Are travel discounts a thing of the past?

We expect to find the best travel discounts online and along with convenience, this is the reason we use booking engines as opposed to calling or booking direct with a service provider. Except, maybe you have noticed, the cost of hotel rooms and other travel related services seem to be increasingly expensive and there is a specific reason for this being the case.

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Travel discounts and Rate Parity

Introduced recently, a law called “Rate Parity” stipulates travel brands can only advertise one price across all channels of distribution. This effectively means a traditional booking engine simply cannot offer hotel discounts as they have done in the past. Held accountable by this new legislation, the cost of a hotel is the same on a traditional booking engine as they are on a website for the hotel in question.

The truth is out there

Take for example Kayak, one of the largest travel comparison websites in the world. If you perform a quick search for a hotel room on Kayak you will find the cost of a hotel room is the very same across all of the booking engines out there. Why? As mentioned previously, rate parity. This is the same if you check each individual booking engine and compare the price against the website of the actual hotel.

Providing this is the case, you really do need to ask yourself, what is the point of using these booking engines if they offer no genuine value anymore?

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Travel membership: The only way to find genuine travel discounts

However, there is thankfully still a way to find the best travel discounts online and this is by searching within a “closed loop program” such as a travel membership club. Rate parity does not apply to membership clubs and for this reason, it is possible to sign up and start finding the travel discounts which were once available on the traditional booking engines.

Simple and effective, travel membership clubs also have a booking engine of their own on which you can search for the best vacation and avail of the best price.

Hotels Etc in North America

Leading the way in North America for more than 25 years, Hotels Etc is a travel membership club with a 5 star reputation and 4 million members. Essentially, this membership program negotiates the best possible rates with service providers in the travel industry and passes them on to their clients. Ranging from 50 – 80%, these are large discounts which far outweigh any decision to sign up for membership and there is also a trial option during which you can verify this value for yourself.

There really is no more to say other than if you want to find the best travel discounts online, you will need to look past the traditional booking engines and start utilizing the incredible advantages of being a member with a travel club such as Hotels Etc.

Still not sure? Come see for yourself, you can sign up for a free trial today.

Researchers explain why planning a vacation can make you Happy

Vacations are fun, we all know that, we all want more of them and some of us will almost live for them. But do they make you happier? It might seem like a question with an obvious answer but a group of researchers in the Netherlands set out to answer this precise question while also determine what it is exactly that causes someone to feel this way.

Almost 2,000 adults took part in the research, half of which had taken a vacation during the previous year and the results threw up a very interesting point. Yes, there were no surprises that these people experienced happiness while on the trip, whether they were relaxing next to the pool, swimming at the beach, eating out in a fine restaurant or sipping cocktails as the sun went down but what about afterward or what about before?

“The practical lesson for an individual is that you derive most of your happiness from anticipating the holiday trip,” said Jeroen Nawijn head of the research. “What you can do is try to increase that by taking more trips per year. If you have a two week holiday you can split it up and have two one week holidays. You could try to increase the anticipation effect by talking about it more and maybe discussing it online.”

You see, much of the findings for this research pointed to the fact that most adults felt relaxed returning from their vacation, they felt energized and rejuvenated but what they did not expect, was to learn how extremely happy these same people felt when planning a vacation. That’s right, the research showed that the longest, most prolonged and enjoyable part of their trip was the actual part of planning a vacation. Marveling at wanderlust inducing photographs online, imagining how relaxing it would be on the beach, checking the best places to stay in the Caribbean and then of course, looking for the best hotel discounts, vacation deals and general value. People felt good about being able to find the best online travel deals, joining travel membership clubs for cruise discounts and knowing that they had found the best place to stay at the best price.

So there you have it in black and white, planning a vacation is just as good for your health and will make you just as happy, as being on the vacation itself. We can’t say we are surprised as for more than 25 years now we taken great pleasure from finding the best hotel discounts for our members here at Hotels Etc. We know that people will always appreciate a good deal when we find one and keep coming back so long as we keep offering the best value vacations. So what are you waiting for? It might be a few weeks, a month or even a year until your next time off but why should that stop you from feeling happy, start planning your vacation and get signed up for a travel membership with Hotels Etc.

