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Tips & Tricks to Book Cheap Hotels and Accommodation

Hi guys! I’m back with more travel tips and tricks to help YOU book an inexpensive holiday this year. You guys really LOVED my last post on “How to Book an Inexpensive Flight” and I was shocked. (Click here to read the post.) It’s become one of our most popular posts to date.. we were definitely encouraged by the response and we are so glad you are enjoying the ‘Travel Series’ we have planned so far.

Over the next few weeks we’ll be diving deeper into more travel topics, such as budgeting for a trip, travel insurance: is it worth it?, researching destinations in depth – how this can make or break your trip, our travel plans for 2019, and more! We are so excited. For those of you who don’t already know – I just returned from backpacking in Thailand with my best friend for 3 weeks.. and for those of you who have been asking: YES! I’ll be adding a post all about my itinerary, where I stayed and all of the details plus tips to help you visit South East Asia soon.

Now on to the main topic: hotels and accommodation! Like I said during the airfare blog post; traveling does not need to be difficult or expensive. I promise that the more you follow some of my simple rules… the easier and more fun traveling will become!

Read our other posts in the travel series:

  • Click here for “How to Budget and Save For Travel”
  • Click here for “How to Book an Inexpensive Flight”

Location & Research

After you have booked your airfare – it’s time to book your accommodations! The first step I take once I know where I’m traveling to is to research the destination lightly to find out which neighborhoods are the best to stay in.

Yes, cheap (or inexpensive) accommodations are great at first glance however they aren’t worth it if you’re located far from all the sites and excursions you are planning. When you stay far from your desired location you may end up spending more in time and money in the long run. Transportation can cost a bundle and time is something you want to use efficiently on a trip.

TIP: Staying somewhere near public transportation, food options, popular tourist zones is vital to a vacation!

While doing light research – my #1 tip is to try Pinterest! Normally, people use Pinterest for things like recipes, home decor ideas and more.. but travel guides are surprisingly a very popular topic on the website. Whenever I pick a destination I always check to see where others like to visit in that country and if they have tips on which areas are the best to stay, what type of accommodation is most popular, etc. It’s also important to research whether the city you’re staying in has easy transportation options such as the subway, taxis or other local drivers and trains.

What type of Accommodation suits you?

Once you have your location settled on, the next thing to decide is what type of accommodations are you willing to stay in? Are you only interested in 5 star hotels? Or.. are you willing to broaden your horizons a bit?

The most popular types of accommodations are as follows:

Book Cheap Hotels and Accommodation - Best tips & tricks 2019
  • AirBNB* – Please research Airbnb and the cities you’re planning on visiting to make sure that it’s legal. I’ve used Airbnb’s in many locations throughout the U.S. and Europe and love staying in them! Usually it’s very affordable when compared to hotels. Airbnb has a great new option called AirBnB Plus.. These homes are verified and usually designed beautifully like the Austin home above. Click here to sign up for Airbnb if you have never tried it before.. you can get $40 for free just using my code!

Some of our favorite AirBnB’s we’ve stayed in:

  • Rome – This apartment is absolutely STUNNING and is part of Airbnb Plus. It’s in an incredible location, every detail is perfected and the host is a sweetheart. Love! ($158 per night)
  • Palm Springs – This little apartment was adorably styled and affordable, within walking distance to downtown & food options.. and it made a great home base for a few days. ($110 per night)
  • Florence – My boyfriend and I stayed in a wonderful home right in the heart of Florence in 2017. It is very large and the host left wine, coffee, and chocolates for us when we arrived. We even cooked one night in the kitchen.. we loved this AirBnB. ($58 per night!)

TIP: A tip I have regarding AirBnB is to contact the host directly before booking and ask if you can get a discount on the room. I have had luck doing this before and most people don’t realize that there is an option to do this! Especially if it’s a last-minute booking.. most of the time they’d rather get the room rented vs leaving it vacant. If you don’t ask, you’ll never know!

