6 Great Tips For Finding Cheap Hotel Rates

During any tour to any destination, two things make up the bulk of your expenses: travel and accommodations. Therefore to eke out any savings from the trip you will have to invest a lot of time and effort on finding cheap hotel rates to keep your expenses low and your smiles up.

While looking for cheap hotel rates, keep the following tips in mind.

1. Location is everything – Hotel rates vary from place to place depending on its location. You will have to ask yourself if where your balance lies: convenience or price. Most convenient locations in any city will have hotels sporting rates in the upwards range in any market.

Some less accessible areas will offer lesser rates. However, you will have to decide for yourself whether the inconvenience is worth the price. If you are pretty familiar with the area you are traveling to, then locations with lesser rates in less accessible or attractive locations will be less of an issue for you.

However, if you are traveling to an area for the first time, you will have to think twice about staying at a location that is a little inconvenient.

2. Schedule is also everything – The basic law of supply and demands states that the more the demand, the more expensive the item will be. The same is true for hotel rates, if demand for a travel destination is high, then you are bound to spend more money.

So if you are planning to stay away from home, try to make your hotel reservations for off-peak seasons. Hotel rates during peak season can be as much as three times more than regular rates. This alone is reason enough to look to reserve during off-peak seasons.

3. Amenities – Some hotels are pricier because they offer amenities that, while great for those looking for extravagance, are useless to some travelers. If you can live without some of these amenities, then you could consider looking for hotels that are cheaper because they do not offer these amenities.

4. Negotiate – Most front desk personnel are personable and can give good advice on getting better rates at their hotels. Negotiate with them to get good discounts for your stay.

If you are staying for more than a week, then you might want to ask if they offer lower rates for longer stays. Also ask if they have special promos during the period of your stay that you can take advantage of.

5. Search online – Comparing rates, amenities, and location is easier nowadays because of the power of the internet. The internet makes searching for good rates on good hotels easy and painless.

The good thing about internet hotel hunting is that most hotel search websites show prices for rooms, amenities, location, and best of all, user reviews of the hotel itself. This will give you a better idea of what to expect when checking in with a hotel for the first time.

6. The power of a Travel Agent – Travel agents have good contacts among hotel chains and can get discounts on reservations thus made. If you choose to have a travel agent help you get a good hotel, then make sure that the service fee you pay them does not make going through an agent more expensive then making the reservation yourself.

Online Travel Guides Having a Heyday

As Online Travel has caught the fancy of the internet savvy travelers the online travel market is booming. No wonder that the online Travel is one of the fastest growing markets worldwide. India is also not left behind in this race as according to industry Pundits, Online Travel Market in India would be worth around US $ 6 Billion.

As a logical extension to such buoyancy, Travel Guides have shown a steady rising to move online and in the process fulfilling the needs of the niche readers. Both traditional print brands as well as purely cyber entities are slogging it out to grab the attention of this niche segment. The publishers of print brands after their initial reluctance have also started embracing the web and publish all their content online.
Travel Guides

Let’s take a look at what the Travel Guides offer. Travel guides have become a necessary tool for anyone who is thinking of vacation. A Travel Guide is full of helpful advice, precise information, good ideas etc besides being well-written, well laid out as well as well indexed.

These City centric guides provide information on all aspects of travel. You can get good information on How to Reach, Attractions, Excursions, festivals, History along with the various kinds of accommodations available like lodges, hotels, resorts and the bed-and-breakfasts. Convenient maps make it easy for the newcomers to exactly pinpoint any destination.

An ideal Travel guide should also briefly outline the recreational activities coupled with more mundane activities of life that can be done in a particular city. Another important aspect that is generally missed out is the public transport of the cities where a traveler lands up. A genuine Travel Guide is also supposed to give precise information of the state of public transport highlighting bus routes, Cabs and Auto fares.

Another important aspect of a City Guide is to have a semblance of balanced information. This is important because travel can be both for as well as business.

Pros and cons of Online Travel Guides

More and more people are into researching the internet as a result the Online Travel Guides have become quite popular as compared to their print counterparts. However both the two brands have their own set of advantages and limitations.

Online Destination Guides are successful in tapping user-generated reviews and provide the added advantage of E- Commerce options. So surf the web pages of the guide and book flights, hotels and other arrangements at one go directly through the site. Another great feature of the Online Guides is that there is ample scope for value addition. For example Indian railway has planned a new train to connect Amritsar to Kasargod. This information can be easily updated in the Guide for the travelers to see.

As Hotels and rental agencies change their rates according to season and local competition, online travel guides also offer a dynamic lot of packages based on such variances. However coming to the flip side of it is very difficult to find Online Travel guides bereft of commercial influences. It is not uncommon to see many sites that are setup to merely attract the potential customers to a particular establishment, or sites giving reviews by travelers may not be wholly independent.

To conclude Online Travel Guides have become a very good way to gather information about smaller cities of India that has an immense tourism potential but often neglected. For example the whole of North east, Northern Kerala neglected as a tourist spot over the years have seen good tourist influx thanks to the ubiquitous travel guides.

7 Of the Best Restaurants in Honolulu

Warning: This content could result in severe hunger pains.

The Pig and the Lady is one of the best restaurants in Honolulu. It is the epitome of comfort food at its finest. Their menu changes weekly so be sure to call ahead or go online to find out what wonderful meals they will be serving. The prices are low and the quality is outstanding.

