Enjoy a Luxury Holidays on a Budget

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Luxury Holidays on a Budget  – Luxury holidays can be very expensive. It is not only the cost of the hotel and the flights you need to take into consideration but the cost of meals, activities, drinks and any other spending money you may require. So just what is the best way to enjoy a luxury holiday on a budget?

When traveling to exotic locations, it is quite easy to pick up a bargain, with great deals on some top five star resorts. Guests can have quite a shock however when they realize the cost of meals, and unless there is a good range of restaurants easily accessible from the resort, costs can spiral quickly.

A great way to ensure you control the amount you spend on holiday is on an all-inclusive basis. All-inclusive means food, drink, and usually, non-motorized activities are included in the price of the package, and often local alcoholic beverages will also be free of charge.

All-inclusive holidays are perfect for when you have a budget in mind and need to stick to it. You pay for your holiday up front with no need to worry about budgeting your spend, constantly calculating the exchange rate to see whether a particular meal or activity is affordable and within your budget, because let’s face it – nobody wants to be thinking about money when they are abroad.

Monetary reasons are not the only reasons to go all-inclusive holidays. Those who love activities and keeping busy also have a reason to choose them, but it is important to ensure the activities you are going for are actually included before booking as if not, the prices of these activities can be quite high.

There are some excellent deals available at some really great resorts wherever you are going as a couple for a romantic holiday or a family for an action-packed adventure.

Planning Weddings on a Budget

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Planning Weddings on a Budget – Planning as early as possible for your wedding is the key to maintaining a budget you can afford. It is a good idea for both the future Bride and Groom to do this together. You may find that you have two completely different ideas of what your wedding should cost.

Make a list for each area of your wedding. This will help you in coming up with a total cost for your special day. Including the amount you would like to spend and who will be paying for each area. The following is a list of some area’s you may want to consider adding to your list:

1. Wedding accessories and gown

2. Grooms Formalwear

3. Bridal Jewelry

4. Ceremony Site, Officiator, Musicians and vocalists

5. Photographer

6. Reception Hall

7. Wedding Favors & Decorations

8. Wedding Cake

9. Toasting Flutes and a Cake Serving Set

10. Flowers

11. Dancing Music for the reception

12. Invitations

13. Flowers

14. Attendant Gifts

15. Honeymoon

Open a savings account just for your wedding expenses and start saving for your big day as soon as possible. Try to plan only what you can afford without the use of credit cards and loans. Remember you are beginning your new life together, and it will be much easier without the accumulated a huge debt in planning your wedding.

Best wishes on starting your new life together debt free.

How To Buy Quality Car Speakers and Stereos

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Nowadays everyone has a stereo system in his / her car. But not all the car stereos have a good sound quality. You will really enjoy hearing music in some cars but you will also find many cars where the sound quality is not soothing to the ears. Finding the right car stereo system is so very necessary.

Here are few tips that will help you take the right decision in choosing the right car speakers and stereos. If you follow these tips while buying the car stereo of your choice, you will see these to be of immense help to you. So, while shopping car stereos, always keep these points in your mind.

First, find out a stereo system that offers the great balance between price and sound quality. This is, in fact, one of the most vital things to be considered because there are various types of car speakers available in the market at various price ranges. So, the price is unduly one of the main determining factors in choosing a car stereo system.

Next, always consider the size of the stereo system. Without choosing the right size stereo for your car, you will not be able to enjoy the music at all. The car’s manual must be used in this case to see which size would be best suited for the car. Do not forget to consider its width and find out the mounting depth. After choosing the stereo system to verify if it’ll fit in the vehicle and if it’ll put together cosmetically with dash and other electronic parts of the car. Most of the decks have standardized form and then usually fits most cars. But however, there are exceptions and so sometimes it becomes important to ensure whether the deck is suitable for the car or not.

Before choosing the stereo system for your car, determine your needs. If you are the one fond of hip-hop music, you need to choose a stereo system with speakers that hit the lowest low. In that case, you also need to check out the frequency response.

The Internet is the best place to shop for car stereos and speakers. There are several online stores that sell a huge range of car audio accessories from different reputed brands. If you browse you will not only be able to find out a reputed and popular store from where you can purchase the stereo systems and speakers but also get to know about the different brands and the customer’s feedback on the products of the brand.

