Lodging

Depending on your budget, size of travel party, personal needs and length of stay, there are a lot of great websites to search for lodging accommodations. Please browse our "Suggested Links" to help you find the right place to stay during your travels.

Also, if you are renting an apartment or flat overseas, the "first" floor is often above the "ground" floor (so the "second" floor for Americans).  In addition, check to see if your building has an elevator, as many older buildings abroad do not have elevators.  You could find yourself walking up and down several flights of winding and narrow stairs with kids and heavy suitcases, which can be an issue for some travelers.

PLEASE do yourself a favor and read several online accommodation reviews prior to booking, as pictures posted on websites are not always “accurate” or updated. (I hate to use the word “misleading.”) When in doubt, Google it!

 
 

 

After booking your hotel/accommodations with a third-party agent (travel website), call a live agent to confirm/review your booking details.

When you create a new document, be sure to name it intuitively, as perhaps you are staying at more than one destination on your trip (ex: HotelValencia or HotelMadrid).

After booking your accommodations, you should receive an email confirmation from your booking agent or hotel. Be sure to save these confirmations in a new document on this page. Simply open your email confirmation, copy it and paste it into a new document here by clicking on the “Create New Document” button.

You might have more than one lodging reservation and therefore more than one confirmation email. Remember to save all lodging confirmations/documents here as either a separate document, or combined into one document.

Once you have created and saved a document on this page, it will be stored in your Suitcase (under the “Lodging” header). If you want to delete, print or edit your saved document, you will need to do so from your Suitcase.



The list of links we provide is by no means comprehensive – they represent a few of the “bigger” travel websites that provide bookings for different types of accommodations. These links are listed in alphabetical order.

Hotels

Bedandbreakfast.com:  Search and read reviews of B&Bs worldwide.

Booking.com:  Search 317,000+ hotels, B&Bs, apartments and more. This site is owned by Priceline.com.

Cheaphotels.com:  Search for hotels at discounted prices.

Cheapostay.com:  Research over 100,000 negotiated hotel rates including the lowest rate guarantee, exclusive direct deals, bargain rates on luxury suites, last-minute hotel deals, hotel upgrades and 1000's of unsold hotels at incredibly low prices. Search for hotels by landmark, city, or neighborhood.

Dealbase.com:  Compare an unbiased listing of hotels with details of the approximate cost savings.

Elevenexperience.com:  Experience a unique vacation where luxury meets adventure. Travel to exotic global destinations that include state-of-the-art amenities, professional guides and peronal chefs.

Expedia.com:  Search for hotels with “the world’s largest full-service online travel agency, with localized sites in 31 countries.”

Gogobot.com:   Plan hotel and destination information based on reviews and recommendations from people who travel like you.

Hipmunk.com:  Find hotel accommodations quickly and easily with this user-friendly search engine.

Hotelreservations.com:  Book all types of accommodations that are accessible in over 250 countries.

Hotels.com:  Search for hotels with specialists in more than 60 countries. This is owned by Expedia, Inc.

Hotelwatchdog.com:  Choose hotels that have lower prices than similar hotels nearby and that are near top attractions and restaurants.  All hotels offered have received high scores from TripAdvisor reviews.

Hotwire.com:  Find discounted deals in 13 countries and on 12 sites in North America, Europe and Asia. This is owned by Expedia, Inc.

Jetsetter.com:  Become a member and access exclusive prices to the world's greatest hotels, vacation homes and tour packages. Jetsetter.com provides discerning knowledge and advice about the world's finest hotels and destinations.

Kayak.com:  This is a very robust travel metasite engine that compares airline, hotel, car rental, cruise, and other vacation packages from other travel sites. It is now owned by Priceline.com.

Morehotels4less.com:  Search for hotels at discounted prices.

Mrandmrsmith.com:  Search the world's best boutique and luxury hotels for the perfect romantic getaway.

Priceline.com:  Obtain discount hotel rates through “negotiations” facilitated by Priceline.com.

Ratestogo.com:  Discover last-minute, online, hotel reservations featuring discounted rates. Search over 15,000 last-minute hotels on sale daily and over 74,000 hotels available in 141 countries.  Bookings are available in 23 currencies and 14 languages.

Roomorama.com:  Connect to and book from more than 300,000 unique and stylish home rentals around the world.

Smartertravel.com:  Read and learn about travel news and the best travel deals worldwide to find the right vacation at the right price.

Thehotelguru.com:  Search and book hotel rooms around the world based on a selection chosen by/from expert travel guides.

Tingo.com:  Book a hotel room with confidence because if the room price drops, Tingo.com will automatically refund your credit card.

