When it comes to planning your families vacation, finding the perfect hotel is one of the most important tasks on the list. Finding great hotels is something that I enjoy doing and have a knack for. I don’t know whether it’s a talent or something I got better with over time but I wanted to share a few tricks of the trade. One nice thing that is for sure is, there are more family-friendly hotels and resorts offering more amenities than ever before. So the big question is, how do you tell which hotels really deliver what they promise? The answer is simple, do your homework before you book your vacation…and I’m here to help you learn the best way to study.

1. First and foremost tap in to your network. With thousands of hotels listed online you can narrow your choices down by asking family and friends about their preferences and experiences.

2. Look to the professionals. Many family friendly travel critics on blogs like this site offer insight into hotels and resorts with reviews and photos. I like visiting KidsCanTravel.com, FamilyTravelForum.com and mommypoppins.com too for recommendations. The great thing about these sites is they are mom tested and kid approved. Additionally, most articles posted by moms will include secret discoveries and tips for the area you are about to explore that will save time and reduce your stress.

3. Use online hotel sites. Travelocity, Expeida, Hotels.com or Trip Advisor, ect. can be used to find a hotel with your ideal location, budget and stars. While the reviews are much more generic than a blog you will get some good insight from costumers on service ratings, cleanliness and even get a look at guests pictures which offer interesting insight and a realistic view of what you are going to get.

4. Price Match. Often times I find great deals on third party sites such as Travelocity, Expeida, Hotels.com or Trip Advisor, ect. than I call the hotel and ask if they price match. Often times the hotel will want to avoid booking fees and offer you the best deal you found. Also, you will get your points to earn free stays, saving you even more money in the end!

Only nine days left until our Train Extravagnza Trip 2016…I can’t wait to tell you all about my favorite resort in Lancaster, PA  (www.edenresort.com) and the newly renovated hotel in Plymouth, MA (www.hotel1620.com) located right on the harbor!