For part 1 of How to Plan a Surprise Getaway With Your Spouse click HERE.
I had successfully surprised my husband and got him in the car. We were headed to Philly! I was thrilled so far. He read our plans and seemed to just relax in his seat, enjoying the peace and quite.
We drove into the city and headed to our hotel. Right before our exit we were rear-ended by another car. (go figure!) Luckily it didn’t ruin the weekend but sure shook me up a bit. Luckily our car was ok and we were not injured. We pulled up to our hotel at 4pm.
How to find a great deal on an awesome hotel:
For me, finding a beautiful, peaceful hotel was a key to making this trip a success. The last few months have been very busy and we need to have some quality time alone, in a comfortable place.
Search Travel Sites:
I began searching hotels on sites like Expedia, Travelocity and other discount travel sites. These sites were very useful for their ability to provide clear pricing, reviews, and photos. They also offer good deals if you are needing transportation to and from your destination, which we did not. The sites were a great place to start my research, however, I did not end up reserving a room through any of these sites.
Read the Reviews:
I loved reading though the reviews for the hotel and I wholeheartedly think you should read the reviews too. Just keep in mind that the loudest and longest reviews tend to be the complaints – don’t let the “complaint” review steer you away from the hotel entirely. Read carefully the reviews and see what went wrong, if it was an unusual situation or overall bad service. The good reviews are the ones I take the time to really read. I love to hear that a hotel has gone above and beyond. Reviews will give you a sneak peak into a hotel before arriving, be sure to read them!
Search Daily Deal Websites:
The next place I looked was Groupon* and Living Social*. Both of these sites are daily deal sites that also offer “getaways” or lodging deals. I was really impressed with some of the great deals that Living Social offered, however most of them were for 2 nights, and sadly we only needed one night away. I will defiantly use these sites in the future to plan a longer getaway with my honey, or even a weekend trip with the family. (* affiliate links)
Call the Hotel Directly:
I went back to the deal sites and found a few hotels that received great reviews, then I headed directly to the hotels site. I noticed that one hotel was under construction and offering a 25% off discount because of the renovations. I picked up the phone and called the hotel to talk to a manager. I explained the special nature of our trip and also happened to mention that I was a blogger and would love to write a review of our trip. The manager was wonderful and offered upgrades, discounts and other special touches. I then told her that the price online was cheaper so she encouraged me to reserve the room online to save the extra money. If you are planning a special trip – tell the manager. I was very honest and clearly explained that “staying at a hotel this nice, is not something that we can usually afford to do, but that this was a special occasion.” When you arrive at the hotel – be direct, ask for an upgrade, reminding them that this is a special occasion. I always ask for an early check in and late check out, if needed. If you don’t ask, the answer is “no” so go ahead and ask!
** a few tips for bloggers: Go ahead and tell hotels that you are a blogger, only if you are willing to write a review. This is just my opinion but if someone is going to give me special treatment because I’m a blogger I’m going to do the same for them. This is one reason I think Social Media can be a powerful tool. For me, I saw an opportunity for us to save some money, and have a special room while, in turn, helping the hotel by writing an honest review.
Our hotel stay was great! The hotel was everything that they promised! To read my entire review check back later this week!