Book Cheap Hotels and Accommodation - Best tips & tricks 2019
  • Bed & Breakfast – did you know that Chip & Joanna Gaines have 2 popular B&Bs in Waco, Texas? Of course they are designed beautifully.
Book Cheap Hotels and Accommodation - Best tips & tricks 2019
  • Backpacker Hostel (This option isn’t for everyone.. but many hostels are more like boutique hotels and offer quiet private rooms with your own bathrooms for a quarter of the price of a boutique hotel..)

Some of my favorite Hostels:

  • Blanco Hostel Koh Lanta – This hostel was a dream. Clean, inexpensive and it had a wonderful social scene. We met so many friends that we will never forget. ($14 per night)
  • Sky Backpackers Dublin – This hostel in Dublin Ireland was great.. It had a very social atmosphere and wonderful facilities!

Book Cheap Hotels and Accommodation - Best tips & tricks 2019
  • Boutique Hotel – A small hotel which typically has between 10 – 100 rooms in unique settings. They can be less pricy than a large chain hotels with a more cozy feel. Love the personalized aspect.. they tend to go above & beyond to make sure everyone has a beautiful stay.

Some boutique hotels we’ve stayed in:

  • Hotel Eden – One of the top boutique hotels in the world.. I stayed here with my parents a few years ago. It was so beautiful! It has since undergone an entire renovation and while incredibly gorgeous, it’s also expensive.
  • Summer Beach Luxury – Loved staying here in Thailand.. it was a last minute booking but it was wonderful and inexpensive!
Book Cheap Hotels and Accommodation - Best tips & tricks 2019
  • Homestays (In Asia.. this option was the most inexpensive and enjoyable for us.) We stayed at the Pha Thai House in Chiang Mai (featured above) and we had a wonderful, cultural experience.

Favorite:

Pha Thai House in Chiang Mai. This little homestay was run by a wonderful family and it was everything we could have asked for! We were in the heart of old town and could walk everywhere. It felt like a little jungle oasis in the heart of the city because it was surrounded by gardens. The room was beautiful with hand carved Thai furniture and it was very clean. $25 a night.

Book Cheap Hotels and Accommodation - Best tips & tricks 2019
  • Hotel – usually more space, amenities and name-brands.

Some of our favorites:

  • The Willard D.C. – This hotel faces Pennsylvania ave and the monuments.. within walking distance to everything including the white house. We have stayed numerous times and have enjoyed every stay.
  • The Millennium Hilton Bangkok – I stayed here last month for 5 days and loved the service, the price of rooms, and the location directly on the riverbank. It was wonderful and as a diamond member (check out the benefits of this program in my last travel post linked above) they upgraded me and gave me free breakfast + lounge access.
  • Four Seasons Singapore – We stayed here when my dad went for work.. and wow – this hotel is incredible. The service was top notch and we loved the high-tea they served.
Book Cheap Hotels and Accommodation - Best tips & tricks 2019
  • Resorts – Large hotels that are self contained and provide most everything a vacationer wants, such as food, all-inclusive options, drinks and sports & entertainment packages.

Our Favorites:

  • Vana Belle Koh Samui – This may be one of the nicest resorts I’ve ever stayed in.. absolutely gorgeous and the service was amazing. My friend and I had a butler and a private pool on our balcony overlooking the ocean. We didn’t leave the resort for 3 days!
  • Four Seasons Maui – My parents had the wonderful chance to stay here for their 30th Anniversary in the fall and they said everything was incredible. The service was impeccable.
  • The J.W. Marriott Cancun – We visited this resort a few years ago and loved everything from the location, beach, room and service. So relaxing and the water here is crystal clear.

I have stayed at all of the above accommodations at one time or another and each provided me with a different experience and special memory.

On my last backpacking trip to Thailand, my friend and I tried all kinds of accommodations. Throughout our trip we stayed at a couple of $100-200 4 and 5-star resorts.. as well as $10 a night hostel rooms. Mixing it up allowed us to experience the many different vibes and have a well-rounded vacation that suited our budget!

