Hotel Room Strategies For Finding the Best Room at the Best Price

A great hotel room can spell the difference between a great vacation and a mediocre one. If you have a roomy, quiet, corner suite with a great view, chances are that you’ll enjoy your stay. If you’re in the teeny space over the disco with no air conditioning, not so much.

But it isn’t always easy to find the perfect hotel room. In fact, we do tons of research before we travel, both on- and off-line, and we still end up in some disappointing hotels, and rooms. Sites with user-generated content like Tripadvisor can help. But they can also mislead you. Unless you know who’s giving the hotel rave reviews, you don’t really know if you’ll agree. And hotel web sites are famous for their puffery. Almost all of us have checked into a hotel room that looked nothing like the one on the hotel’s web site,

There are several things you can do to make sure that you end up with a room that you’ll love at a price you think is fair. Here’s our advice for how to find the perfect hotel room:

1) Do some research about the destination first. Figure out what things you’ll want to see and do there. Travel websites like Fodors, Frommers, or Tripaddiction are good places to start. Are there restaurants you want to try? Shops you’ve heard about? Or places to go after dark? Include them on your list.

2) Highlight those places on a map of the city. You’ll probably find that many of them are clustered together. If you love to walk, are comfortable taking public transportation, or you don’t mind paying for taxis, you can be flexible. Otherwise, you should choose a hotel that’s close to the places you want to visit. The closer in you stay, the more expensive the hotel will be, but the less you’ll spend on transportation. And remember, if you have two days in Paris, you won’t want to spend two hours every day getting to and from your hotel. So stay someplace central.

3) Once you have identified one or two neighborhoods that would be convenient for you, start looking for hotels there. Most travel sites will lets you search by location, so it shouldn’t be too hard. When you’re comparing hotels, bear in mind the first price listed is for the cheapest hotel room, and that’s usually not a room that you want. In Europe especially, standard rooms are cramped, in a bad location, and generally undesirable. Book a superior room or better.

Also, be aware that the star-rating system is different in every country and it doesn’t always reflect how nice a place is. The number of stars awarded often just denotes which facilities a hotel has. A really charming hotel with no restaurant and no elevator may only have two star, while an awful place that has both may be a three-star property.

If there are any services or facilities that you need to be happy, don’t assume the hotel will have them — send an email to make sure they do. Many hotels abroad lack some of the amenities we take for granted, like clocks and English-language television. If it takes CNN, a cocktail, or breakfast in bed to make you happy, confirm it in advance.

4) By now, you should have two or three hotels in your price range in neighborhoods that will be convenient for you. The next step is finding the best price. Travel sites like hotelscombined compare prices in an instant. Just be sure you’re comparing apples to apples. Sometimes a better price is for a less expensive room. If the hotel has the same price on their web site, book directly with them. If you do have a problem, it’s their problem, not someone else’s. And when you book directly, you’re more likely to get an upgrade. If there’s a better rate available through one of the travel sites, ask the hotel if they will honor it.

Be careful about saving money by choosing a nonrefundable rate that must be paid in full at the time of booking. Unless you’re traveling very soon or purchasing travel insurance, the money you’ll save isn’t usually worth the risk.

5) Always take written confirmation of your reservations with you to the hotel. It’s also not a bad idea to reconfirm your reservation in writing a week or so before your arrival. If the hotel has somehow misplaced your reservation, it’s easier to make other arrangements from home than it is once you’re there. When you check in, go over any special requests with the front desk. Then when you get to your room, make sure it has everything you need and that it’s acceptable. The best time to change rooms is before you open your bags.

6) Last year was a tough one for hotels. And so far, this one isn’t much better. Occupancy rates are way off. So if you’re traveling off season, consider going without reservations. If a hotel has more than enough vacant rooms, it can give walk-ins incredible deals.

7) Another strategy is to make reservations well in advance that can be cancelled without any penalty and then visit travel sites that specialize in last-minute travel about a week before you leave. You can sometimes find really great deals. These days, even sites like Travelocity have last-minute specials.

Choice of Cheap Hotel Rooms

If you are going away and hoping that you will not sit for days in a hotel – choose a cheap hotel rooms. At the same time, the question arises whether there is room telephone, TV, and faucet – hot water. It is not bad with knowledge to choose where and with what comfort to live in another city.

