5 Tips for planning an “Outstanding Getaway.”

Now, is the time to begin to plan for that great weekend trip, but often we are unsure as to the steps that will ensure that we get what we want. The 5 tips shown here are the ones that I have used consistently with success. Feel free to add to this listing as you travel.

1. Go in the shoulder season. Everyone thinks that you have to travel  when the industry tells us to. Remember, that’s just marketing. The “shoulder season” is a great time to go to all the places that you wish to explore. One reason is that you will find that it is less crowded, but not desolate, and the rates at hotels are substantially reduced.  Just make sure that you are not scheduling during hurricane season.

2. View the location’s calendar to see their rates.  This can represent an enormous savings for you, particularly if you’re planning to stay several days. Most people don’t think of this, and simply plug in their dates and a rate comes up, and they make their decision based upon that. Also, when you’re looking at the rate, look at the total, and not just the daily rate. Some hotels have extra fees that will cause the total amount to be more than you think. This is called, “when a deal is not a deal.”

 3. Call the hotel directly. Always, and I do mean, always be willing to contact the hotel directly to see if they have a rate that is better than that which is displayed online. Ask if they have a better rate than that which is shown. If that doesn’t work, don’t give up. Use one of the following: (a) Praise them for being an outstanding property and tell them how much you want to stay there. Then stop talking. Usually, the silence will help the person to move into action to get you a better (b)Tell them that you stay with this brand frequently, but not just at this hotel. Ask if  there anything that they can do, so that you can have the experience? They will view  you as brand loyal, and this usually works.

4. Upgrade the class of hotel. This is an important feature that many are afraid to use. The fear is how much you will have to pay, but my feeling is the difference in quality and service is substantial enough that you will want to make the upgrade. Pinch your pennies elsewhere on your trip. You will not be disappointed in the upgrade. Higher level hotels have more amenities and they are more willing to provide services that you don’t experience at other hotels. Anyway, it’s your “getaway trip.” Treat yourself.

5. Schedule an activity that you know you really enjoy.  This involves talking to the concierge so that you can get tickets to concerts, events, or needed appointments scheduled.  Don’t just play golf, take a golf lesson from one of the pros. Ask the concierge about a great place to eat, and be willing to try  that new hot restaurant that just opened. Whatever the activity, do something that will be memorable, for which you will speak of for years to come.

Use these tips to plan your next getaway. Take photos and let me know what amazing things happened on your “getaway.”