Now on to the tips & tricks for booking…

Researching In-Depth

It’s time to research more in-depth. But this time, I recommend using a few different websites to get the gist on the average prices using your dates. The tools I recommend are:

Book Cheap Hotels and Accommodation - Best tips & tricks 2019
  • Tripadvisor – For an overall view on prices of hotels in the city you want to visit during your dates.. I would recommend looking on Tripadvisor. It shares the averages prices for every type of accommodation. Tripadvisor also gives you reviews, photos and prices from all major 3rd party websites. I usually find hotels that I like through Tripadvisor and then go to the hotel’s website directly to get more information.
Book Cheap Hotels and Accommodation - Best tips & tricks 2019

On the left, you can plug in what types of accommodation you are looking for specifically which makes it really easy.

Third-Party Websites I like

Book Cheap Hotels and Accommodation - Best tips & tricks 2019
Book Cheap Hotels and Accommodation - Best tips & tricks 2019
  • Booking.com – Normally I’m not a big “third party” website type of gal.. but Booking.com does tend to share pretty low prices for different types of hotels. It’s a good place to research a little bit more about pricing and to see different hotels that you may like! What I love about Booking.com is you an select a “cancellable” option then opt to pay the place when you actually stay rather than ahead of time.. This way you never have to pay anything to the third party website.

MAJOR TIP: If you are using these third-party websites.. make sure to create an account with them. They tend to drop prices 10-20% lower if you are a member! You can also “save” points and accumulate them like a normal Hilton or Marriott membership would. You can even use ebates with them from time to time!

Book Cheap Hotels and Accommodation - Best tips & tricks 2019
Book Cheap Hotels and Accommodation - Best tips & tricks 2019
  • Agoda is another third party website, but it’s extremely popular in Asia. Due to a tropical storm I ended up booking a couple of different last minute stays through Agoda while in Thailand and everything was made so easy. (+ more affordable rates than I would have gotten through the hotels directly!) It was difficult to navigate the Thai websites on mobile for a couple of different hotels while I was in Thailand and Agoda made it easier for me when I didn’t have a computer to book. I even booked the beautiful hotel above in the last minute and on the same day that I needed it for 78% off. (Click here to see the hotel.)
Book Cheap Hotels and Accommodation - Best tips & tricks 2019
Book Cheap Hotels and Accommodation - Best tips & tricks 2019
  • Hotwire.com – This website is definitely an interesting one. While I have never used it, I know people who have and love it. Basically it’s meant for last minute booking… and they have a feature called “Hot Rate” where you can book last minute hotels without knowing exactly which one you’re staying at. I know this sounds odd.. but you save SO much money and you’re always guaranteed to get a certain type of hotel/room. In the screenshot above, you can see that if you book this room.. you can guarantee that it will either be a Hyatt, Hilton, Intercontinental, or a Westin.. and you get all of the same amenities as someone who booked ahead of time for less. So if you are a little less picky and want to get a great deal.. Hotwire can be a great tool for you.