Travelzoo.com:  Known as “The Deal Experts,” this site provides deals available directly from 2,000 companies across all travel categories and locations.

Tripadvisor.com:  Book hotels and gather travel information; post/read reviews of travel-related content and engage in interactive travel forums.

Trivago.com:  Compare the "big" hotel sites (and the little ones) simultaneously with this hotel metasearch site. Trivago specializes in remote/unusual destinations by comparing prices with 195 hotel booking sites (many country-specific that you have probably never heard of).

Yapta.com:  Search for hotels and track price changes for the best rates.

House, Villa or Apartment

When we stay in one place for one week or more, we always rent a private house, villa or apartment in lieu of a hotel. We like having our own kitchen to make meals, which cuts back on restaurant/drinking expenses. We also enjoy experiencing our destination as a local resident. Overall, renting a private apartment, house or villa can be more economical and personal than staying in a hotel. If you are travelling with a larger group of people, it is often more fun to stay in a villa or house together, as well. These rentals usually include a down payment and/or security deposit, but we have never had a problem with this financial arrangement.

Airbnb.com:  Rent private homes, castles, islands, apartments and villas from people in 34,000 cities and 192 countries.

Findvacationrentals.com:  Search from a diverse selection of condo, cabin, beach and vacation home rentals for any budget and book directly through the owner/manager to save money.

FlipKey.com:  Find and book the perfect vacation home with destinations in over 11,000 cities worldwide.  This site is owned by Trip Advisor and features guest reviews and photos.

Homeaway.com:  Choose from more than 495,000 vacation rentals worldwide.

Luxuryretreats.com:  Rent a private villa that has been hand-picked and personally inspected by a global team of 150+ experts.  These villas are magnificent!

Villasintl.com:  Search for worldwide vacation rentals.

Villasofdistinction.com:  Find luxurious vacation villas in more than 50 destinations around the world (from one bedroom villas to 43-room estates).

Vrbo.com:  Search over 265,000 vacation rentals worldwide.  This site is owned by homeaway.com.

Budget Accommodations

Priceline.com "Name Your Own Price"

We love using the priceline.com “Name Your Own Price” tool where user’s bid on a hotel, in a certain area, with a certain star rating. We have used this method to find a hotel room over 30 times with great success. It is amazing what a 4-star hotel room will actually go for these days. Examples of the hotels you might “win” are also listed so that you have some expectation of what you are bidding on (usually large chain hotels). This booking tool has it’s downfalls in that you must pay when you “win” the hotel room. You cannot cancel your reservation without buying the cancellation insurance prior to bidding. In addition, the cancellation insurance doesn’t cover every scenario and “reason” for cancelling -- so definitely read the fine print or call Priceline.com prior to bidding if you think there is a chance that you might need to cancel. In addition, “Name Your Own Price” bookings for hotels only guarantee a double occupancy room. So if you need a hotel room with two full-sized beds to accommodate children, bidding with “Name Your Own Price” might not work for you. (We only have one child under 10 so squeezing into a king-sized bed is doable for us.) There is also no guarantee that you will “win” a room at a hotel with a pool (not all 4-star hotels have pools in large cities, for example.) In other words, “Beggars can’t be choosers.”

Biddingfortravel.com is an interesting website message board that provides tips for bidding and winning with Priceline.com’s “Name Your Own Price.” We highly recommend that you visit this website prior to bidding on “Name Your Own Price.” Biddingfortravel.com is not that easy to use but contains valuable information about the types of hotels people are “winning” and at what price. Comments on this message board are organized by city, area within the city, star ratings and prices that were accepted.

Darngooddigs.com:   Find hotel rooms worldwide for under $150/night (sometimes WAY under). Budget-minded travelers nominate their favorite places to stay, and editors research nominations to validate the most extraordinary. Hotels cannot pay to be included on this site.

Getaroom.com:  Search for great values at hotels and other types of lodging in major destinations worldwide. Getaroom.com was founded by the former CEO and President of Hotels.com.

Homeexchange.com:  Described as “the vacation alternative where you stay in my house and I stay in yours.” This site arranges for free lodging with a twist.

Hostelz.com:  Search over 55,400 hostels listings in 9,812 cities - “the worlds largest hostels database.”

Hostelworld.com:  Search 35,000 properties in 180 countries and read over 3.5 million guest reviews.

Hostelbookers.com:  Find youth hostels and cheap hotels in over 3,500 travel destinations worldwide.

SabbaticalHomes:  Find or offer your home to rent, swap, sit or share while on sabbatical or vacation...smart and convenient!

Unsold-hotel-rooms.com:  Search hotel inventory with clearance pricing and closeout travel deals

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