Finally, it is important to make sure that the stereo speakers are installed properly. This is important because if you do not pay attention to this point you might come across several problems relating to the performance of the stereo.

These are the five important tips that you must always consider when purchasing the stereo and speakers for your car. Although it’s true that all these tips are important but also remember that choosing a reputed and authentic car audio company is also important.

Where to Buy Your Teapots?

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There are various places which you can go to buy teapots such as near retail shops as you will find a lot of them. It is a well-known fact that some people love to collect teapots as part of their hobbies. They can collect from various places they visit. I know one of my closet friends and her house is full of these items. They range from expensive to cheap, modern to the antique type of teapots. These items are one of the most popular collectibles and people who love to collect them have a passion to look for various places where they can find these items from.

There is a wide range of collections for these teapots. Depending on your choice and preferences, you can select the best one. Some of the best teapots have pictures of dogs, cats, flowers, sun signs and some of them have nice quotes. There are various sizes of teapots; however, if you are buying them for collection purposes; you must include teapots of every size. They will make your collection unique and you can proudly show them to others. These are the items which are affordable to everyone.

If you want to view the different sizes of teapots, you must be aware of the fact that there are a lot of websites on the internet offering various styles and designs. All you have to do is make a search on search engines and the list of sites will be displayed in front of you.

There are a lot of theme based teapots available to you. You can even get discounts and special offers on buying them. You must grab an opportunity and buy them online. It is a very easy process and you can make purchase in few clicks. You will get this item in few days after ordering online.

How To Determine The Right Mattress For Your Body Type

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Finding the right mattress for your body type can be a little daunting. However, if you know what you are looking for, you can find the mattress that can solve your sleep needs. This is the best time to look for a mattress that can provide your body with the comfort that it needs.

Let me tell you a few useful tips on how to find the right mattress for your body type.

1. Choose the right size of mattress.

Bigger mattresses are usually designed for couples. That being said, you will most likely find the least comfort when you sleep on the center of a big mattress. If you are a solo sleeper, twin or single-sized mattresses will definitely work better. If you do not really need a big mattress, you might want to set for the ones that are just right for your sleep needs and for your body type.

2. Find out which mattresses have been strategically incorporated with foams in the various zones of the bed.

Most modern mattresses have been incorporated with zone technologies. Mattress companies have studies the parts of the body that usually require the most support. They create the bed in such a way that those parts of the body are adequately supported. Check out those mattresses and try finding out the zones integrated with the most support. They should correspond to your sleep requirements.

3. Considering buying foam mattresses.

Foam mattresses are generally ideal for all body types. You just have to find the right density level. Bigger people or people who are generally heavier should go for high-density beds because they provide better support. They are firmer and they do not easily sag under heavier loads. For people with an average height and weight, foam mattresses with about 4 pounds of density should work well.

4. Check the height of the box spring mattress.

Box springs add height to the mattress. However, they can be a tad uncomfortable or inconvenient if the height is not right for you. If the mattress is too high, you might have trouble getting in and out of the bed.

5. Do not forget to give the mattress a try.

Before sealing the deal, you might want to have an initial experience of what the mattress feels like. Do not hesitate to try the mattress out even for just a few minutes. You can also ask the sales representative to assemble the bed set for you so you can determine if the box spring can give just the right height to the mattress.

Voice Over Microphones – How to Choose the Best One For You and Your Budget

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The biggest mistake voice over artists make – and that includes some professionals – is using the wrong microphone. It can wreck your work. If you market yourself on or, the wrong microphone will insure you do not get hired, or if you do, that you will not get hired by that same person again.

Here we’ll look at the three types of microphones most often used, their strengths and weaknesses, cost, and how to determine which one (s) to go for.

We’ll talk about the types, then look at specific brands, models, and prices.

Before we start, the most important thing I can say to you is that your microphone is the most important part of your entire audio chain, no exceptions. You can have the most fabulous gear in the world downstream from the mic, but if the mic does not cut it, it does not really matter about the rest of that gear. On the other hand, a terrific microphone followed by average-priced gear will give you a superior audio product.

