Thursday, September 8, 2011

Thrifty Thursday: Budget Travel

Whether you are planning your next vacation, weekend getaway, or honeymoon, it's important to save money where you can.  However, you don't want to wind up in some sketch hotel worrying about bed bugs and grocery feet.*  Try to save more money than you had originally planned on using so that you have a cushion should you see a great pair of leather boots in Italy, a piece of artwork in the streets of Paris, or once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take a day trip.  I recently heard about this great travel website, from TravelNow which has awesome deals on four and five star hotels.  I did a little market research looking for week long vacations in June 2012 for Buenos Aires, Barcelona, Hawaii, Napa, and Rome.  All prices are in U.S. dollars per night based on one room and double occupancy and do not include all taxes and fees.

Buenos Aires
4 Star: Ranging from $87- $333
5 Star: $250-$468, but I found a room at the Four Seasons Buenos Aires for $420

Barcelona
4 Star: $130-$270
5 Star: $136-$450, plus a couple of uber swanky hotels for $795 and $1300 (yikes!). The $136 was for the Hilton.

Honolulu, Hawaii

4 Star: $130 (for the Doubletree)-$320
5 Star: Two hotels $425-$475

Napa
4 Star to 4 1/2 Star: $124-$700
5 Star: none available

Rome
4 Star: $175-$300
5 Star: $274-$700, I found a room at the Waldorf for $323

Obviously, there is quite a range based on the amenities offered at each hotel and some of these prices are for all inclusive hotels, which makes them more more affordable.  A quick check at a couple of other websites shows that this website is slightly cheaper.  For example, the Waldorf is $345 on its own website.   Over a six night stay, that means an extra $132 in your pocket. I think this is worth checking out especially for the four star hotels and a great selection of boutique hotels. 

*Grocery feet (noun)- refers to the grey/blackish residue left on the bottom of your feet after walking around barefoot at a grocery store or convenience store (a la Britney Spears in cutoffs and no shoes at the gas station), can also be obtained under certain conditions in hotel rooms as the result of dirty carpet