Tips & Tricks to Save

  • Become a “member” of the hotel – either to gain points for each stay or to sometimes get 10-15% off your room just for signing up through their e-mail list. Signing up is almost always free and when you check-in, they may upgrade you for free! (My boyfriend and I are Hilton Diamond members, and my parents are high-up Marriott members. We always get upgraded/free breakfasts when we stay at these properties!)
  • Book Directly on a hotel’s website – Usually this is better than booking through a third-party website (double check though!) and sometimes you’ll find promo codes or perks that you can add to your stay that you wouldn’t normally be able to get otherwise. I just helped my mom book a hotel in Barcelona for the cruise she’s taking and we saw on Booking.com that the rate was more expensive than what was being offered on the hotel’s website. We also added in a promo code they were offering & signed up for the e-newsletter, so my parents saved an additional 30% off the room for 3 nights!
  • E-mail or Call the Hotel for a better rate – I have done this before and it has worked! Sometimes if you notice that a rate on a third-party website is lower than the hotel’s rates.. or you just want to see if you can get a lower rate.. contact the hotel through their reservation or help e-mail. Sometimes they will honor or give you a lower rate just because you asked! This tip is especially true with smaller boutique hotels, B&B’s, or Homestays.. because usually you’ll be speaking with the owner of the hotel rather than someone at the front desk. The nice thing about this is avoiding the 3rd party rules, etc.
  • Never include breakfast in your booking – this will save you upwards of $20-30 per day.. and breakfasts at hotels aren’t always that great anyways. It’s better to wait once you arrive and check it out first.. if it looks like something you might want, you can always add it on after. Also, you will sometimes get upgraded to get the free breakfast.. so it’s better to wait.
  • Don’t forget about Groupon – Sometimes Groupon has incredible deals on hotels/travel for last minute booking!
  • Delete your cookies/history – This tip works! Make sure to clear your cache/cookies when searching numerous times for hotels.. usually the price will go down. Also use incognito mode!
  • Sign up for alerts on price drops – You can sign up for price drop alerts through websites like kayak.. good to know if you want to wait a little bit to book!
  • Try to stay mid-week – This tip can really save you! Especially in destinations like Las Vegas.. the weekdays are SO inexpensive compared to the high price of the weekends.
  • Book a room at a new property – usually newer properties won’t be as busy, so they are willing to offer you an upgrade/make your stay even more enjoyable in return for a review.
  • Check your memberships – Many hotels offer discounts for different reasons.. if you’re a government employee, AAA member, corporate discounts, senior discounts, Costco/Sam’s Club membership and of course, military! If they don’t offer discounts directly on the booking area of the website, it’s always a good idea to contact the hotel directly to check on all possible discounts.
  • Read through reviews thoroughly.. at least a few pages worth on multiple websites. It’s really important to check the red flags before staying and to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck!
  • Ask for an upgrade when checking in – Don’t be afraid to ask for perks! If you’re visiting during a slow time or during the off season.. ask for an upgrade or let the the hotel know that you’re celebrating something. (If you actually are..)
  • Check in at the end of the day – if you are staying for a few days, try to book your flight or incoming transportation to drop you off at the end of the day. Usually the hotels have a better sense of occupancy at that point, and they are more likely to offer an upgrade.

Hopefully all the above information will help you in your selection process when booking a hotel. Just remeber that there is always a better deal out there… just looking for you. ;) I plan to continue the travel series next week with more topics like, ‘how to budget for vacations’ and ‘how to pack for beach vacations’.. So many tooics about travel that I can’t wait to delve into.

Please leave any questions or comments below and I’ll be happy to respond to them as soon as possible. :) Thanks for reading!

Make sure to pin this article to your Pinterest to save for later. :)

Tips and Tricks for Saving on Hotels and Accommodation || What websites to use, how to research, and hidden secrets to help you plan your vacation cheaply! Kristywicks.com

xo, Emma

Thoughts?

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37 thoughts on “Tips & Tricks to Book Cheap Hotels and Accommodation

  1. Going to Barcelona for a cruise. Which hotel did you book for your parents? Any information about room in Florence would also be greatly appreciated ?

      1. Hi Emma — Thank you for the Hotel H10 tip in Barcelona. Do you happen to know anything about the Hotel 1898 in Barcelona? I am looking at that one too, and just wondered how these two compare. Thank you for all of your tips on this post. — Marty M.

      2. Hi Marty,
        I don’t know from experience about the Hotel 1898 but I just checked it out and it looks very nice! I’d say they look extremely similar and are very close to one another but the Hotel 1898 is just a little more expensive. I would say the H10 Madison looks a little better only because you can get a bigger room for a lot less than Hotel 1898. (My parents booked a junior suite for around 490 euros for 2 nights)!

