Thursday, September 13, 2007
San Diego, anyone?
I promised my daughter I would take her to Sea World in San Diego, CA for Thanksgiving-who wouldn't want to share this festive day with Shamu?!
It has been many years since I have travelled to San Diego, so I was a bit flummoxed about how to begin to search for places to stay that were child-friendly and near the attractions we would want to visit-the beach, the Zoo, Sea World etc. I also wanted to be able to take cabs and walk places to eliminate renting a car (for some reason this has always been my least favorite part of traveling).
Looking online for accommodations and flights proved to be challenging-first the amount of information is enormous and there was no ability to compare and contrast, so the back button on my browser was working overtime.
Fortunately, I found Hotel Reservations. The site is very straightforward and has all the bells and whistles that a traveler might need-but they don't get in the way of the information. It took me some time to get used to the way the information was presented-there is a lot of information in a little bit of space, but once that happened, I was good to go.
I started with hotels and was pleased to see that there were LOTS of choices-bed and breakfast, luxury, budget and everything in between and the prices were competitive-if not better than other sites. There was extensive information on each property-including distances to the places we want to see- which allowed me to further hone in on the area that was best for us. The best feature I found was the ability to compare the finalists and pick a winner-one that I don't think I would have found on my own.
The search for flights was a not as successful, probably because we will be traveling at Thanksgiving. While the flights were limited, they were extremely economical and I liked the ability to view the results by price, total duration and total flight time-when traveling with a seven year old, travel time becomes quite important.
The vacation packages were also quite good. The ability to identify attractions we wanted to be near, took some of the guesswork out of the mix-and eliminated the need to make numerous phone calls to figure out if I would spend the week in the car or not.
Since we are also looking at a trip to China in the not-to-distant future, I also peeked at the hotel and flights for that journey. I have been shopping that trip for quite a while and was pleased to find out that the prices and choices were plentiful, varied and well-priced.
After some searching-I sure got the travel bug. Thankfully, travel is one great way to expose kids to other cultures, traditions and people, so I can feel good about giving my daughter great experiences that I can also enjoy-without breaking the bank.
Check em out and maybe we will see you in San Diego!