Journeys with Joe


Cabanas Marcaribe Tulum, Mexico

Cabanas Marcaribe Tulum, Mexico


Book directly with a hotel rather than going through an OTA such as Priceline and Expedia.
Two reasons:
1. You get first dibs on the better rooms. When an OTA gets you a better rate, it’s often for a less desirable room. Rooms on a higher floor, with a better view, or away from the elevator, are most likely being distributed directly by the hotel.
2. Book directly with a hotel to ensure travel rewards points. Loyalty points are often only attainable when you book directly through them. Using an OTA means you won’t get loyalty credit for that stay.

Hilton Worldwide ran an ad campaign to encourage travelers to make their stays directly with Hilton outposts and even ensured consumers that the best rates are available at
Similarly, Marriott launched a campaign to promote direct bookings, touting the lowest prices, reward points and extra perks, including free Wi-Fi for guests who are part of the Marriott Rewards program.

Please see the submenus under Accommodations(2) for a lot of the hotel chains, resorts and boutique hotels.

My take on any accommodation is to stay somewhere close enough to what I’m there to see; maybe not the cheapest, but one that will save your time commuting to the sites.

Time IS Money!

Also, when on a long wander; I usually stay as cheap as possible, and treat myself every so often to a more expensive accommodation when I have no choice, or as a reward.

Hotels are cheaper on weekends; once the business travelers have gone home.

Stay in small towns that are tourist attractions (like Siena, Italy); and have the place to yourself once the tourists leave for the night.

In Spain, France and Italy; I always stay near the street or alley where EVERYONE walks (evening stroll called passeggiata in Italy) at night!

Europe usually has inexpensive hotels around bus and train stations.

Human Being: talk to them; and then have 24 hours to confirm rate on Internet.
Phone hotels directly, and ask to speak to a manager on duty or a director of sales.
This will enable you to negotiate for the best rate.
Remember; repeat business is highly valued, and frequent visitors can land even lower rates.
Also; it never hurts to ask, all they can do is say no!
So… ask if your hotel or resort can throw in something extra; to do whatever it takes to get your business.

Get a contact at each hotel (not like the U.S. with a lot of turnover).


Expedia:;;; the San Diego Chargers American football team uses them.; (Beta):; hotels grouped by category: boutique, eco-friendly, fabulous, hideaway, quirky and shoestring.

Last Minute

Search at noon of each day for last minute discounts. has a large pool of hotels, but smaller discounts than Hotel Tonight.
Hotel Tonight:; app has savings of $5 to $60 per room compared with a hotels’ website.

Journeys with Joe Travel Accommodations

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