What are you looking to do? Are you looking for a mic that’s smooth and sweet, or hard-edged and in-your-face? Are you male or female? If you want to do movie trailers and screaming car dealer ads, you need a different mic than if you’re doing “guy or girl next door” – realistic – voice work, or standard announce voice work. Here are the types of mics to consider:


Dynamic microphones are what you see in radio stations and are what live vocalists (singers) most often use. They’re rugged, reasonably good-sounding, and okay for most voices, meaning one might not sound absolutely fabulous on your particular voice, but it will not sound awful, which is not true of other types, including some very expensive microphones. A dynamic also is not nuanced. The part that pics up your voice, the diaphragm, is connected to a coil of wire; air movement from sound makes the coil move between the poles of a magnet. The sound has to overcome the mass of the coil, and very small sounds do not get through.

This does not make them bad. Rush Limbaugh’s Golden EIB microphone is a dynamic, and, again, most radio stations use them. They are good general-purpose mics, and many voice over pros use them. They are equally good for male and female voices, and you can do most any type of style with them.

If you’re on a budget, a dynamic is the only choice, because the other two cost a lot more for ones that are worth it. There are cheap versions of the other two, and you do not want one!

So if dynamics are so useful, why spend more for a condenser or ribbon?


A condenser microphone, of which there are two types, transistor and tube (“valve” in Europe), does not have the moving coil of wire attached to its diaphragm. It modifies an electrical current generated by an external power supply (found in most computer interfaces or with an external power supply, see your dealer for info, or internal batteries). Without the mechanical resistance of a dynamic mic’s coil to overcome, a condenser is far more sensitive to nuance, and therefore sounds much more intimate.

Condensers come in two flavors: transistor and tube. A tube condenser, which is an expensive instrument (there are cheap ones and they make good paperweights but not microphones), is almost always the very best way to go. They sound very intimate and full, and have a great up-front sound without being aggressive. They are quite subject to problems from non-vocal speech components – ‘f’, ‘s’, ‘p’ – and require a pop screen (see your dealer). Tube mics also produce what’s called harmonic distortion, which we do not consciously hear but is responsible for what’s called “tube warmth” (nothing to do with temperature!) And sounds quite intimate.

Condensers come in two other flavors: large diaphragm and small diaphragm. Large diaphragms are for when you want a big, intimate sound. Small diaphragms are said to be more accurate. However, the right one for you is the one that sounds best after making several-minute recordings with each and seeing if one is more fatiguing or if one just plain sounds better to you than the other. There are no rules. Both kinds are used for voiceover.

Many voice over artists prefert tube condensers over transistorized ones, but in all cases, what sounds best on your particular voice is what you should get. How to choose a mic? We’ll get to that in a minute.


Here’s the third type, in a class by itself: the ribbon microphone. While dynamics and condensers ‘hear’ with diaphragms, a ribbon microphone “hears” with a short, narrow, and very thin piece of corrugated aluminum suspended between two poles of a strong magnet.

You’ve seen the big, pickle-shaped microphones on Letterman’s and Larry King’s desks. They are RCA Model 77 ribbon microphones (used as props in this case), invented, I believe, in the 1930’s. They were found everywhere for half a century. RCA quit making ribbons in the 1970’s, and an enterprising genius named Wes Dooley bought all of RCA’s stock ribbons (the ribbons themselves) and probably single-handedly re-introduced the ribbon microphone to the US market. His company is called AEA, and even the AEA logo is so designed as to closely resembled RCA’s logo.

Ribbon mics are warm and smooth, jazz guys like to record with them, they’re very nice for ladies’ voices, and for certain male voices they add a nice satisfing depth. They also have a low output, which means that you have to crank up the input on your system to get a decent level from them. But raising the input results what’s called the noise floor, and you can end up with a recording where you can hear hiss in the background. Wes and other ribbon mic manufacturers deal with this problem well, however, and some companies are making preamplifiers (talk with your dealer about this) specifically designed for ribbon mics.

Whether a ribbon – or any mic, for that matter – will sound good on your voice can not be known without actually trying one out. Ribbons are quite sensitive to moving air; if you blow into one to test to see if it’s on, there’s an excellent chance you’ll destroy the ribbon. When ribbons were in common studio use, they were ‘bagged’ – a fitted bag was put over them – just to move them from place to place in the studio, to avoid ribbon damage from the air passing across them as they were moved .



There are a million brands, which of course goes for condensers, but not that many ribbon brands.

