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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Room 77: Let's Plan a Trip! 9.19.12



As you all know, I’m always on the hunt for a travel bargain and sites that make finding them easier go right to the top of my list. I had heard of Room77 in passing and then found them on Facebook through a friend who shared one of their amazing photos. I’m a sucker for a gorgeous destination picture, so I “liked” them and started following along and also submitted a few of my own photos from my trips. You know I just couldn’t say no when asked to review their super useful site.

The first thing you’ll notice is that the site is clean and easy to navigate. There are no useless bells and whistles getting in the way of what you’re there for: finding the best deal on hotels at your destination. I tested out the search engine as if I would be booking for my upcoming trip to Anaheim and was surprised by how much information they pack into the results page. You can search by destination city or landmark, which is super awesome if you want to stay within a certain distance from where you will be spending most of your time. In my case, I put in Disneyland and got a whole slew of great options for where to stay. I then sorted by price to get a more concentrated list of hotels within my budget.
As a blogger, I can’t stay at a place with no internet connection. Hello! It’s 2012. Hotels that don’t have internet shouldn’t even exist. The ability to search my list of hotels for those that offer free Wi-Fi (such a savings for you and no loss for the property at all!) was so helpful. I am always spending my mornings, and sometimes my evenings, checking email, updating Facebook and also writing reviews and blogging, so hotels with free Wi-Fi is a huge plus. Many hotels can charge $8-10 per day for this which makes it the same cost as a night’s stay if you will be there for a week or more.

Another huge cost on a trip is food. Looking at the list of hotels I already found through my search, I also plugged in hotels with free breakfast. That can be another $10+ per day per traveler and a complimentary breakfast – continental or otherwise – is a big help towards cutting down on eating out and gives you a bit more freedom with your budget. We don’t really get excited about eating out in the morning and would rather have a little something while we’re getting ready and then have a good lunch, so free breakfast is perfect for us. It’s easy to go down and grab and then we can finish up in our room and even take fruit or other nibbles with us as a snack if we have leftovers.

Once I narrowed down my options even more, I noticed there were plenty of choices really close to Disney, so I could take the ART shuttles or walk to the parks if I wanted to. This would enable me to skip a rental car, saving me even more(!), and still book an affordable hotel. (You can also search for hotels with free parking or free airport shuttle.) But how to choose? Well, luckily you can see the hotel rating right on the listing (1-5 stars) plus the satisfaction rating of previous guests via their ratings on TripAdvisor. Pretty cool, right? Obviously, I want at least a 2-star property, because I don’t need luxury for a room that I won’t be in much more than to sleep, but I still want it to be safe and comfortable. I also want to see a lot of good reviews (I unchecked average, poor and very poor as user rating choices) and I don’t want to pay more than $100 a night (which I also noted on the pricing scale). Anything less than that would be ideal. This still gave me quite a few selections. My top picks being: Travelodge Anaheim Inn and Suite on Disneyland Drive, America’s Best Inn & Suites at the Park, Extended Stay America-Orange County-Anaheim Convention Ctr. and Quality Inn & Suites Anaheim at the Park.


Based on previous visits to Anaheim, guest reviews and the many, many photos of the room and the rest of the hotel provided by Room 77, I was able to determine that staying in the Travelodge Anaheim Inn and Suite on Disneyland Drive was the way to go. It’s basically right across the street from the park on Ball Rd, has lovely rooms, free Wi-Fi and offers AAA hotel discounts. As you can see, Room 77 gave me exactly what I wanted and can book my reservation for $8 less per night than other search engines. For a one-week stay, that saves me $56. While that may not seem like much, that’s $56 I can spend at the parks on food or that I can keep in my wallet to make my trip that much cheaper. Between that savings, my WiFi savings and no rental car or shuttle trips to/from the parks each day, I have saved hundreds of dollars on this trip all thanks to Room 77!

Never wonder whether you've gotten the best deal on your hotel room again. Check out Room 77 when planning your next travel adventure! 


Disclaimer: I was selected for participation in this campaign as a member of the Clever Girls Collective.
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