Mclean, VA (PressExposure) May 27, 2011 -- Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer and with the thought of cookouts and pool parties, comes the annual planning of family vacations. With gas prices at all-time highs and families still rebounding from the economic downturn, seeking out the best value has taken on even greater meaning.
"Taking a little extra time planning summer travel on the front-end can help save families not only money, but their sanity," says Lisa Tucker McElroy, travel writer, wife, mother of two and family travel expert for Homewood Suites by Hilton. Below are her top tips for planning 2011 summer travel:
Seek out bundled value. Look for hotels that give you more than just four walls and a bed and that offer added value like full hot breakfasts, evening dinner and drinks, complimentary internet, and recreational options such as pools or basketball courts. Taking advantage of these complimentary extras will help you save money which you can apply towards other activities while on summer vacation.
Select upscale, all-suites hotels. If you have kids, you know the importance of being able to spread out. Upscale, all-suites hotels like Homewood Suites provide separate living and sleeping areas, so the kids can play games or watch their favorite cartoons in one room while mom and dad decompress in another. So instead of crowding into one room or paying more to book an extra room for the kids, select a spacious suite, stay together and spread out - all for about the same price as a standard hotel room!
Full kitchens are a lifesaver. When on summer vacation with kids, having a full-size refrigerator and full kitchen can help save time and money. Stock up on your kids' favorite drinks, snacks and perishable foods; cook a few meals in the suite; or prepare bagged lunches instead of eating out. Some hotels even have outdoor grills, so you can take your picnic on the road! A couple of meals in can save you substantial money when away for a few days.
Maximize social media tools and resources. Become Facebook fans and Twitter followers of your favorite hotels, airlines and rental car companies, as they often offer special deals through these channels. Also check out sites like TripAdvisor.com to read guest reviews of hotels before you book. Always ask the hotel if they have a 100% satisfaction guarantee - make sure they stand behind what they are advertising.
Homewood Suites is offering a variety of great summer travel deals at its Suite Deals landing page where guests can book travel for stays through September and save up to 15%. Deals include AAA/CAA member rates, specials for guests over 50, The Great Getaway promotion and the Hilton HHonors Grand Nights promotion. For more information, visit HomewoodSuites.com/SuiteDeals.
Whether traveling for business, leisure, or with the entire family, Homewood Suites caters to guests' many needs. For the cost of a typical hotel room, travelers get a roomy studio, one- or two-bedroom suite with a fully equipped kitchen and complimentary daily hot breakfast and evening dinner with drinks.* Just some of the many reasons Homewood Suites was Named "Top Extended-Stay Hotel" seven out of the past 10 years in the J.D. Power & Associates North American Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index.
Homewood Suites' extended value also includes complimentary high-speed internet, 24-hour fully equipped business center, as well as on-site fitness centers, swimming pool and/or recreational areas including basketball courts, putting green and outdoor grills. Homewood also offers a complimentary grocery shopping service which allows guests to leave their food wish list for the hotel's staff in the morning and return to a fully-stocked refrigerator.**
About Homewood Suites
Launched in 1989, the Homewood Suites by Hilton brand today has more than 300 hotels open with approximately 80 in the development pipeline. Beyond its spacious suites and home-like amenities, additional guest features include an on-site Suite Shop convenience store, complimentary grocery shopping services**, a complete business center, and laundry services at most locations. Homewood Suites by Hilton participates in Hilton HHonors, the only hotel rewards program that offers Points & Miles and No Blackout Dates.
About Hilton Worldwide
Hilton Worldwide is the leading global hospitality company, spanning the lodging sector from luxurious full-service hotels and resorts to extended-stay suites and mid-priced hotels. For 92 years, Hilton Worldwide has been offering business and leisure travelers the finest in accommodations, service, amenities and value. The company is dedicated to continuing its tradition of providing exceptional guest experiences across its global brands. Its brands are comprised of more than 3,600 hotels and 600,000 rooms in 82 countries and include Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton, Embassy Suites Hotels, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Hotels, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations. The company also manages the world-class guest reward program Hilton HHonors®. For more information about the company, visit http://www.hiltonworldwide.com.
*Service of alcohol subject to state and local laws. Must be of legal drinking age.
*Guest pays for groceries. Other restrictions apply.
Hilton HHonors membership, earning of Points & Miles, and redemption of points are subject to HHonors Terms and Conditions.