Thursday, August 22, 2013

Hotel Scanning

hotel prices comparison at Trinidad and Tobago snipped from website

Travel planning has been part of my travel excitement for several years now. The central feature in our travels are National Parks. Why we love National Parks? Let me share what I had described before.

"National Parks…..they preserve nature’s beauty….they testify to God’s greatest artistry that can never be equaled. The greatest art piece is not man-made, but is living in extreme fragility in the great outdoors, our NATURAL MUSEUMS. " - Betchai

And let me share one of my favorite quotes from John Muir which very much explains why we love exploring our natural world.
"Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul. " - John Muir
from top to bottom clockwise: Glacier National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Grand Canyon National Park and Kenai Fjords National Park

Because of our love for nature, our type of travel roughs it out during the day. We hike a lot to see places where most people could not see anymore since there are no cars that could bring them to be up close to nature. However, though we rough it out in the day, we love the fine amenities at the end of the day. We prefer to relax our physically tired body and legs in a comfortable bed, and to take a really nice warm shower. My main criteria always when choosing for the hotel is its proximity to the National Park. We do not want to waste our time on the road and in the end, not see nature's best wonders. However, National Park hotels are very expensive, a lot more expensive than city hotels. They have the price of a 5-star hotel, but sadly with the comforts of maybe 1 or 2 star. But as they say, when you are in a National Park, you do not pay for the luxurious comfort made by man. You pay for the inspiration and the therapy brought about by the beauty and wonders of nature, and part of the proceeds are used for the continued preservation of Earth's amazing wonders. 
the view from our room at Grand Canyon National Park

There is however a less expensive way to explore National Parks, by way of camping. However, camping is not for everyone, like us. Others choose to stay outside of National Park or farther away from National Parks to save on cost. The disadvantage of doing that, is you see less because much of the time is spent on road. But for others, just a few hours is enough since they are not really into exploring deeply within the park. More than 90% of Grand Canyon National Park visitors for example, see the park only from one of the view points along the rim, not to blame them, since they stay in hotels 1 to 4 hours away. However, for those who are willing to explore the Grand Canyon deeply, I must say it is so worth it to stay inside the park to be able to hike its many trails.
Hiking Grand Canyon from Rim down to River ( this was at Oh ah Point )
Though it is already very inspiring to see National Parks from the viewpoints, but the feeling is so different when you get up close, as close as you could get in feeling its wonders.

My strategy in finding lower priced accommodations in National Park hotels is by way of hotel scanning! After identifying the place we will go into, I use search service such as which compares hotel prices in the same area. I usually would start with nearest first, if we will be in National Park, since we wanted less time on the road, more time on the hiking trails. If we'll be in the city, I would start scanning hotel prices from "nicest first", because the nearest is most of the time close to the airport, and though it may be expensive but is not always the best. What is good with scanning hotels like in hotelscan is that you get to find the lowest price for the best hotel that fits your requirement, such as proximity to places to be explored vs price and hotel score and reviews. 

Hotel scanning in National Parks may be a little bit more challenging because hotels are limited due to the preservation of nature. However, hotel scanning is really very helpful  for cities and Carribean resorts travel. Last December, a friend who was so jumping for joy for getting almost a jackpot in his hotel stay at Trinidad and Tobago which he found through It was like paying for a one to two star but staying in a five star hotel! Hotel Scan can be scanned for hotels in all places around the world, but of course, during December, it is very common knowledge that a lot of people would want to be in the warm waters of the Carribean such as in Trinidad and Tobago to escape the brutal cold where they are from. At peak visitation, hotels are usually very expensive, but, with wise hotel scanning, anyone can still find a great price! Thus, the explainable joy of my friend who hit a jackpot by getting the lowest price in his Trinidad and Tobago stay during peak season.

