Traveling and Hotels

Traveling and hotels refers to the lodging choices available to travelers, such as a hotel, resort or short-term rental. While costs and location remain key drivers, a host of other factors can also play into your selection.

Hotels come in all shapes and sizes, with options that range from luxury to budget. You can find them in most destinations and they are often located near airports, public transit stops, attractions like national parks and more. Some, like Marriott and Hilton, feature more than 8,000 properties across 31 brands in 139 countries and territories. And the options continue to expand.

Lodging companies often offer bundled packages that combine a hotel stay with a flight and/or car rental. Online travel agencies (OTAs) like Kayak and Travelocity are well-known for this, but airlines and even daily deal sites such as Groupon Getaways and LivingSocial Escapes also have bundle deals.

Many hotel chains have loyalty programs that reward regular guests with perks. These can include free or discounted room nights, advance purchase discounts and exclusive deals on dining, spas and activities.

While you can book a hotel through an OTA or the chain’s website, you may have more success calling the front desk directly. This allows you to talk to a human and ask about upcoming promotions, special package rates and other deals that may not be posted online. You can also ask about a hotel’s rewards program and see if you can earn extra points or bonus stays.