Classification. The most common system in the world classification of hotels – from one to five stars. In each country has its own classification requirements. For example, in France, five-star hotel just does not happen: taxes are too high for such a luxury. This conflict with the tax departments of hotel owners decided to simply – every downgraded its hotel unit, but if you want to note the increased level of service added to the stars “+” (plus). Now, 4 + means the same 5 and the class of service and prices. And in Britain, along with the stars of the classification of hotels can designate other symbols: the “crown”, “key”, “moon”, “Sun”, “diamonds”, etc. But it also happens that the first class service is very low, for example in the United States. Occurs and a special classification for a specific hotel chain, for example, “economy class”, which speaks for itself.

Location. When choosing cheap hotel rooms is very important to know how far is hotel from the international airport, the sea and the beach, can walk to get to the city center. If you are traveling by car, it is better to choose a motel not far from the main road.

A view from the window of the room. This indicates an important detail when booking, however, for a fee and may be absent in the selection of cheap hotel rooms.

Capacity and amenities. This includes the location, area and number of rooms, number of beds, equipment, furniture, etc.

Radio, TV – important parts of the equipment room, which certainly indicated in the description of the hotel. A set of these facilities depends on the class rooms and the hotel in general.

Hot water, shower or bath are usually almost every room. But in the cheapest hotel rooms can only be installed washbasin and shared bathroom and toilets are on the floor.

Air-conditioning in the room – an urgent need in the country with hot climate. In some hotels air-conditioned centrally managed.

Phone room (with access to the city for a fee) is usually available in every room.

Accessories. Hair dryer (optional in hotels 4 * and above), a glass of water, a stool or chair, desk, refrigerator, etc. The order of bed linen and towels, a common procedure for cleaning rooms and washing glasses, garbage removal, etc. also depend on the class of hotel and discharge rates.

Mini-bar. Very expensive attribute of a hotel room. Mini-bar – a fridge with a camera under the key and alarm system.

Parking for cars. In most countries – it is the whole problem, and if the hotel does not have its own parking lot, ask in advance, where you can park your car and how much it will cost.

Safe. To avoid theft in hotels, it is best to use the hotel safe. Usually it is in the lobby or directly in the room.

Meals and services. In the description of hotel services necessarily indicate how you will be fed and at what time. Also in the room usually on the table is a sheet with the price list of additional services. The higher the category of hotel, the more additional services.

Conditions for leisure. Well sure the hotel has a gym, tennis courts and other sports facilities, sauna, outdoor or indoor swimming pool, Jacuzzi, massage rooms, hairdressing.

We must also note that some hotels are required to make a special deposit. It serves as insurance in case if using a mini-bar, or telephone, you leave without paying. On departure from the hotel you are sure to return the deposit amount.

Is Buying Hotel Rooms Right For You? Five Reasons Why it Might Be

If you’re considering a property investment, especially overseas, then you’ve plenty of options available to you. From traditional holiday homes, to shared-ownership schemes, to off-plan apartments, they all have their upsides and downs but one type of investment is increasingly becoming the alternative of choice – buy to let hotel rooms.

Buy to let hotel rooms, apart-hotels or condo-hotels, call them what you will but the concept is incredibly simple. Hotel and resort developers offer individual investors the chance to buy hotel rooms within a high-end development. The investor sees an annual income from room rentals, benefits from capital growth and can even make use of the hotel room as a perfect holiday destination complete with all the benefits of a top-class hotel.

So if you’re considering a property investment, overseas or closer to home, could a buy to let hotel room be the right option for you? Well, here are five good reasons why it might be:

Buy to let hotel rooms can help reduce your exposure to risk

When you invest in a buy to let hotel room, your investment is less in the room but in the success of the hotel as a whole. Generally, buy to let suites and hotel rooms are pooled together so that you earn a percentage of the room rates across the hotel, not just on your own room. A single investment property may lie empty for months at a time, meaning lost revenues, but hotel rooms attract guests all year round.

Buy to let hotel rooms offer a low initial investment – and a decent return

When it comes to investing in any property, current markets can make it incredibly difficult to access the finance you need. These problems are only compounded when the property you want to invest in is overseas. When it comes to buying a hotel room, the developers and agents will likely have negotiated with a bank in advance to help prospective buyers along – the banks are often more willing to invest in the security of these types of developments run by experienced developers and management teams.