Can you afford the cost of travel?

When was the last time you packed a small suitcase and left the busy city behind?  There is simply nothing like taking a weekend break or even one night away from the norm, a few days to escape the monotony of a work week and take refuge in a relaxing hotel stay with fine food and maybe even a spa.

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Unless you have work at the weekend or an insurmountable amount of debt, the chances are there is actually no good reason not to get away for the weekend. At this point it may seem a little too late to be planning a trip with the weekend closing in but then, how long does it take to make an online booking and put a few clothes in a suitcase? The answer, in case you’re wondering – not long at all.

Taking an annual vacation is obviously a great idea, the perfect way to relieve stress and get back to enjoying the finer things in life. However, is simple process is surely restricted to once a year? No, the simple process of relieving stress and hitting the re-fresh button in life is attainable at just about any moment in every week and it just so happens that travel is the perfect way to make it happen.

Thing is, if it was always as simple as throwing a few clothes in a suitcase and taking off we would do it almost every weekend right? So what’s stopping everyone from taking more weekend breaks?

afford travel

We all know travel can be expensive and even without a debt of some sort looming overhead, it can be difficult to afford the high cost of living these days never mind forking out on a hotel in Chicago for the night. And this is exactly why you need a travel club membership, the easiest and fastest way to find hotel discounts and more to make everything affordable. Rather than just saving on hotels or annual vacations, a travel membership club such as Hotels Etc will also help you find discounts throughout the year for anything from movie theater tickets to restaurant deals. In fact, by the time you have availed of a 60% discount on a hotel stay, it’s likely you will already have saved the remaining cost by utilizing the thousands of other discounts on offer.

There really should be no cost placed on the prospect of taking time out from a hectic schedule and escaping all the noise for a few days but in reality, we do understand there is always going to be a fee attached to the concept of travel. In this sense, Hotels Etc is not here to make travel free or promise you something you cannot afford, but rather it offers a simple membership which will allow you to afford the cost of travel an then to get an awful lot more from it, for a much lesser cost.

You can access all the best hotel discounts and more by signing up today for a travel membership with Hotels Etc.

When life gives you lemons, take a vacation

“He was a walking refutation of that dogmatic statement, Mens sana in corpore sano. His was a sound mind in an unsound body. He proved the eternal paradox of things. He cashed in on his disabilities. He picked up the lemons that Fate had sent him and started a lemonade-stand.” Marshall P Wilder.

Mass production, mass consumption, mass disillusion; earning a living is hard, nobody said it would be easy, but nobody said it would be this hard either. We live in a modern world with endless options and decisions, something made increasingly difficult in the past two decades with the arrival of the online world and the increased amount of competition it has created among peers.

Truth is, frightening statistics have already proven that this mass build up is not only happening, but increasing,  and it is also the number one reason for mass disillusion or even depression. It doesn’t take very much to understand how busy life has become either, it seems more people are working more overtime, and less time off is naturally leading to less enjoyment in life. While earning a living, being successful and progressing a career are all admirable, the value and benefit of taking time out from this busy lifestyle, should not be ignored.

On the contrary, statistics are on hand to show that people who take more time off work and travel on more vacations, are more satisfied and less stressed. Even if the past few weeks or months have been hectic, even if you have worked every hour of every given day for eight months, having a vacation to look forward to and then utilize to distress is worth far more than any monetary value placed on the vacation.

So why do people not take more vacations? Essentially, this will rarely come down to lack of vacation leave or workload, after all a year is a long time and realistically, everyone can afford to put work on hold for 7 – 10 days to take time out.

The reason most people do not take a vacation is budget, as everyone knows that vacations cost money. However, regardless of whether you are working for minimum wage or a high flying senior investment manager, a vacation is affordable for anyone who looks in the right place. Unfortunately most people still see this “right place” as being a booking engine such as Expedia, Orbitz or another major travel brand when the truth is, these websites no longer offer the value they once did. No, since the arrival of the new rate parity laws, travel brands are no longer able to offer varying prices across different distribution channels which in essence stops them from offering any real discounts or special offers.

