos become visible! This application brings shopping for a hotel to a whole new level!
So next time you're out looking for a room in a big city with no plans but in need for a place to rest, or when you get st uck at an airport overnight. Check out Hotels Tonight. Also, if you are a first time user, use the promotion code rhoran1 and take $25 off your first stay! Then share the applications with your friends and give them $25 off and earn $25 for each friend who uses your promotion code! Like I was always taught, what goes around comes around and this $25 saving/earning opportunity is a true DoubleWide Delight!