        Both have rooftop terraces and both seem to be basically the same except that Hotel 1898 is on La Ramblas and H10 Madison is in the Gothic district. Both are desirable locations and you will visit both areas regardless of where you stay.

        Hope this helps! xx, Emma

  2. Some amazing tips!! Especially the one about deleting cookies/history.. had no idea about that one!
    I am planning a trip to Greece this summer with my husband. . Any suggestions for accommodations in Athens, Mykonos and Santorini?
    Thank you for the great tips
    Marilena

    1. Hi Marilena,

      Thanks for stopping by & commenting! :) It definitely depends on your budget, but here are a few options for both places.

      Athens:
      1. This Airbnb is in the heart of Athens (amazing location), it’s an AirBNB Plus so she has amazing reviews and it’s designed well.. and the price is incredible! https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/plus/11922831?location=Athens%2C%20Greece&guests=1&adults=1&s=K7kbjN3F
      2. AthensWas Hotel – Great luxury option.. very beautiful design and it’s new! https://www.athenswas.gr/en/
      3. Hotel Grande Bregane – If you’re a Marriott Member.. this is beautiful! If you don’t stay here, definitely get rooftop drinks here.. best view of the Acropolis. https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/athlc-hotel-grande-bretagne-a-luxury-collection-hotel-athens/?program=spg/
      4. Athens Lodge – Beautiful smaller hotel in the heart of Old Town.. definitely like the price and it’s modern/updated. People seem to really like this hotel: https://athenslodge.reserve-online.net/about

      Mykonos
      1. My Mykonos Hotel – my parents stayed here while visiting in 2017 and loved it! It’s at the top of the hill and you have to walk down to the town but they enjoyed it! Newer place. https://mymykonoshotel.com/
      2. Greco Philia Hotel Boutique Mykonos – Beautiful views of the ocean and looks gorgeous. http://www.grecophilia.com/accommodation
      3. This Airbnb looks AMAZING.. close to everything, has great reviews, the host is a superhost and has a great pool. https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/1119027?location=Mykonos%2C%20Greece&guests=1&adults=1&s=HbKukoIk

      Santorini:
      1. Volcano View Hotel – Incredible reviews, gorgeous views from the rooms, 3 pools on site, and I like the price for what you get! https://www.volcano-view.com/ .
      2. Airbnb – This gorgeous villa has great reviews, looks beautiful.. near the town and has a superhost! https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/2544879?location=Santorini%2C%20Greece&guests=1&adults=1&s=mbnGK9JI
      3. Cavo Bianco – this little hotel is gorgeous and I love the pool.. many honeymooners stay here/perfect for romance! :) http://cavobianco.com/

      Hope some of these places helped you. xx

      1. Emma, Thank you so much for the detailed information!! I will definitely look into all your suggestions.
        Marilena

    1. Hi Patti,

      If you’re using Google Chrome as a browser – if you click file on the top left corner of your screen there should be an option that says open incognito window! Definitely download google chrome for this feature.. though I think other browsers should have it as well. :) xx, Emma

  3. Hi Emma excellent tips once again. Live that you showed us some places that you’ve stayed expensive and inexpensive. Especially loved your tip about clearing the cache… you’re one smart cookie??. Keep it coming love it❤️

  4. Great tips! People need to know that they won’t get membership points at hotels if booking with third parties. Like you mentioned, third party websites can be tricky and it’s important to read all their terms, but great as a research tool. Planning a trip to The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg; any hotel recommendations for Amsterdam and Brussels?