The solution? Today the only real way of finding genuine hotel discounts, travel offers, or affordable vacation packages is through a Travel membership club which offer discounts of up to 60-80% to their members in return for a minimal fee. These membership clubs may seem like newcomers to the travel industry but actually, they have been around since the 1970’s and Hotel Etc is one such club who have a five star trust rating, 4 million members and the highest number of repeat customers.

Vacation packages are quite affordable in the modern day but should that be slightly out of the current budget, membership with a travel club is the single best way to find the cheapest hotels or most affordable vacation packages. So next time you feel work gets on top of you or life seems to be moving too fast, for too long; organize your time off, sign up for Hotels Etc, take that vacation  you deserve and leave the phone at home.

It really is true; when life gives you lemons, take a vacation.

5 Slightly more affordable hotels in New York

Everyone knows how New York is one of the most expensive cities in the world for accommodation but with a little bit of research and some hotel discounts from Hotels Etc, it is possible to find more affordable hotels in New York and turn the idea of visiting the Big Apple from being a once in a lifetime trip, into a bi-annual occasion. Hotels Etc are a travel club who have been negotiating incredible deals for their customers on anything from golf course membership and movie theater tickets, to cruise vacations and Hotel deals for New York.

While it will never be as low cost as a weekend vacation in Phoenix, the following hotels are some of the best located hotels in New York which are more affordable when using the hotel discounts mentioned above.

5 More affordable hotels in New york

Washington Jefferson Hotel

The Washington is hotel with an excellent location near Times Square which ensures that from the moment you arrive, the streets are right outside waiting to be explored. That being said, the hotel is located on a quieter side of the street and is a favorite for budget minded people who want to be slightly away from the hustle of the Square but then still close to Central Park, the Empire State Building and all the main shopping areas.

The interior is simple but quaint, and there is an excellent Japanese restaurant on location which offers fine sushi and teriyaki.

The rooms in the Washington Jefferson Hotel are small but they have a very respectable reputation for being clean and pleasant at the same time, with comfortable beds, cable television and free Wi-Fi.

Rooms in the Washington Jefferson Hotel start from $180.

 

The Jane Hotel

The Jane, 113 Jane Street, West Village

The Jane Hotel is quite unique in a sense that the rooms are designed, decorated and set out in a similar way to the cabins on an antique sailing ship. There are economy bunk bed cabins, along with the more luxurious “Captain’s” cabin with each room having the standard cable television, air conditioning and free Wi-Fi.

A rich history provides the backdrop for all the character this hotel has to offer and this, combined with the resident restaurant and café, make it a charming place to stay but once more, the location shines through as the major highlight for most guests.

Close to the Hudson River and in the center of the West Village in the Meatpacking district, The Jane Hotel is surrounded by shopping, restaurants and many nightlife options.

Rooms at The Jane Hotel start from $140 with private bathroom.

 

Yotel

570 10th Ave, New York

Not only is this a centrally located hotel in New York without the enormous price tag of many other hotels in the area, Yotel is specifically targeted toward a youthful clientele with inclinations toward places or attractions which are hipster orientated. There are also communal areas in the hotel for guests to hang out which make this a great place to meet people, for those who prefer to stay somewhere a little more luxurious than a youth hostel.

It is of Japanese design and the rooms appear to have more in common with an aircraft, than it does a hotel, but it works beautifully and all rooms have bright interiors with comfortable beds, flat screen televisions and free Wi-Fi.

Yotel has one of the most sought after locations in New York situated just a short walk from the Port Authority and less than a mile from Times Square.

Rooms at Yotel start from $180.

 

The Leo House

332 West 23rd Street New York, NY 10011

Few hotels can claim as central a location in Manhattan, with the price being offered by that of the Leo House. The Leo House will not be for everyone but for anyone hoping to save some serious cash on their next trip to New York, this hotel which is run by the extremely friendly Catholic Sisters of St Agnes and offers simple rooms for the budget traveler who wishes to be stay in a centrally located New York hotel.

The hotel has a basic restaurant, some peaceful gardens and all rooms include cable television and excellent Wi-Fi. As mentioned above, this budget hotel in New York is a great option for anyone who does not mind staying in a more modest setting, and with Broadway just a few minute walk from the front door, it’s unlikely you will be spending very much time in the hotel anyway.

