TIPS ON MAKING HOTEL RESERVATIONS:
When traveling for business or fun, there’s nothing worse than thinking you have a reservation and learning your hotel reservations been lost, your room has one bed and not two bedrooms, or you thought your check-in time was noon, only to find out it is really 3:00pm. To help avoid these things from happening, there are a few helpful hotel reservation tips seasoned travelers recommend:
Always use a credit card when making a hotel reservation. A credit cards offers the guest some level of protection should the hotel stay go awry. Any disputes a guest may have with the hotel, or with the billing can more easily be rectified through the credit card company. The card company will act as a mediator once their client can show effort to resolve the dispute. Additionally, if a dispute cannot be resolved, the credit card company has the authority to remove the charge from a client’s bill. If cash were paid, a hotel guest would have no recourse. Note: If you don’t use your own credit card to secure a reservation, be aware that the person whose name is on the card will be responsible for showing the card and signing at check in. If the card does not belong to the person staying at the hotel, notify the desk before leaving home (prior to arrival) and ask what their identification procedure is. They may accept a letter from the credit card holder authorizing use, and a copy of both the front and back of the card.
Ask for deals/discounts at each hotel. Many hotels offer corporate, AAA, senior, or even mid-week/off-season discounts. If one is not offered - ask about them. Many hotels now offer ‘rewards’ programs and some hotels reduce rates by $50 or more, for simply signing up for their program. If making reservations online, look for internet-only rates and shop various websites to find the best deals. Travel agents can often secure unadvertised specials or late check-in opportunities which can translate into huge savings.
When making reservations speak clearly and repeat spelling of all names. There have been many reservations lost because of inaccurate spelling and guests have been told they did not have rooms when a hotel or an entire city was booked to capacity. If any special requests are made, verify them and if possible get them in writing. Also make sure to get the name of the employee. Verify everything spell names and verify information/requests etc. Double check reservations prior to leaving for hotel and make sure names of all hotel employees you’ve spoken to are taken.
When reservations are made, changed and cancelled-confirmation numbers are given. Make sure all numbers are kept in a safe place until credit cards are billed and all charges are verified. Cancellation and confirmation numbers are often the difference between being charged for a hotel reservation that was cancelled, the possibility of a free upgrade when the hotel overbooks and you can prove when your reservation was made, and being stranded away from home without a room for the night.
Discuss hotel policies prior to making reservations, and verify them at check-in. Some hotels require credit cards at check in for any hotel charges, such as telephone usage, room service, meals in the hotel, or even take -out arranged through the hotel with area restaurants, etc. If a credit card is not available, a cash/check deposit maybe required for any services/fees that may accrue during the hotel stay. Determine when check-in/check-out times are, when cancellation policies go into affect and verify occupancy limits if staying in a room with multiple occupants.
Remember these hotel reservation tips when scheduling your travel plans. Whether by internet, through a travel agent, or by telephone, it pays to research the hotel and be meticulous when making arrangements. A little pre-planning when making reservations can save major headaches when traveling away from home.
DID YOU KNOW:
FINDING THE BEST HOTEL RATES:
Due to the internet, the manners in which hotel rooms are procured have drastically changed over the last couple of decades. Prior to internet access, guests called hotels directly to book rooms. While some guests continue to book rooms this way, many have learned that calling a hotel directly may not be the most economical choice. However, it is also been found that hotel rates also vary a great deal from website to website, especially discount travel sites.
Hotels are in constant competition with each other for your business. The goal of every hotel is to achieve 100% occupancy. Not only are they competing with each other, they are often competing with themselves. Look at how many hotels have various hotel chain subsidiaries beneath them. They must stay competitive, but still continue to make a profit while keeping their rooms occupied. This said, many hotels offer blocks of rooms to a variety of other entities to sell. Travel agents and online brokers typically compete to sell rooms for hotels, and they receive a percentage of the purchase price. The rate disparity comes into play two ways. First, the hotel is offering rooms at their standard rates or discount club rates. Second, because hotels offer these agents and booking websites various rates, someone who is getting a larger percentage of the sale price, can afford to offer the room at a lower rate than someone who is getting a small percentage from the sale.
Finding the best room rate:
If contacting the hotel directly, ask if they have any current specials. If your travel plans are flexible, inquire about any future specials, and the specific parameters of those specials.
If you’re a ‘select’, ‘rewards’ or hotel ‘member’, mention this, and ask if they have any special discounts available for members of their programs. Additionally, if you are affiliated with a corporate account, or a roadside assistance plan which offers travel benefits, mention that too. Sometimes guests are eligible for more than one discount and can pick and choose the one that provides the greatest savings.
When placing reservations online through a hotel booking service, first find the service that offers the best deal. The best deal may not be the one which provides the lowest price, but the service with the best room guarantee, who is willing to price match. If you’ve found the room for a lower rate elsewhere, tell your preferred vendor and ask them to match the price. Several websites will even provide a 30-day guarantee against lower prices - so even after booking your reservation, stay vigilant.
Hotel rates vary so much because there are numerous entities vying to secure your business by competing with each other. With a little investigative prowess, you can secure the best rates possible for your hotel stay, despite the varying rates.
GREAT DEALS & TRAVEL TIPS:
So you are traveling and want to find the best deals when you shop in your vacation city what you can do, besides go window shopping and hope you find that special item is check out Groupon!
