Four Tips to Finding Cheap Hotels Worldwide

Most of us are always looking forward to getting very good hotel rates, both during business and holiday travels. The problem is, how do you actually get affordable accommodation without compromising on quality and comfort?

Travelers in every part of the globe – America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia – are in search of best hotel deals. Everybody wants to save on travel expenditure. This no wonder makes it a bit difficult to find the real budget hotel deal. And every hospitality facility claims to have the best offer. So how do you identify the real offers?

Here are four ideas on how to find cheap hotel deals and save great during your trips:

Local travel websites

Big travel websites like Hotels.com, Expedia, Agoda and likes, are what most travelers seek first when looking for best deals. Their vast details on hotels on almost part of the globe, is indeed very important on getting what you want.

But what most people forget is that local travel websites are most likely to have more budget hotels that these big travel sites. Searching for popular travel sites in your destination is something that may save you great deal of cash.

Unlike the global travel giant sites, local ones provide details of even the very budget end hotels. There, you are more likely to find very affordable rooms and yet very decent for your vacation/business trip..

Start early

If you really need to find a good deal, then you have to starting looking for one early enough. This allows time to find variety of accommodation facilities, be it hotels, bed and breakfast or even apartments. You then compare their offers, and their services and facilities and then choose the one that well fits you.

In case you have very urgent trip; then it may be advisable to find last minutes travel sites and see their offers. But the earlier you plan your travel the better.

Negotiate Discounts

Going to stay for long in hotel or traveling in groups? If yes, then it’s more likely if you ask for a discount, you will be offered one. But be sure to ask for it before making reservations. Some hotels also do offer special offers for particular people. For instance, some Nairobi hotels have lower rates for UN staff. If you work with some of big humanitarian organizations, ask if the hotel have special rates for staff.

Timing

Where possible, you should properly plan for the period you intend to travel, bearing in mind peak seasons. If you are traveling on weekends, it might be good idea to stay for business hotel, where rates are likely to be lower than in vacation resorts. Similarly, you can stay in holiday lodges during business days, and save on room budget.

Planning to take vacation in low tourists’ season might save your money, besides making your trip hassle free. For instance, Mombasa Hotels in Kenya do double or even triple their room rates during the peak seasons. And the sheer number of visitors looking for hotels makes it even hard to find hotel, when planning for last minutes trips.

Germ Free Vegetarian Dining: 5 Disease Culprits You Won’t Encounter at A Vegetarian Restaurant

These days, it seems like germs are everywhere. From the swine flu to the avian flu, we seem to be under siege from deadly bacteria and viruses. Fortunately, when you dine in a vegetarian restaurant, there are some illnesses that you can forget about for an hour or two. Here are 5 germs that you are less likely to encounter when you choose a vegetarian dining option for your next meal.

1. Salmonella
This illness-causing bacteria is carried primarily in meat and eggs. Most often, people ingest the bacteria when eating meats or eggs that have not been fully cooked. Since your vegetarian meal contains no meat or eggs, you do not have to worry about proper preparation time.

Salmonella can sometimes spread from contaminated meat to other foods and surfaces if the preparer touches the item after handling uncooked meat. Vegetarian restaurant kitchens are safe from any possibility of cross contamination. Even if a germ managed to get on your veggie before it arrived at the restaurant, the bug is eliminated when your chef washes your veggies before use.

2. Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) a.k.a. Mad Cow Disease
Rare but deadly, BSE is caused by a mutated protein that enters the body and causes the brain and spinal cord to degenerate, eventually leading to death. It is carried exclusively in meat products and is transmitted by consuming the affected beef. Your dinner at a vegetarian restaurant is guaranteed to be BSE-free.

3. E. coli
E. coli is a bacteria which produces toxins that can cause serious illness and even death, particularly among those with a weakened immune system. It is most commonly transmitted in undercooked meat, such as the hamburger-related outbreak on the West Coast a few years ago. While unwashed produce can occasionally contain E. coli, basic washing eliminates the bacteria. Simply put, as long as your restaurant is washing its vegetables before use, you’re completely safe.

