Once you make a decision on where and when to travel and you book your flight the planning begins! The next step is reserving your hotels or vacation rentals. There are normally two deciding factors in what hotel or rental to book – location and price. Luckily, there are vacation planning websites which allow you to pick your destination and help you plan! I’ve found Trip Hobo is very user friendly and suggests Hotels based on the city and tourist attractions you choose. I personally prefer the luxuries of a nice hotel when traveling but I have many friends that love AirBNB and swear by it. You can find great deals and enjoy the space and city as if you live there. There are a few other websites for vacation rentals including VRBO, HomeAway, or FlipKey (owned by the popular Trip advisor) with each website providing pictures and reviews of the rental property. If you are like me and want a quick and easy way to search for the best deal out there including hotels and rentals try AllTheRooms. This website pulls in results from all travel sites into one! When choosing a hotel don’t forget to consider the rewards programs whether using or earning points. Small benefits of the reward program can include free bottled water, free Wifi, or even free breakfast in the morning.
Here are a few of the most popular hotel reward programs and a few of the benefits they provide. Marriott Rewards
  • Earn rewards at all Marriott brand hotels.
  • If you are a member of Marriott Rewards and United MileagePlus rewards you can convert your points to miles at a discounted rate.
  • Use points for a five night stay and get the fifth night free.
Starwood Preferred Guest
  • Earn rewards at all SPG brand hotels.
  • You can link your SPG account to your Delta Skymiles account and earn 1 SPG point for every dollar spent on eligible Delta flights on top of the miles normally earn.
  • Use points to book flights or convert points into frequent flyer miles.
  • Late checkout at 4pm, if available.
Hilton HHonors
  • Earn rewards at all Hilton brand hotels.
  • Over 4,500 participating hotels – you really can find a hotel for any budget.
  • Use points to book all-inclusion resorts and vacation packages.
  • Convert points into frequent flyer miles or reserve a free car rental with Alamo, National, or Sixt.
  • Limited time offers include 2X-4X point packages.
Hyatt Gold Passport
  • Earn rewards at all Hyatt brand hotels.
  • Earn five points for every dollar spent.
  • Use points to book flights or convert points into frequent flyer miles 27 participating airline partners with each stay.
IHG Rewards Club
  • Earn rewards at all IHG hotels – includes Holiday Inn, InterContinental Hotel & Resorts, and the Crowne Plaza.
  • Over 4,700 participating hotels.
  • Option to earn frequent flyer miles versus points.
  • Redeem points for gifts from online catalogue or gift cards.
  • Convert points into frequent flyer miles, however, takes 4-6 weeks to receive redemption.