Chef Andrew Le is a man of many talents. He makes an awesome noodle soup. You can eat at the pop up restaurant or at his booth in the farmer’s market. The beef and pork wrapped in a betelnut leaf, also known as heo lo lat, is a notable native dish. It is grilled to perfection and incredibly delicious. If you plan your dining experience on the weekend, you absolutely must try the fries. They are out of this world. There’s a secret to this magical concoction but you’ll have to ask the Chef for the secret.

Another incredible dish you can expect is stew, “Cu Cai Nau Xuon” Braised Spare Ribs & Daikon over jasmine rice. The Daikon is fresh and local. One of “Mama’s” soups is a Bun Bo Hue, a Kauai-raised beef brisket, pork belly noodle soup with pork hock and lemon flavored soup. If you like Pho, you’ll love this specialty. Some other noteworthy dishes are com ga hoi an, cari chay, vegetarian curry, xoi ga, and a lo lat appetizer.

In the mood for Korean food? Check out Million Restaurant on Sheridan Street. This is a kid-friendly restaurant. The yakiniku grinds costs around $50 but it is well worth it. It’s a carnivore’s dream come true. When you order the set, sides come with it, such as kimchee, pickled onions, seasoned lettuces and fishcake. The rice is moist and you have a variety of sauces should you choose to spice it up a bit.

La Mer is an upscale French restaurant located on Kalia Road. It’s fancy so leave the kids at home and dress appropriately – there’s a dress code. This is definitely a great choice for a special occasion. When a meal starts with champagne, you know you’re in for a wonderful evening.

This restaurant deserves its five star rating. The service is impeccable and the atmosphere is extremely peaceful. Each entree is perfectly prepared and is in keeping with the French tradition, accompanied with a sauce that enhances the dish. The staff is knowledgeable and the wine pairings complete each dish. This restaurant is not cheap but well worth the splurge.

The lobster and beet medallion salad has a scrumptious lemony sauce. The escargot is cheesy and if you close your eyes when eating this luscious dish, you’ll feel like you’re in Paris.

Michel’s at the Colony Surf is a perfect romantic dining experience. You’ll need to make reservations. The menu is masterpiece featuring appetizers such as Michel’s famous lobster bisque with fresh Maine lobster meat flamed in Cognac right at your table. The Caesar salad is also prepared at your table and consists of baby romaine lettuce, hearts of palm, a creamy dressing topped with the anchovy.

The steak tartar is also prepared at your table and this raw sirloin is fresh and local. The Helix Escargot Bourgogne includes six snails swimming and a delectable garlic, herb butter.

There are many entrees to choose from including an island seafood cioppino that includes Onaga, salmon, lobster, scallops, prawns, clams, squid, and mussels in a rich Italian tomato base. If you’re in the mood for steak, the beef tenderloin Rossini is a prime cut of black angus served with an incredible foie gras, truffle and chutney Madeira sauce. Can’t make up your mind? Try the 6 course tasting menu. You can’t go wrong.

Save room for dessert! The cherries jubilee has fresh bing cherries soaked in amaretto and cognac served over vanilla ice cream and topped with mouth-watering chocolate shavings. A local favorite, the Hawaiian apple and banana flambe is prepared using bananas grown locally served over vanilla ice cream.

Chef Mavro is putting on a show at his restaurant located in beautiful Honolulu. This five star restaurant requires reservations and offers an array of exquisite food. Start your evening with a variety of caviar with a perfectly paired glass of wine.

Choose from the three course menu that includes scallops, and of course the perfect glass of wine. You’ll also be treated to a mango duckling brilliantly prepared, finished off with a coconut Calamansi. This wonderful dessert is made with fresh coconut mousse, calamansi-cherry coulis, served over an almond ice cream topped with candied lime leaves. The perfect pairing of a vintage port is the best way to finish an incredible meal.

Four and six course meals are also available.

Pho Bistro 2 is a Vietnamese restaurant located on Kalakaua Avenue in Honolulu. As one of the best restaurants in Honolulu, both locals and tourists will love this place. It’s kid-friendly and a comfortable atmosphere. Although they have a private parking lot, it’s small so take a cab or ride together if you have a large group.

The food is fresh and good. The summer and spring rolls are superb. If you’re not very hungry, the summer and spring rolls should be satisfying. However, if you’re really hungry, consider ordering the large combination pho. Great soup served with different spices, allowing you to control your spice level. You can order your beef rare on the outside and the soup is hot enough to cook it.

Hy’s Steak House is definitely one of the best restaurants in Honolulu. Its cuisine is continental and the decor and menu combines the cultures of European, Hawaiian and American. The main room resembles an English chateau reminiscent of a traditional gentlemen’s club. The main dining area is cozy and decorated to resemble a library. The walls are framed with books and art, the wood molding is exquisitely detailed, the Tiffany stained glass framed with dark mahogany paneling is unique and the chandeliers are simply extraordinary.

Walking into Hy’s Steak House, one of the best restaurants in Honolulu, is like walking back in time. The waiter stations are wood marvels topped with antique marble tops.

The seafood is cooked to perfection as is the steak, chops and everything else on the menu. The waiters wear tuxedos and prepare Caesar salads and desserts tableside. The steaks are prime cuts of beef and seared to perfection.