Indeed, the current troubles in the housing markets can actually be an advantage to savvy investors considering whether or not to buy hotel rooms. A buyers market often means help from the developer with fees and other out of pocket expenses. For example, the high-end hotel and spa development in the Portuguese resort of Sesimbra is attracting huge interest with investment levels starting from as little as 3% – with the developer paying all closing fees (which is around 10% of purchase price in Portugal). They are even offering 7% cash back to investors who’s deposits are received before the 15th of November, 2008.

When you buy hotel rooms, you benefit from capital appreciation and a regular income

Like any buy to let property investment, buy to let hotel rooms offer both a regular income and the potential for capital growth. Unlike buying a single, one-off property, buying hotel rooms can generally provide a greater degree of security. Whereas your property might lie vacant while you search for tenants or holidaymakers, high-end hotel rooms will always be popular with everything from overseas tourists to ‘locals’ on a weekend break. Traditionally, high-end hotel rooms will also generate a higher rental per night than stand-alone holiday lets or buy to let options. That means returns in the region of 10% or more can be achieved at even 50% occupancy rates. How much would you earn if your buy to let property were vacant 26 weeks of the year?

When you buy hotel rooms, someone else manages all the day-to-day hassle

Perhaps the biggest attraction of buy to let hotel rooms is the fact that an experienced and professional team is in charge of everything from the finish and furnishings of the rooms to fixing the broken toilets. Buy to let owners will happily pay management companies a hefty percentage to look after the day to day needs of their properties – when you buy hotel rooms, that service is built in. Experienced management means existing contacts with travel agents and tour operators, it means tried and tested marketing methods and extensive marketing budgets. It also means you’ll never get a phone call from a disgruntled neighbor or have to chase a late paying tenant. If fact, it’s the perfect option for hands off investors who’d prefer to enjoy the benefits and leave the hard work to someone else.

When you buy hotel rooms you enjoy the benefits of a beautiful holiday home – if you need it

And perhaps the most enjoyable of those benefits is being able to access your buy to let hotel room for your own private use throughout the year. Whether it’s a short weekend break to escape the stresses of the working week or the annual family holiday, buying a hotel room delivers more tangible benefits than any savings account could.

And If you don’t require personal use of your room? Then buy to let hotel rooms are ideal for purchase via SIPPs – giving you tax-free capital growth and earnings.

To Buy Hotel Rooms Or Not to Buy Hotel Rooms?

In recent years, experienced hotel and resort developers have been offering private investors the chance to invest in hotel rooms on a buy to let basis. Of course, the idea that you can buy hotel rooms sounds glamorous but how do buy to let hotel developments compare with traditional overseas property investments? If you’re thinking about investing in property overseas then there are probably a few things on your wish list. A manageable investment level, a hands off project, an excellent return on investment and possibly a magical destination that you’ll want to visit year after year will all be important.

Of course, with the current economic climate, you’ll also want a secure and safe investment that is likely to ride out the property downturn.

It’s not that surprising then that one of the more recent features of the overseas property market – buy to let hotel rooms – is continuing to grow despite the doom and gloom elsewhere. All but unheard just a decade ago, the opportunity to buy hotel rooms is often seen as a perfect way for private investors to limit their personal exposure while still enjoying both the income benefits and potential capital growth of buy to let property investment.

So what, exactly, do you have to do to buy hotel rooms?

Buying a hotel suite is not that different to traditional buy to let property investments. A hotel developer will sell a number of rooms, suites and apartments within the hotel to private investors. As business travelers and tourists book the rooms, the developer pays out a percentage of the room rates back to the investors.

Investors who buy hotel suites get a ‘hands off’ investment where an experienced hotel management team handle everything from marketing to maintenance. Financially, buy to let hotel developments can deliver both capital appreciation and regular income with returns in the region of 10%+ from income alone being regularly achieved. Of course, when you buy hotel rooms there’s always an added bonus to consider – free and discounted stays in a high-end hotel.

So how do they compare with other overseas property investments? Buy to let hotel developments can help minimise risk.

The way in which hotel developments offset individual risk is one of the biggest attractions for investors keen to buy hotel rooms. Buying an overseas property to let out brings with it one big risk – not being able to let the apartment or villa you buy. When you buy hotel rooms, the returns are not based on the particular suite you purchase but rather the success of the entire hotel. An occupancy rate of just 50 – 60% would normally be enough to deliver a solid return on a buy to let hotel room.