Not to worry, because there are several industry standards with which it’s hard to go wrong. Here are the three most popular dynamics, and they probably outsell all the rest put together:

Electro-Voice RE20
Sennheiser 421U (see dealer about the specific one for your purpose)
Shure SM7
Shure SM57 / SM58 – less expensive and can be used if you do not have the money for the others

These mics, except for the last two, are in the $ 350- $ 700 range. Although each has a characteristic ‘sound,’ they are pretty close together in that respect. Each is well-made and dependable over the long haul, as in decades.

The Sennheiser, and, I believe, the SM7, have what are called proximate effects: if you get right on top of them they accentuate the lows. Many announcers in radio stations like to eat them; they want that deep “Voice of God” sound. They’re better used at a distance of 6-10. “The RE20 is known for its lack of the procurement effect. Moreover, the RE20 was also made under a different model name, PL20. The finish color is a bit different, but it’s the same mic. instruments and is no longer in production. I found a PL20 for $ 150 and am still jumping up and down, for the average used price of a PL20 or RE20 is double that.

For price-to-quality, none of these mics can be beat.


Two flavors, here: transistorized and tube. As mentioned above, a tube condenser, like any well-designed tube device, generates overtones, which our ears perceive as “warmth.” I say well-designed, because ever since tubes were “rediscovered” about 25 years ago, a lot of low-priced gear with a tube or two in them has hit the market, but they are not necessarily designed by people who understand exactly what they do nor how to design a tube circuit for best effect. This section deals with condensers in general.

Probably the most-recognized condenser mic name in the world is Neumann (pronounced NOI-man), and its most popular model is called a U-87. They sell new for around $ 3500, around $ 2000 or less used. A Neumann either sounds incredible on your voice or it sounds honky. It is the microphone National Public Radio uses exclusively.

It is found in just about every recording studio of any size. It will love your voice or hate it.

There are more expensive Neumanns, and a series of low-priced models prefixed with the letters TLM. A good number of voiceover artists use TLMs (<$ 1000); in my opinion they are not nearly as natural-sounding as the U-87 or a good dynamic. I had one but sold it after a few months. It could sound really good to your particular ear, however. I make this point because tastes different, and it is surely true that one voice can sound bad on a certain mic and superb on the next voice. So how does one choose? We’ll get to that in a sec.

First, you must use a pop screen on a condenser. This device stops those blasts of air from non-vocal speech components, most notably “P” sounds, to which condensers are especially sensitive. Put your hand in front of your mouth and say “P.” Feel the air? If that blast hits a condenser, let’s just say you do not want to be wearing headphones at the time. Now, it’s a good idea to talk across (at 45 degrees) not straight into, any microphone, because all of them will react badly to P pops; it is just that condensers REALLY react to them. Many RE20 users put pop screens in front of their mics even though most people do not use pop screens with dynamics.

Cheap condensers: a big no-no.

Cheap condensers are all over the market. You can buy a microphone with a nice spider shock mount and in a beautiful aluminum flight case all for $ 75. Um, I do not thin ‘so, Looooxy. They are unnaturally bright at the top end and boomy at the bottom.

The really nefarious part of this is that, if you’re just starting out, your ear is easily fooled into thinking that this sounds good. It does sound sort of exciting, but it is extremely fatiguing to listen to a recording made on one. As Phil Spector famously put it, “It’s all in the middle.” Americans like to crank up the treble and bass. If you have a mic delivering lots of highs and lows, and someone boosts the highs and lows on their music system, your work will sound worse than awful. Expensive microphones have rolled-off low ends and smooth high ends. Upon first using one you may even think, “Wow, what’s the big deal about this thing? It’s boring.” No, it’s natural. Unboosted highs and lows. In other words, it sounds like you, not you-through-a-microphone. That’s as it should be.

Remember, you are competing with people who own high-end condensers, and that’s how they sound. I’ll take a $ 400 dynamic over a $ 400 condenser just about every time.

Ribbon microphones

I have experience with exactly one ribbon: an AEA R84. It sounds really good. It’s an updated version of an industry-standard RCA ribbon, the Model 44, invented long ago and used forever, like the 77. It’s tres cool-looking, and comes with a snarky-looking padded, fitted maroon bag for transport and protection. It’s about $ 990.

