August 06, 2007
Finding Hotels
Posted by Gordon Smith

After the LSA conference in Berlin, I spent a week touring northern Germany with my oldest daughter, who plans to minor in German at BYU. We rented a car and logged over 1,000 miles -- much of it in one long day of driving in search of a particular souvenir for my wife. Our stops included Luebeck, Hamburg, Hannover, Cologne, and Wiesbaden (because it is close the Frankfurt airport).

In planning the trip, one of the biggest challenges was locating hotels with a decent combination of location, quality, and price. I found this task was aided immensely by TripAdvisor, which ranks hotels based on user reviews. And unlike many sites that depend on user ratings, TripAdvisor actually gets a critical mass of helpful reviews for many hotels.

But the coolest thing about TripAdvisor is the "Check Rates" button. Once you have found your hotel, click the button and get rate quotations from, Expedia, Priceline, and other booking services. After this latest experience, I am sold on, which not only has the best rates, but also sends a reminder email a few days in advance with weather forecasts and other helpful information. Very nice.

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