    1. Hi Meredith,
      Thanks for stopping by the blog!
      I’ve found a few places for you that I think are nice…

      Amsterdam:
      1. Radisson Blu Amsterdam – this hotel isn’t fancy, but the price is great and I love the location with it directly on the canals. Highly rated on tripadvisor https://www.radissonblu.com/en/hotel-amsterdam
      2. The Hoxton Amsterdam – Designed by 2 designers from Amsterdam.. I love the style and feel of this place. It’s so adorable and the price is pretty good as well. Rated really highly on tripadvisor and near lots of local restaurants and coffee shops, https://thehoxton.com/holland/amsterdam/hotels
      3. The Pulitzer – a little bit of a pricier choice.. but the Pulitzer hotels are always designed so well and the vibes are wonderful + I always love the service. Located in a great neighborhood. https://www.pulitzeramsterdam.com/

      I’m not suggesting Airbnb in Amsterdam because it has basically crushed the housing market here. :(

      Brussels:
      1. Hotel de Galleries -This boutique hotel looks adorable, and the location is incredible! In the heart of the city.. and this place only has 23 rooms so it’s definitely a cute place to crash. http://hoteldesgaleries.be/en/
      2. Airbnb – Super cute place in the heart of the city with top reviews.. https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/5740356?location=Brussels%2C%20Belgium&adults=1&guests=1&s=v_N4537h
      3. Hotel Amigo – I like Rocco Forte Hotels a lot (they are usually a bit pricier than others.. but this one is not bad!) and this is one of the top hotels in the city. Very beautiful. https://www.roccofortehotels.com/hotels-and-resorts/hotel-amigo/
      4. Hilton Brussels Grand Place – Love the location and this hilton is super nice.. if you’d like to stay at a familiar chain this is a good option. https://www3.hilton.com/en/hotels/brussels-capital-reg/hilton-brussels-grand-place-BRUGRHI/index.html

      Hope this helped! xx, Emma

    1. Hi Suzanne.. here are a couple of accommodation suggestions for you!

      1. Rimrock Hotel – Most people stay here if they want to stay in a big hotel… it offers beautiful views of the rockies, has a spa and all the amenities one would need, and the price is pretty good! http://www.rimrockresort.com/
      2. Buffalo Mountain Lodge – This place is rustic and adorable.. if you’re looking for more of an authentic or unique type of stay, this place is really cute! It’s perched on top of a mountain yet it’s only a 15 minute walk from the heart of town. Extremely peaceful. https://crmr.com/buffalo/
      3. Fairmont Banff Springs – Luxury hotel.. this place is by far the most expensive in the area. It’s beautiful though, and if you want to stay here for a couple nights and then a couple nights in a different place I would recommend this option – https://www.fairmont.com/banff-springs/
      4. Airbnb – One of the only places I’ve seen which is renovated.. I really do like this place! Adorable and comes with a full kitchen which is nice if you’d like to cook. Access to a pool and sauna, daily housekeeping done for you! I like the idea of this place: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/21489262?location=Banff%2C%20AB%2C%20Canada&adults=1&guests=1&s=vq0lCRR3

      Hope this helps.. :) xx, Emma

  5. Excellent insights and trusted personal experiences Emma! Luv the tips…I’ve already started using your suggested comparison sites for flights from your last blog. Thank you for sharing with us! One final thought in support of your encouragement to read the fine print on third-party sites. I used booking.com with a cancellation option to book a room 5 months in advance….however, my mistake is, I didn’t take note the cancellation option was only open for 3 days. They charged my account and after 3 days, I was locked in!! We ultimately cancelled the trip & I lost ALL the booking.com monies. Navigating the travel game is a challenge – thank you so much for your tips & honest dialogue!

    1. Hi Jane, Thank you so much for stopping by. Yes!! Ahh that is the worst, I’m so sorry that happened to you. Sometimes it can be tough to see exactly when they charge you. That’s why I love the pay when you stay feature.

      xx, Emma

  6. Hi Kristy and Emma,
    I am really enjoying your travel blog and are finding a lot of useful tips for my upcoming trip to the US from Australia in April. We will be spending 5 days in New York city and I was wondering if you think an air bnb is a good option or is a hotel better?

    1. Hi Wendy,

      Thanks for stopping by! In my opinion.. I think that hotels are much better than Airbnbs in NYC. Unfortunately, that comes at a cost. Hotels are a lot more expensive in this city.. but I think Airbnbs are not up to standards compared to other places around the world. Places in NYC are usually tiny.. so in order to get a private airbnb it usually will be a tiny studio apartment or another small space. If you don’t mind being in a “private room” in someone’s place, then I think it’s fine. It really all depends on what you like, and what your budget is.