If you’re still worried, go organic for your vegetarian dining. Certified organic farms were found to have a lower incidence of E. coli than other producers. If you want to be doubly sure that your meal is bacteria free, an organic vegetarian restaurant is less likely to have E. coli than other restaurants.

4. Shellfish poisoning
Nearly everyone has known someone who has gotten sick after a seafood dinner. Clams, mussels, oysters and scallops are the most common culprits. These two-shelled bottom feeders often build up toxins as they filter the water for their nutrients. When improperly cooked, those toxins remain in the meat, entering your system and leading to a few days of gastrointestinal misery. You can avoid any risk of shellfish poisoning by opting for a vegetarian dining option instead.

5. Clostridium perfringens
This is another illness-causing bacteria carried in poorly prepared meat and poultry. While the subsequent gastrointestinal upset is not usually fatal, it is weakening and can last for 24 to 48 hours after consumption. Most of us have experienced it at some time or another without knowing it, since studies have shown that the majority of the population has antibodies left over from previous infection. To save yourself from a case of the “stomach flu,” choose a vegetarian restaurant instead.

Dangerous, disease-causing bacteria lurk in incorrectly prepared meat, poultry and shellfish, and you can get your dose unknowingly from a meat-serving restaurant. Choose a vegetarian restaurant instead for a germ free dining experience.

Finding a Family Friendly Vegetarian Restaurant

If you’re like many vegetarians with children, finding a family friendly vegetarian restaurant can be challenging. Children often have picky eating habits and will turn up their little noses at foods with which they are not familiar. Additionally, some vegetarian restaurants cater to a very specific clientele, often one which is at odds with a boisterous family.

Unfortunately, this means that many vegetarian parents are relegated to ordering the same salad or side dish over and over at a traditional restaurant. But by taking just a few minutes to do some quick research on your local vegetarian restaurants, you can find dining options that both you and your children will enjoy.

Review the Menu for Family Friendly Clues

The first step in determining whether your local vegetarian restaurant promotes family dining is to check out the menu. Many vegetarian restaurants post their menu online for you to peruse, so you can scout out the options before you leave the house. If the menu has a kids’ section, you can bet that the restaurant promotes an environment that is family friendly.

Once you’ve found the kids’ menu, pay close attention to the options. Some vegetarian restaurants simply offer smaller portions of adult entrees for children. While this is a good start, every parent knows that kids like a little fun with their meal. Kids’ entrees should be typical of what most children enjoy, and if the menu even has some choices with silly names, you’ve hit the jackpot.

High priced restaurants are not geared toward kids

Next, look at the menu prices for adult entrees. If a typical entree runs $35 or more, the restaurant probably doesn’t cater to families. These establishments often have stricter behavioral expectations, making your child feel uncomfortable. Additionally, if your child should misbehave, you may be asked to leave the restaurant, spoiling the meal for everyone.

A family friendly restaurant has a casual, inviting atmosphere

Once you find a vegetarian restaurant menu that holds all these family friendly clues, the next step should be a quick visit to the restaurant itself, preferably during the dinner hour. As soon as you walk in the door, look around. Even if there are no children in the dining room, other features will offer clues. Casual dress, cheerful colors, and a warm, inviting atmosphere typically characterize a family friendly establishment. If the majority of the patrons are wearing formal or evening dress, or if the atmosphere is excessively professional, your kids may be happier dining somewhere else.

If the restaurant is not too busy, you may even ask the host/hostess or a member of the waitstaff whether the restaurant serves many families. A vegetarian restaurant that is popular with other families may very well be a hit with your family, too.

Finding a great, family friendly vegetarian restaurant is a win-win for your family. You get to enjoy fantastic dishes prepared specifically to appeal to your vegetarian tastes. Your kids get to enjoy the fun, eclectic environment that many vegetarian restaurants offer. By taking these few quick steps, you can ensure a great vegetarian dining experience for the whole family.