There are other ribbons that have excellent reputations, more hitting the market all the time, see your dealer. I’m not aware of ribbons being used that much for voiceover, but I think it’s because a great number of people do not know about them. I think it’s also due as much to inertia as anything – everyone learns what everyone else is using and continues suit. Also, ribbons do not have the in-your-face sound that dynamics and especially condensers have.

How to choose the right mic for you

The really best way is to call a professional recording studio and book an hour or so of their time, and have them set up an array of mics around you and test read you, each mic going to a different track of a recording. It’s infinitely better to match the mic to your particular (and unique) voice than to get just anything and try to make it fit using equalization (Google “equalization for voiceover” and read it!). I recommend you test no fewer than five mics, making sure to include all the ones listed above except the Shure SM57 / 58. When you listen to yourself recorded on each one, the best one will usually make itself plain, and it’s a good idea to ask the recording engineer’s opinion, for s / he knows what to listen for. My method is to listen to the records of the first two, choose a winner, compare it to the third one, choose a winner, compare it to the fourth, and so on. Then do it again, only have the engineer mix up the playback order.

Do not try this test in an amateur home studio. They almost certainly will not have the mics you need to make the test meaningful, and the person recording you will almost certainly not be competent to evaluate which mic to use for voiceover; most home studios exist for the purpose of recording music and sung vocal, not voice acting and voiceover.

What if you do not have a studio within 50 or 100 miles, or their rates are too high (although I think paying $ 100 to test several thousand dollars’ worth of microphones will save you unbelievable heads, sending mics back, etc.)?

Here’s what to do: if your budget allows, buy either a Neumann U-87 or a Lawson L-47 MPII. The Lawson is around $ 2000, or $ 1500 bucks less than the Neumann. The Lawson is the mic I have used for nearly 10 years. It sounds like Disney, but even more importantly, I have yet to record a voice on it that has not sounded really good.

It is sold factory-direct through a fella named Gene Lawson in Nashville, at If you call them, you can talk right to Gene. He’s a great guy.

Absent that kind of budget, get an Electro-Voice RE20, Shure SM7, or Sennheiser 421U (they come with a couple of variations so tell your dealer that you’re using it for VO.

If you’re not sure whether you really want to be a VO artist but would like to give it a trial shot, get a Shure SM57 or 58. They are $ 100 dynamics. As I said before, they are okay, and never sound bad on anyone’s voice.

Where to get it?

If you’re going to get an RE20 or Sennheiser or Shure, get it from your local music store (the best choice because service is right there, no mailorder hassles). If you do not have one, go online to one of the big catalog outlets such as Sweetwater, Full Compass, Zzounds, or Guitar Center. They have fairly liberal return policies and are easy to work with. They sell a lot of stuff and have competitive reputations to maintain. Plus, their prices are usually identical from piece to piece so they have to make up for it with really good service, all to our advantage.

If you’ve got the bucks for a $ 1500 – $ 2000 + condenser, go online to (Lawson are sold factory-direct only at Sound Pure has professional sound recordists to talk to, and at those prices you need to talk to pros. Not that the catalog stores do not have pros, but their level of expertise varies. I’ve talked to guys who knew nothing about what I wanted and guys who knew a lot; at Sound Pure they’re all pros and they are really interested in getting you what you need and not a penny more.

Tell them everything you want to do, what other gear you have, what to buy if you do not have any gear yet. They truly give a great big rip about their customers and about the pro audio business in general. I can not say enough good about them. In case you’re wondering about all this nice stuff I’m saying about Lawson and Sound Pure: not only am I not getting paid by them, they do not know I’m writing this article!

To sum up: If there’s a pro studio near you, book an hour and test their dynamics and condensers using the method above.

When you’re ready to buy, if you want to spend $ 200- $ 700, get a dynamic: Electro-Voice RE20, Shure SM7, or Sennheiser 421U. Check your local music store first – everything’s so much easier that way. From $ 1500 and above (which your local store probably will not have) get a tube condenser: Lawson L-47 MPII from, or for others, go to and call them. Re the RE20, EV also makes an RE27. Some people really like them, some people really do not. I’d go with the RE20.

I’ve worked for years to get a good sound and am writing this to try to save you some time in finding your great sound.