      Hope this helps! -Emma

  7. Thank you so much for these posts on travel! It’s nice to have someone you trust who will offer information for the various levels of travel. I feel secure in using your recommendations since following you on Instagram.
    Looking forward to the future posts!
    Suggestion: Perhaps you would consider using a vlog for us to have a peek of the travels as well. While pictures are wonderful, the experience is more vivid through vlogs.
    Thank you, Kristy and Emma, for sharing your life with us! It is greatly appreciated.

    1. Hi Vikki,
      I appreciate you stopping by and reading.. thank you! I have thought about doing travel vlogs.. and am interested in doing this in the future. :) -Emma

  8. We have tracked a bit and can usually find deals. But we live in California and love little getaways around the state. Deals seem harder to find here, when trying to experience a nicer hotel. Any ideas for Napa area or Santa Barbara or Beach front hotels? Many many thanks!

    1. Hi Lynn, I totally get that.. I felt the same way. I touched on this a little bit in the post.. but I would try last minute checking websites like Hotwire (using their Hot Deals feature) or try Hotels Tonight for an even more last minute check. You can find pretty good deals for both of those websites! :) Hope this helps. xx, Emma

  9. Great series!! Loving. All the tips! Any cruise bookinj tips eould be great! We want to book a Mediterranean cruise for next year ?

    1. Hi Amanda,
      I’m so glad to hear that.. thanks for reading. :) Cruising is the 1 thing I haven’t done before… but I really want to do a med cruise! Have SO much fun. I definitely think researching med cruises through Pinterest and reading tons of articles that way is the best. Also, I would HIGHLY recommend stopping in Croatia! That area is so beautiful, the ocean is so so bright blue, and while it’s getting more and more touristy each year, it isn’t overcrowded just yet. xx, Emma

  10. Thanks Emma this was so helpful! We are looking for a special 25th anniversary trip. Any suggestions? We haven’t traveled much so looking for tropical for 4-5 days. Excellent food and accommodations? Thanks for any help or insight. Loved the pics of your parents in Hawaii but that’s not in my budget ?

    1. Hi Kerri,
      Thank you for stopping by and reading the blog! Also.. happy early anniversary. :) I totally understand about Hawaii being out of your budget.. it’s out of mine too! ;)

      Where do you live? That would be helpful to know off the bat so I can see how much flights are.

      What I usually recommend to people who are from the U.S. for an inexpensive vacation is to head to Mexico (one of my favorite countries.. I’ve visiting twice this year!) OR visit Central America (Costa Rica!). Both places are a little less expensive than the U.S. but they have AMAZING food (Cabo has delicious food but the beaches aren’t amazing.. vs. Cancun where the beach is incredible).

      You can always e-mail me if you need help on planning.. I love to do this in my spare time. xx, Emma

    1. Hi Rhonda,
      I haven’t been to the Caribbean in YEARS nor have I planned my own vacation there. Unfortunately I won’t be much help on that front.. but I’ve found a couple of blog post off of Pinterest that may help you a little bit.

      https://www.divergenttravelers.com/things-to-do-in-barbados/
      https://www.wanderlustchloe.com/barbados-travel-guide/#more-13451&_a5y_p=6643039
      https://wanderingbajan.com/the-ultimate-barbados-travel-guide/
      https://goodkingash.com/travel-barbados/

      I also found a couple of hotels that I would probably look further into:

      – Bougainvillea Barbados
      – Ocean Two Resort & Residences by Ocean Hotels
      – Little Arches Boutique Hotel

      hope this helps. :) xx, Emma

  11. Thanks for the Pinterest suggestion—I would not have thought of looking there for travel ideas. We are going to Barcelona at the end of April for a cruise. When are your parents going?

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