You can buy hotel rooms as part of a SIPP or other personal pension investment.

Usually when you buy hotel rooms, one of the perks is free or heavily discounted stays at the hotel. If you don’t need personal use of the hotel though, buy to let hotel rooms can be perfect for buying via self-invested personal pensions (SIPPs). If you buy hotel rooms through a SIPP you will benefit from tax free capital growth and earnings. In fact, your SIPP can own an individual hotel room or even share in several through a syndicated arrangement.

Many people buy hotel rooms for a hassle free investment.

From fixing the broken toilet to choosing the curtains, traditional buy to let investment properties come with their own set of headaches. Investors usually get around this by paying for a management company to keep an eye on things and take bookings. With buy to let hotel room investments, everything from marketing to maintenance is a part of the package from the start. Experienced hotel management companies ensure the highest quality standards in everything from customer care to the furnishings in the rooms.

Buy to let hotel rooms offer a solid return on your investment.

As the last 12 months have shown, investing in property can be a harrowing experience. Falling property prices have created the ultimate buyers market, but unfortunately, no one can be sure when, or even if, property price increases will return to their pre-crisis strength. An overseas property today could actually fall in value before things get better.

This is perhaps the biggest reason for the rise in popularity of buy to let hotel rooms. The option to buy a hotel room should be considered less of an investment in property and more of an investment in the tourism of the region – with the benefits of property appreciation thrown in for good measure. Even as overseas tourist numbers ebb, the growing number of people taking their holidays in their home country tends to pick up a lot of the slack. High-end hotels also benefit from the conventions, conferences, weddings and other events that they host throughout the year.

No investment is free from risk, but for people considering an overseas property investment, buying a hotel room could offer just the right balance between reduced risk and potential for growth.

Tips for Finding an Automotive Loan

There’s a good chance that at some point you’re going to have to apply for an automotive loan, also known as a car loan. Auto financing has grown into one of the largest loan industries in the world today.

With the cost of new cars and trucks on the market today, it’s perfectly understandable why a person would likely need to finance their new vehicle. Of course, depending upon your credit score and the car or truck that you want to buy you might find it a bit difficult to find the automotive loan that you want with an interest rate that you can afford.

With a little bit of careful shopping and comparing of interest rates and loan terms it should be very easy to determine which automotive loan is right for you. Below you’ll find some basic tips to assist you in your search for a car loan.

Determine how much you can afford

The first thing that you should do when looking for a new car or truck is to determine exactly how much you can afford to spend, and how much you’ll need to borrow. The initial down payment that you make will affect both your interest rate and monthly payment, so you should put forth as much of an initial payment as you can.

After you’ve decided exactly how much you can afford to spend on your initial down payment, you should also figure out how much you can afford to spend on your monthly payments. If you might be cutting it close to not having enough money for a certain monthly payment, it would be best to cut back on the amount you think you can afford so as not to cause any financial problems down the line.

Choosing the right car or truck

Once you’ve started looking for your car or truck, there are a few things that you should be on the lookout for so as to avoid problems with your financing later.

If you’re going to apply for automotive financing, you should look at the new and used cars and trucks that are for sale from automotive dealers… lenders are much more likely to grant you a loan for a car or truck that’s purchased from a dealer than from an individual because of the assurances that a dealer can provide that the transaction is legal and legitimate. In addition, automotive dealers carry a much larger selection than most individuals would have access to.

Shopping for the best car loans

When you’ve found a car or truck that’s in good shape and is priced so that you can afford the payments, it’s time to start shopping for your loan. So as to find the best interest rate for your loan, it’s important to consider all of your options when looking for a lender… visit your local banks, finance companies, and even some online lenders so as to compare the interest rates that each offers.

Get quotes for both interest rates and loan terms, since some lenders may offer better repayment terms than others, and compare them individually in order to find your best deal.

Once you’ve found your best loan offer with the best interest rate, go ahead and submit your application for financing… make sure that you keep your next best offer on hand, though, just in case there is some problem with the lender or the dealership and you aren’t able to get the first loan that you apply for.

Sell More Automotive Finance and Insurance Products

The automotive world can seem heartless and when you’re working in it you have to find meaning behind what you’re doing or you’ll drive yourself nuts! Here are some things to ask yourself so that you can have a better feeling about what you do for a living and make a better living on top of that!