Groupon (NASDAQ: GRPN) is a global leader of local commerce and the place you start when you want to buy just about anything, anytime, anywhere. By leveraging the company’s global relationships and scale, Groupon offers consumers a vast marketplace of unbeatable deals all over the world.
Shoppers discover the best a city has to offer on the web or on mobile with Groupon Local, enjoy vacations with Groupon Getaways, and find a curated selection of electronics, fashion, home furnishings and more with Groupon Goods.
Groupon is redefining how traditional small businesses attract, retain and interact with customers by providing merchants with a suite of products and services, including customizable deal campaigns, credit card payment processing capabilities, and point-of-sale solutions that help businesses grow and operate more effectively.To search for great deals or subscribe to Groupon emails, visit www.Groupon.com.
The Groupon Sweepstakes:
Any and all Groupon customers in the United States who buy or redeem local Groupons will be automatically entered to win weekly $500 cash prizes and one $50,000 grand prize. And for inspiration Groupon has joined forces with six top bloggers from across the country who are now redeeming local Groupons and sharing their stories on their websites, social media and Groupon.
"The $100,000 Summer to Redeem Sweepstakes is all about encouraging people to get out and enjoy the best of the season," said Groupon's global head of marketing, Rich Williams. "If you've been eyeing a great local deal or waiting for the perfect moment to use a Groupon you've been holding onto, now's the time."
For those who need inspiration on how to break out of routine or find fun things to do this summer, Groupon has joined forces with six local experts who are sharing their best #SummerOfGroupon stories and experiences for four weeks. Bloggers include Jamie from eighteen25 in Las Vegas, Christina of The Taylor House in Minneapolis, Monica of Run, Eat, Repeat in Los Angeles, Jessica of Modern Day Moms in Tampa, Fla., Penelope of Penelope's Oasis in New York and Amy of Mod Podge Rocks in Atlanta. At the end of four weeks, one of these influencers will win $20,000 cash.
Even now in the Fall Groupon has great deals which you can get before you Travel to your destitnation.
WHY MOUNT RAINIER SHOULD BE YOUR NEXT
An active volcano, Mount Rainier is the most glaciated peak in the contiguous U.S.A., spawning six major rivers. Subalpine wildflower meadows ring the icy volcano while ancient forest cloaks Mount Rainier’s lower slopes. Wildlife abounds in the park’s ecosystems. A lifetime of discovery awaits.
The mountain rises abruptly from the surrounding land with elevations in the park ranging from 1,600 feet to over 14,000 feet (490 - 4,300 m). The highest point in the Cascade Range, around it are valleys, waterfalls, subalpine meadows, old-growth forest and more than 25 glaciers. The volcano is often shrouded in clouds that dump enormous amounts of rain and snow on the peak every year and hide it from the crowds that head to the park on weekends.
Paradise (46.79°N 121.74°W) is the name of an area at approximately 5,400 feet (1,600 m) on the south slope of Mount Rainier in the national park. Paradise is the most popular destination for visitors to Mount Rainier National Park. 62% of the over 1.3 million people who visited the park in 2000 went to Paradise. Paradise is the location of the historic Paradise Inn (built 1916), Paradise Guide House (built 1920) and Henry M. Jackson Visitor Center (built 1966; demolished and replaced, 2008).
The weather in paradise is dramatic and the National Park Service says that "Paradise is the snowiest place on Earth where snowfall is measured regularly. 1,122 inches (28.5 m) of snow fell during the winter of 1971/72, setting a world record for that year. Subsequently, in the winter of 1998/99, Mount Baker Ski Area received 1,140 inches (29 m). Paradise holds the Cascade Range record for most snow on the ground with 367 inches (9.32 m) on 10 March 1956.
Mount Rainier National Park is open all year. Visitation is at its peak in July and August, when the weather is warm and dry and the wildflowers are blooming. Parking is limited in many areas of the park especially on busy summer weekends and holidays. If you are planning a summer trip to Mount Rainier, consider visiting mid-week, which is generally less crowded.
Permits are not required for day hiking. However, camping overnight in the wilderness at Mount Rainier requires a permit. In the summer, permits can be obtained at any ranger station in the park during their hours of operation. Obtain permits at: the Longmire Wilderness Information Center at Longmire, the Jackson Visitor Center at Paradise, the Ohanapecosh Visitor Center at Ohanapecosh, the White River Wilderness Information Center at the White River Entrance, the Sunrise Visitor Center at Sunrise and the Carbon River Ranger Station at the Carbon River Entrance.
In the winter, permits are available at the Longmire Museum every day and the Jackson Visitor Center on weekends. Self-registration during the winter is available at the Carbon River Ranger Station, Ohanapecosh Ranger Station, and the Highway 410 entrance arch at the park's north boundary.
In spring, with ephemeral waterfalls and in autumn, with brilliant colors reaching deep into the valleys, visitors can enjoy a more leisurely vacation in the park. During these seasons, weather may determine the availability of facilities in certain areas of the park. Before making any plans check the current status of roads, campgrounds, trails and activities.
Vehicle access to Mount Rainier in the winter is only available from the Nisqually Entrance, in the southwest corner of the park on the way to Paradise. The Carbon River Entrance is open but the road within the park boundary is limited to foot and bicycle traffic. Check the road status prior to coming to the park as road conditions are subject to change.
Visit Mt. Rainier