Beyond the financial importance of booking your airline ticket, I believe the accommodations are the sole most important component in your travel experience; the backbone of the entire trip if you will. Why are the accommodations so important, you ask? Simple. Your hotel, apartment, hostel, etc. will be your home base. This is where you will come between sightseeing, to relax, sleep, and share with one another about your daily experiences. How many times has a poor hotel experiences put a damper on a trip? I hope none. But unfortunately, that’s not the truth. The answer: far too many. You’ve already spent the time and money to have fun, don’t let poor planning or a last resort hotel, ruin your vacay – you only get one a year (if you’re lucky!).
By far, the most useful tool I’ve used when finding accommodations is FlipKey. FlipKey allows you to personalize the lodging experience through its endless selection of properties and filters, such as rental type, pet friendly, waterfront, wheelchair assessable, price range (nightly or weekly) and child friendly.
Another thing I love about FlipKey, is that you are communicating directly with a person the entire time. For example, this past June I had the opportunity to travel to Paris for a week. During the preliminary stages of my trip, I reached out to a dozen or so properties. It was through one inquiry that connected with amazing property management company, My Time In Paris (properties pictured above).I soon discovered that My Time In Paris is a lovely team of ladies that worked around the clock to ensure my every question and need was met. By searching FlipKey’s Paris destination, I was able to look up properties within the specific areas I wanted stay in, which included Saint Germain in central Paris and Le Marais.
You see, the beauty of FlipKey is that it houses (literally) independent property owners as well as property management companies, which makes the booking experience not only catered to your needs, but throughout the entire process, you have a personal contact to help with any questions or concerns you might have. Although I like adventure as much as the next wanderer, sometimes knowing if the property is child friendly, has an elevator or is within distance to restaurants and sightseeing, is worth knowing before you depart aka without the task of seeking forums from other travelers. Because seriously, who wants to read about their unfortunate experience? It’s not your fault they didn’t use FlipKey or My Time In Paris.
Since our first flat was centrally located in Saint Germain, we were within walking distance to some of the most amazing restaurants, sightseeing attractions, shopping, and all the best that Paris has to offer. Due to my constant baguette in hand, I prefer to do most of my sightseeing on foot. With Paris being the marvelous walking city it is, being centrally located was one of my travel “must-haves”. Strolling the streets, and intentionally getting lost is my favorite way to discover the unknown treasures of the city.
I tend to travel like a local, but, it’s also fun to play a tourist for a day or two. Anytime I’m in a new destination, I book all my ticketed attractions through Viator. Viator is your one stop shop for sightseeing tours, activities and “to do’s” in any city. With their handpicked tours, verified reviews and photos, you know exactly what to expect and at a guaranteed low price.
If you’re not even sure where to start when planning your activities, I suggest checking out FlipKey’s new interactive map, which allows you to take a virtual walk around the destination of your choice. You are able to “visit” the area before you even board the plane!
“We chose Boston as our first destination to launch this series with as it’s not only our hometown city, but also an extremely popular place for travelers to visit year-round (especially in the summertime). The goal of this guide is to provide travelers with an opportunity to truly experience a destination before they actually visit,” says Tess Morton, FlipKey Marketing Communications Manager.
What a perfect way to get the most of out your vacation!
Lastly, above all, you must have a good balance between “things to do” and downtime. You’re going on vacation to have fun, relax, and experience new cultures; you don’t want to need a vacation after your vacation.
So there you have it, all of the necessities to planning a seamless summer vacation! Bon Voyage! And, don’t forget that passport 🙂
Tell us: where are you planning on going this summer?