100 Hotels Under $100 + Fun Sweepstakes!
A look at spring travel data tells us that average hotel rates are still down slightly over last year, hovering around $156 for a domestic hotel stay and $218 for an international hotel stay. When you compare these numbers to hotel prices in 2008 and see that they’re down 14 percent and 11 percent respectively, you can’t argue that they’re a real steal.
The relative inexpensiveness of travel at this point in time makes my job as a bargain hunter and tips guru, well, easy. Everything seems to be a deal right now, but a thrifty shopper looks for lower-than-average hotel stays. We decided to make the hunt easy for you, listing 100 Hotels Under $100.
The list features mostly three star properties with the occasional three-and-a-half star, so expect to see names such as Ramada, Holiday Inn and Courtyard by Marriot. On a side note, I recently stayed at a revamped Holiday Inn and was totally impressed! A couple of years ago, they launched an initiative to reinvigorate the brand, and it’s now more than 50 percent complete, according to a Wall Street Journal article on the hotel’s parent company.
When you find a hotel on our list, book it using your American Express® Card (and use the promo code SAVE10AMX for an extra 10 percent off) to be entered into a sweepstakes to win a Travelocity reward card worth $2,000. We’ll be choosing a winner each week until March 8! See official rules.
My name: Jennifer Gaines, but my friends call me Gaines, Jenni-Dallas or just plain Jenn.
(Find me on Twitter @jenngaines)
Travel ambitions: It's my mission to visit each of the New 7 Wonders and to step foot on every continent before my next milestone birthday.
Greatest travel lesson learned: Find the local hangouts to experience the real, true culture of a place. During a trip to Europe, my friends and I spent several days with a French family in the small town of Vichy. We had a private party in their family-run creperie, feasting on cheese-stuffed crepes and sampling wine that we picked up in the Bordeaux region a few days earlier. Their English wasn’t much better than my French, which is limited to a few well-known phrases from Moulin Rouge and the question: Parlez-vous anglais? (I'm proud to say that I can spout this question off in several different languages, and luckily most Europeans do indeed speak English!) After a few bottles of wine, the language barrier was hardly noticeable (slurring actually sounds the same in French!), and we managed to swap stories about life in other places. What a slice of local flavor!
My most beloved place in the whole world is: My grandparents place in Texas. It’s a 10-acre oasis in between two sprawling cities: Dallas and Fort Worth. A creek runs through their enormous backyard, where Granddad built a deck over the water. The entire place is shrouded with all types of trees (mainly pecan), blocking the Texas sun in the summer. Dusk is the best time to sit on the deck, drink a glass of ice tea and watch baby raccoons from the spring litter surround their back porch as Gram feeds them bread (no lie!). There will be dozens of raccoons eating on any given night. In the fall, my family gathers in the courtyard in front of their house for an annual “weenie roast.” Granddad lights the bonfire, and we roast dogs and s'mores. Yes, y’all, we’re from Texas!
Favorite way to get around: Well, I’m not much of a driver. I get lost easily and my tires have never come across a curb they didn’t want to get to know a little better. But, I do enjoy cruising around and listening to music. That said, I much rather explore a place by foot (with my iPod in tow) for a more intimate encounter.
View that took my breath away: Coming from Texas (where the view is wide but there’s not much to see), scenes from my new home of San Francisco never fail to amaze me. The city is a pedestrian’s dream, but don’t forget to turn around and look behind you as you meander through its neighborhoods. You won’t realize it, but you’ll be at the tip-top of a hill and the ocean will suddenly seem to be at eye level. Take a drive through the Presidio and over the Golden Gate Bridge where even more stunning views await!