Rooms in the Leo House start from $115 (without private bathroom)

Nu Hotel

85 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY

Nu hotel was the very first boutique hotel in the heart of Brooklyn, a place where many visitors choose to stay over the more touristy and packed central area around Times Square.

Staying in Brooklyn can be a much more rewarding experience for the traveler, given it is an authentic borough and living quarters for many of the average people whom work in the big city. The presence of arts and melting pot of culture also ensure a stay here provides a genuine New York experience.

Thankfully, the center of Manhattan is only a short ride away and so the variety  in terms of being able to “stay local” but then also be within easy reach of the city, can be very appealing for many tourists.

Nu Hotel has a beautifully decorated interior with spacious rooms, comfortable beds and all the other amenities you would expect in a large hotel, but rather than proximity to Manhattan being the benefit of staying here, it is the vibe and offerings of the local neighborhood which make it a great options for affordable hotels in New York.

Rooms at Nu Hotel start from $152 Queen.

As outlined above, traveling to New York does not have to be the overly expensive trip which most people decide to take, and with some research, planning and hotel discounts, there are many incredible hotel deals in new York to take advantage of when booking the adventure.

The best way to find these hotel discounts is by signing up for a travel membership with Hotels Etc, and start making huge savings today.

 

Don’t lie to yourself, you can afford a vacation

Spring break is just around the corner, the best hotel deals are selling out fast and you still haven’t booked your own vacation, why?

For a select few, there’s already a home for those vacation days from work but for almost everyone else who thinks they can’t go on vacation this year, it comes down to the same factor of cost. Yes, it would appear that most people feel they cannot go on vacation this year or in the foreseeable future because they are either too expensive or because they simply have too many bills to pay.

Paying Bills vs.. Luxury Items

There’s no question that bills need to be paid. Rent, electricity, bank charges, phone bill, debt; the cost of these all need to be met on a regular basis, nobody denies that. But lets be honest, having covered the cost of these expenses most people will then continue to waste their disposable income on needless possessions, services or product.

In fact research has proven this too often before. Recent studies by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) have shown that less than 50% of most individuals and families weekly pay check can be attributed to the necessity bills above whereas a much smaller percentage then goes toward the likes of transport and miscellaneous or unexpected costs.

These studies are not much more than speculation of course but it doesn’t take much to realize that most people are wasteful when it comes to disposable income and have a tendency to put it toward “luxury” items as opposed to savings.

The point of the matter being that most people are in a position to save money on a regular basis, they just choose not to.

Vacations are too expensive

It might seem that way on the face of it. Hotel discounts do crop up online from time to time but not often enough and then how often does a person check a particular hotel website directly to see such offers?

Truth is, prices in the online world have leveled out recently and it’s all thanks to a new law called rate parity. This new law states that travel companies must display the same price across all distribution channels and this drastically affects their pricing strategy as it effectively means there are no longer any amazing discounts to be had through the booking engines.

This is one of the main reasons in today’s market as to why vacations, hotels and other travel products seem so expensive all of a sudden. Unfortunately for those large travel brands, the “good old days” have passed and the prices being advertised on such sites is no different to what you will find direct with the hotel or service provider.

So what does one do? How is it possible to find a cheap package deals or hotel discounts?

Join a travel club. Hotels Etc is a travel membership club who are taking the current market by storm in light of the damage being inflicted on the major travel brands. Essentially, they negotiate the best hotel discounts, vacation package offers etc for their clients in return for a small membership fee.

It couldn’t be more simple.

The website has a booking and search engine similar to what you will find elsewhere online but the obvious value being provided here are the big discounts and best vacation packages on the market. It may seem too good to be true but really, there is no catch and Hotels Etc now offer the best possible way to go on that vacation that you didn’t think you could afford.

It’s important to take a break from work, to find some quiet time and relax in the sunshine. So the next time you ask yourself as to why you haven’t booked that vacation yet, don’t lie to yourself. With the above strategy there is a perfect way to find the vacation you want for less and when you consider this with a little bit of careful spending this year, it’s likely you’ll find that you really can afford that vacation after all.

Click this link to start making huge savings on your next vacation.