Who would not want the best of everything? Beautiful surroundings, five star accommodations, for the price of a one or two star hotel? If we do our work, we sure would get this kind of jackpot sometimes, through hotel scanning. 
Do you know what was the secret to that flying high above the lake jump? Because we hit a jackpot in Alaska! We were able to reserve a very reasonably priced hotel right in the middle of a very beautiful scenery! 
the view from our room in Wasilla, Alaska
Truth was, I never expected anything from our stay here. I simply chose the hotel because it was kind of in the middle of Denali National Park ( where we explored for several days before coming here) and Matanuska Glacier Park (our next adventure destination). Imagine me almost breaking the glass door once I stepped into our bedroom and saw the lake above. On seeing the lake, I dropped our luggage and ran towards the lake, without realizing I was seeing the lake through the glass door! The glass door made a huge sound, "BAM!", as I hit it. :( My surprised hubby was like, "What happend? Are you okay" And I responded as if nothing happened, " I simply forgot to open the glass door, dear! I am OKAY!" Then, zoomed out of the room after that to convince him that I was really okay! We were out jumping even close to midnight! The next day? We enjoyed our drive to Matanuska Glacier Park at Glenn Highway,
and had a wonderful time exploring the glacier up close. 
We loved our adventure at Matanuska Glacier after our very inspiring stay at Lake Lucille. All thanks to better hotel scanning for sending us to Lake Lucille! 

Happy hotel scanning, everyone! 
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  1. haha! glad you didn't hurt yourself Beth.

    i never heard about hotel scanning before. seem to be another travel perks brought by advance technology. :)

    can't wait for you post for Khai. ;)
    all thanks to you i had 8 opps since i updated my categories yesterday. seem to be quiet today but ain't complaining coz i am running out of ideas for fillers to catch up with the paid ones. hehehe. :D
    headache totally gone? i hope and pray so. enjoy a fabulous and blessed weekend with your hiking buddy. :)
    i never get tired of your travel/hiking photos. it inspires me to seek nature whenever i can...

  2. I am going to have to consider something like hotel scanning if my new travels begin taking me farther away than I've been going. Always preparing for the future.

  3. amazing photos and travel sis!! Whenever we travel we make sure we have place to stay first since we have a 5 year old daughter to carry all the way.

  4. With your situation, hotel hopping would be great but for a family with kids like us, we can never do that hehehe. AlaskA is one beautiful place I dream of visiting someday.

  5. I actually enjoy hotel scanning and I believe that it's the best way of comparing prices between hotels in a locality. It's definitely cheaper and more convenient compared to calling each hotel by telephone to ask for rates. I can see you've enjoyed your stay in Alaska, I haven't been even close to a glacier all my life!

  6. I admire the experience found in the last picture.

  7. You are such an amazing outdoor adventurer, Miss Betchai! How awesome are those escapades you have made! :) I love natural parks, too. And me being the travel planner for/in our family, it's what I look for when I plan for a place to go to.

  8. Honestly, I don;t know much about hotel scanning, but doing one is very helpful for travelers. sis, puro jumpshot ah.

  9. Love those photos sis! I think that site will be a good app for Android and iPhone for travel bugs like us.

  10. There really are many beautiful places that would make you breathless! Coupled with a good place to stay in while enjoying the view, there's no more you can wish for... :)

  11. thats some useful travel tips there...
    of course you are a genius at it

  12. first time to know about hotel scanning. Great places with awesome photos!

  13. I know now your signature pose...the jump pose. I tried that before but sad to say, my cam is not that hi-tech (or I do not how to use it) to catch me mid-air.

  14. Wow! You had a wonderful adventure sis, I can see it in your wonderful photos. :)

  15. Sis Betchai, I always love to come and read your adventure cause even if it's impossible for me to hike and be on those places, you make it easier and possible for me by sharing your magnificent experiences. I love it and keep it going.

  16. hehehehe huge smiles here about you bumping on the glass door...a good thing you were not injured at all...I would also have run fast to go outside had I been there seeing the grandiose view of the lake!!! with matching joyous screams!!! wow, just wow...the places you visited and the hotels you stayed in are lucky to have had you for a visitor because you never fail to share to the rest of the world the joy that you find in the most beautiful way....:)

  17. I'm sure the door is okay I mean you are okay after bumping to the door. :)

    Hotel location is very important to us too when we travel around. We seriously want a place near to the main spot we wanted to see. I love the comfortability of that.

    Thanks for sharing this hotel scanning thing. I often use but I will try hotel scan next time.

  18. Oh Wow! The photos are breathtaking as always!

  19. hotel scanning is new to me, thanks for sharing about it...might be handy someday! :) i always love your travel stories, always have something new to learn and always inspiring to read it. :) your travel tips are always great. yay, congrats that you was able to get a good deal then and love those pictures! have a great week. :)