Monday, March 7, 2011

1.62659 Is The Loneliest Number

That's right - The current trading value of dollars to pounds is $1.62659. That is a very lonely number when you are planning a trip to the UK. However, we have continued undaunted in our plans to tour the British Empire with our daughter who is currently studying for her Masters degree at Goldsmiths University in London. Why do I bring this up? It is certainly not news that the dollar has gone in the tank against virtually every currency, particularly the euro and the pound. The impact of this means that it becomes more challenging to find places of quality when you are on a budget. There are several do's and don'ts when trying to find hotels, B&B's and other places to sleep when money IS an object.

Don't waste your time using "bundle" travel sites like Kayak, Priceline etc.. I have NEVER found any price for a hotel to be less than the price offered by a premium site such as I-Escape or a given hotel's site.
Don't reserve hotels that require payments when the reservation is made, unless you know that you know it's a great hotel and a great price.
Don't trust in travel books for places to stay. They tend to be limited and are not usually the kinds of places that necessarily have character and architectural quality.

Do use sites such as I-Escape (, Epoque ( or Tablet ( )  are all well designed with great filters for price and location. One caveat - Usually the "from" price is less than what the reservation price will eventually be. I always go to the actual hotel sites to confirm prices and availability, if I can.
Do plan to spend hours on the internet looking and finding great places. You have to become an architectural researcher to find places that meet the criteria of commodity, firmness and delight so profoundly stated by Vitruvius.
Do use every review site you can find to confirm your selections. I find Tripadvisor to be excellent because it includes virtually every hotel and B&B you google.
Do look for places that are off the beaten path. Usually the best places are away from the maddening crowd.

One last thing I highly recommend using when planning travel anywhere in the world - The Hip Hotels Book Series ( I have found some amazing places to stay from this series of books. Plus, they are beautifully photographed and make great coffee table books.

Travel Quote of the Day
Venice is like eating an entire box of chocalate liqueurs in one go. - Truman Capote

Ciao    DLS

1 comment:

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