Consider this a worksheet to figure out what makes you tick and how to make yourself more efficient at ticking instead of ticking yourself (or someone else) off.

1) Find out what your driving force behind doing a great job is!

-There has to be something out there that makes you want to do a great job. Mine is to support my wife and give her the lifestyle that she deserves (not what she wants because she’s perfectly content with what we have). Another great angle here is that I want people to be protected out there on the roads; so helping them purchase a service contract, tire protection, or GAP insurance really makes me feel great!

2) Find out what doing a great job is.

-A great job, to me, is maxing out my pay scale. If I sell more than 1.4 products per unit (on average) and average $800 per unit sold, I get 19% of the back-end profit! I average around $1100 per copy and 1.86 products per unit, so not only am I maxed out, but I don’t have to scramble to get more cars to make more money (simply because I’m making more off of less cars than some other business managers). If I’m having a slow month I’m still making a little over $200 per car, so if I put 40 cars on the road that’s still $8,000 per month, plus bonuses from the dealership and from the service contract company. Plus I still sell about four cars per month, so that eats away my draw throughout the month so when my monthly F&I check comes, there’s nothing being taken away from it!

3) Figure out your niche!

-My niche is coming across as being helpful instead of someone who’s trying to sell the crap out of anything to anyone. My fellow business managers tell me that I have a certain look about me that comes across as being someone who you can be open and honest with. Do I take advantage of this? You bet I do! Do I lie to people to sell them things? Heck no! Do I ask questions that make it hard for them to say no to me after I know the answers to them? Dang right! I know that if I get someone who’s straight to the numbers, I’m not the strongest so I will actually T.O. to another business manager who is stronger with them. But when they get someone who they’ve made upset by being too pushy, they’ll come and T.O. to me because I can build rapport very quickly and become a part of their shopping team instead of someone who’s pushing products.

Start with these three things, write out your answers and think about them. Once you figure out these three things you are on your way to making more money!

Is this the be all end all of lists to help you make more money? Absolutely not!

But will this help you to catch some momentum and build a happier work day? You hit the nail on the head!

The Best Options for Your Caravan Finance

Options for Your Caravan Finance

Buying a caravan can be a great way to organise more flexible holidays and weekend breaks. It can provide you with a home away from home, with all of your creature comforts. You can travel anywhere you would like to visit, spend one night or several without needing to worry about expensive hotel accommodation or costly restaurant bills. However, unless you are in a very fortunate financial position, it is likely that you will need to consider finance to fund the purchase.

Dealership Caravan Finance:

The most obvious place to look for your caravan finance is the dealership where you are purchasing the caravan. While this can be a great place to secure automotive finance, consumers should not assume that they are automatically obtaining the best auto finance rates. The dealership may have some attractive packages, but be sure to read the small print to check for any hidden fees or charges, and compare the rates with other providers before you commit. In many cases, the sticker price for the finance options are often based on longer term loans to make the monthly charges more attractive. Although this means that your monthly expenses will be less, you will be paying far more over the term of the loan. Always check the total finance cost in addition to the APR and monthly payment estimates.

Bank Loans:

Another source of financing is a loan from your high street bank. Most banks and financial institutions advertise some great loan deals for any purpose. However, you should be aware that since the global finance crisis, many banks are reluctant to lend to those without an excellent credit record. If you have less than perfect credit, you may not qualify for the advertised rate and will be offered a less competitive deal. Again, be sure to compare any quotes to check if it is the best possible deal.

Specialist Caravan Finance Broker:

A broker can be the best way to get a great deal on your caravan finance. Reputable brokers have access to a range of lenders who specialise in certain types of finance. The broker can search for the most competitive deals, allowing you to compare caravan finance rates without needing to fill out multiple forms and applications. A broker can assist you even if you have less than perfect credit as they will have access to a number of companies with more relaxed lending criteria. The broker can assist you with the paperwork, making the loan application process far less stressful and frustrating.

Finding caravan finance need not be stressful, but it can be a good idea to research your options before you commit to a purchase. This will allow you time to compare finance rates and find a great deal. You can then shop with confidence that you can comfortably afford your new purchase.

If you are considering caravan finance, Perth consumers should contact us. We specialise in all types of automotive finance and would be happy to discuss your requirements and assist you in obtaining the deal best suited to your particular circumstances.