Silver Wedding Rings

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The Meaning of the Silver Wedding Ring

Silver wedding bands are really popular in the world we live in today. Along with gold and white gold, silver tops the list of most popular precious metals used to make wedding rings all across the globe. But, where did the wedding ring originate? And what is the meaning behind this precious metal that holds the key to so many hearts? By tradition, the brides ring was silver while, and the grooms’ would be gold. But, today almost any type of metal may be used for the wedding ring of both the groom and the bride. Silver wedding bands are traditionally placed on the left hand and on the ring finger. The reason for this placement on the hand goes back many years as far as medieval times.

The wedding band is placed on the ring finger because of the belief that a vein in that finger runs directly to the heart, making the wedding ring a symbol of love and commitment. The silver wedding ring symbolizes eternal love between two people, it is considered to be one of the most romantic of precious metals, and is often combined with diamonds. These beautiful rings make the perfect gift for anniversary, engagement, and of course, make the perfect wedding bands.

Silver Wedding Rings and Where to Buy Them

Every fine jewelry store across the nation and beyond sells high quality silver wedding bands. They can be bought online, but it is a good idea to go to a jeweler and have the ring sized perfectly for your finger, although if you are sure about your ring size ordering ready made rings too are a good choice. There are many to choose from. Wedding bands come in all different styles and can be great for men or women, because the variety of styles can be either masculine or feminine. Nowadays, a lot of people prefer the look of silver with diamonds, which makes for a very sophisticated and glamorous look. Although they are somewhat expensive, silver wedding rings are a great choice when choosing the right wedding ring for you.

A few of the styles that are popular with silver rings are the original wedding bands, Celtic silver wedding bands, and braided bands, just to name a few. Some people like the look of the classic wedding band – it is simple, clean, and relatively lower in price than those containing white gold or diamonds. But some times, it is the precious stones combined with the silver wedding band that really completes the look.

Silver wedding ring is all a choice of taste; in some cases, people even have them engraved with special names or words. And a lot of jewelers will allow you to have your rings engraved for no extra charge. You should always choose a ring that reflects your personal style and has a comfortable fit. You should accept nothing but one that you absolutely love because in most cases you will be wearing it for a considerable long time. Remember that silver is a precious metal and it can be costly depending on the ring, but mostly they are reasonably priced, and there are hundreds of ready made rings to choose from. But no matter the cost the silver wedding ring is a symbol love, and should be cherished.

How to Find the Best Hotel Deals – Common Mistakes

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One of the most frustrating things about making a hotel reservation is the fact that there’s a strong chance you’ll overpay. Hotels are one of the most expensive aspects of your vacation, and the last thing that you want to do is pay more than you have to. In this article I wanted to go over some of the common mistakes the people make when they’re booking their hotels, and talk about how it promises you from getting the best deal possible.

Mistake # 1: Paying too Much Attention to Star Rating

The star rating of a hotel can be a great measure of the hotel’s quality. The higher the stars, the better experience you’re likely to have.

The problem with the star rating is that it’s assigned by an organization and does not really tell you what other people experienced. If you’re looking for a hotel, then it might be better to pay attention to the reviews other people have given, and the comments that they’ve made.

When I’m looking for a hotel, I tend to care a little less about the star rating, and more about the overall experience. Generally, lower star hotels are cheaper, and if they’re offering a similar experience then it can be an opportunity to save money.

The last thing that you want is to overpay for a hotel that you do not even like. If you find that other people have been satisfied with their stay then it’s more likely that you’ll be satisfied with yours too. You will not know whether or not you’ll like the hotel solely by the star rating.

Mistake # 2: Not Thinking About Hidden Costs

What you’ll find when you’re booking a hotel is that price comparison websites (and hotel websites) are very good about telling you what your reservation includes. You’ll generally know what amenities the hotel has, whether or not you can get Internet with your reservation, and sometimes what restaurants are in the area.

The problem is that they’re not nearly as good at telling you what your reservation does not include. What are the hidden costs? And there’s always going to be a few.

Also think about transportation. How close is your hotel to where you want to be? If you’re going to be spending a lot of money on transportation, it might be more convenient to find a different hotel that’s a little closer. It probably will not save you any money, but it will definitely be easier.

Mistake # 3: Not Knowing Where to Find the Best Deals

Different websites are going to offer different rates on the same hotel. It’s actually possible to miss out on savings because you booked through the wrong website.

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