One of the things I’ve always been in charge of during trips is finding where to stay. I love to find a really good deal for places that are going to be cute and comfy. While I know there are people that don’t care about where they stay during a vacation because the goal is to “spend all your time exploring”, I prefer to have a nice place to come back to so I can relax.
When I went to Hawaii three years in a row (and went for a week or two), people were a little shocked because they were wondering how I could afford a hotel in Hawaii for such a long time. Little did they know, I’m super big on research!
I find that if you’re only going to stay with one other person, it’s pretty much sixes as to whether you check hotel sites or sites like Airbnb because paying for two people is going to be about the same. But whenever you’re planning on going with a lot of people, these sites I’m going to talk about are the best!
The Wyndham Bali Hai Villas we stayed at in Princeville, photo courtesy of Club Wyndham
One of my favorite places to look at when I’m trying to find a place to stay is Airbnb, especially if I’m going on a trip with a group of friends. Not only are there tons of people renting out their places through Airbnb but there are so many types to choose from! The last time I went to Hawaii, I went with 5 other people so we found a great Airbnb in Princeville on Kauai that had two bedrooms and three beds, as well as a kitchen and two bathrooms with showers. It was perfect!
*Note: the pricing shown may be different than what I originally paid as prices fluctuate depending on dates.
We stayed 8 nights at this place and the total amount was $1550, which came out to only $258 per person for lodging for the entire trip! It was a great deal. That’s like one night at a 5-star hotel but we spent 8 nights in a gorgeous condo! It’s definitely worth checking out Airbnb.
Kauai Beach Resort, photo courtesy of their website
Another website I swear by is VRBO. The first time we went to Hawaii, I wanted to make sure we were getting a great deal and it wasn’t going to be super expensive. There were only four of us on this trip. I found a hotel room at the Kauai Beach Resort that someone owned privately and was renting out. It had two beds, which was perfect for the 4 of us and allowed us to use all the amenities of the resort!
Let me tell you what a great deal this was by breaking it down:
Currently, a room with two beds at the Kauai Beach Resort ranges from $329 to $619 a night. Pretty steep…
We got the deal of $95 a night (is your mind blown yet?) and paid a total of $528.70 for 5 nights! Divided by four people, we each paid $132.18 for lodging during that trip.
You guys have to check out VRBO because it’s honestly the best.
When I was growing up, my parents would always surprise us with last minute trips where we’d get home from school and they’d be like, “Hurry and pack, we’re going to San Francisco!” My little anxious heart doesn’t like surprises because I’m a legitimate planner but I’ve gotten better at this. Back then, people didn’t book rooms as much as they do now so my parents would just find a hotel and pay whatever rate it was.
Today, my parents still like taking spontaneous trips (like to the Hoover Dam or when we went to Seattle a couple months ago) but this time, I’m more prepared. We usually drive to these places so during the drive, I look through Expedia and see what I can find.
Highland Estates Resort, photo courtesy of Hotels.com
When we went to the Hoover Dam, we left later in the day than we were planning so we were all exhausted by the time we were reaching Mesquite. We decided to stay there so when we passed St. George, I got on Expedia’s website and found a two-room suite at the Highland Estates Resort in Mesquite for $169.22. We only needed it for one night but my sister and I got our own room & my parents had their own (which helped with my dad’s snoring) and it had a kitchen and living room! It was super spacious and we wished we could have stayed longer.
I used Expedia as well when we went to Seattle and found a brand new hotel that had only been open a week! It was awesome being one of the first people to sleep in a bed, let’s be real.
You can get really cool deals sometimes when you reserve hotels last minute although it’s a risk I don’t always love to take. Personally, I think you can find really awesome deals if you plan ahead but there are always options if you forget.
What are your favorite places to find hotel deals? If you end up trying any of these and LOVE it, let me know!