Chicago Hotels Overview – Tips on Choosing the Right Accommodation for Your Needs

Chicago is such an exciting city and is worth visiting at least once in a lifetime. From the Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) to Millennium Park, there are plenty of attractions to see. Whether you arrive to The Windy City via car, bus, train or plane, there are tons of Chicago hotels, inns, and apartment rentals to choose from. For the most part, accommodation in this city is reasonable.

Some of the more popular neighborhoods to stay in include North Side, West Town, and the Loop. Also known as the city’s official downtown area, the “Loop” is a popular place to stay for tourists and business travelers alike. Popular hotels in downtown include Hampton Inn Downtown, Hilton Garden Inn (North Loop), Cambria Hotel & Suites, and Fairmont Hotel.

If you’re interested in a historic hotel, there is The Drake, which opened in 1920 on the Magnificent Mile; The Alise, which is housed in an 1895 skyscraper; Palmer House, Congress Plaza, Millennium Knickerbocker, The Whitehall, and several others. Many historic hotels are located in convenient locations throughout the city. Stay at any of these and you get to experience a part of history.

River North is a nice, stylish neighborhood that is located across the bridge from the Loop, and right next to the Magnificent Mile. It’s the place to stay if you appreciate fine art, fine dining, and design. Choose from a variety of comfortable hotels like Hotel Felix, Hampton Inn & Suites, Best Western, and The Godfrey Hotel.

Pet Friendly Chicago Hotels

Traveling with pets? That’s not a problem in Chicago, as many hotels and inns are pet-friendly. However, there are usually restrictions so make sure you request a pet-friendly room ahead of time. If you’re looking for family-friendly accommodation, hundreds of hotels offer discounts or even free-stays for kids 18 and younger who are accompanied with a parent or guardian.

The Windy City is a nice getaway for couples looking for a romantic vacation. The Peninsula and Langham are both luxury hotels that offer an amazing romantic experience. Others include The James Chicago – Magnificent Mile, Omni Chicago Hotel, Palmer House (A Hilton Hotel), and The Ritz Carlton.

The great thing about the internet is that it gives you plenty of tools to help you research Chicago hotels and other accommodation. You can view images, maps, videos, and reviews of all of the hotels in the city. You also have the option to search for airfare at the same time and book everything at the same time. All-inclusive Chicago vacations are worth looking into as well.

At travel websites, can learn more about all of these Chicago hotels and hundreds of others. There are details, photos, reviews, and price comparison tools. You can also book Chicago vacation packages and use online discount codes to save money.

Traveling For Business Or Pleasure – Which Amenities Are You Looking For?

Have you, at some point in your life, been designated planner of your family’s next vacation? As you began to research hotels, were you overwhelmed by the sheer volume of accommodations available? Metropolitan areas are, in some cases, home to as many as 500 hotels that vary tremendously in location and rate, offered amenities. An abundance of choices is nice to have as it allows you to be choosy and narrow your choice of hotels based on your selected criteria, including the rate and hotel supplies you want or need. It goes without saying that when you’re planning a family vacation, your desired amenities and hotel supplies will differ from those that’d be important were you traveling alone, or for work.

Some hotel chains, and independent hotels, market themselves as family hotels. The hotel supplies they offer often include microwaves, mini refrigerators and roll away beds. Many also feature separate sleeping areas for the kids. Non-slip bath mats, extra towels and durable ice buckets are also family-friendly amenities many hotels provide. Hotels in some areas of the country cater to kids of every age; they’re known to offer kid sized hotel supplies and amenities such as step stools and Disney accessories. Kiddie pools and family friendly bathtub/shower combinations are also common amenities in family-centric hotels.

Some hotel supplies and amenities may be of no importance when you’re traveling solo; however, when you’re traveling with your family, those same necessities and hotel supplies might be deal breakers. Hotels that offer continental breakfast as part of their room rates might save families more than $100 on food during an average vacation. Business travelers may have little or no interest in the hotel pool; however, if your family is like many others, one of your most important criteria is a swimming pool and amenities like extra towels. Newer hotels, and some hotels that are being renovated, are, adding new and innovative hotel supplies to their repertoire, many are aiming not for family-friendly or business-friendly but rather for people friendly.

Conversely, if you’re traveling for business, ergonomic work spaces and good lighting are critical hotel supplies that are probably unnecessary for family vacations. Hotel bars, as well as room service, are great amenities when you’re away on assignment for work or if you’re enjoying a couples weekend. However, they’re probably neither necessary nor cost-effective parts of a family trip. Hotels with large bathrooms that are stocked with extra towels, while not useful for people traveling for business, are universally loved by families. When hotels review the amenities and hotel supplies they offer guests, when they cater to a specific clientele, like families, they often gear what they offer to client’s common needs and wants.

Your choice of hotels will ultimately come down to matching available accommodations with your desired hotel supplies and amenities which, in turn, will vary depending upon your trip’s purpose. As you eliminate hotels from your final choices because they lack the hotel supplies or amenities you’re looking for, you’ll eventually be left with only one hotel. If you’re traveling with your family, you’ve done the prep work and made the reservations so now you’re free to enjoy it! You’ll likely be pleasantly surprised with the hotel supplies and amenities offered to you and the accommodations hotels are willing to make to earn your business. They want you to have a great time regardless of why you’re visiting them, with the hope that you’ll recommend them and be a repeat guest, too!

Cruise Travel Essentials – What to Pack

Cruises are exciting trips for individuals and families. As with any vacation, consideration should be taken when packing to make sure packing is done with some though. Planning your packing list beforehand will save you from worry and allow you to have an enjoyable vacation.

First of all, consider the weather and the time of year when packing for your cruise. It is important to remember that the weather at your ultimate destination may be very different from the weather on the cruise itself. Make sure to pack accordingly for every area where the ship will travel and stop. If you are traveling during the summer, make sure to bring sunscreen. It is surprising how many travelers do not think to bring sunscreen simply because they are on the ocean.

Check into activities that will be offered and make sure to bring the appropriate clothing and items necessary to participate. Does your cruise have a swimming pool? Is the cruise formal? Are there dances or social activities? Doing some research beforehand will help you to pack everything that is needed to enjoy all your cruise has to offer.

Cruise ship staterooms are small, so the key is to keep the packing light and make sure that what you bring is useful and essential. Be sure that you bring enough toys or games to amuse your children. There will be lots of activities on a cruise ship, but there is also the potential for lots of downtime when your children will need to amuse themselves. Account for this in your own planning as well, and bring a couple good books or crossword puzzles.

Another item that’s important to bring on any cruise is something to prevent sea sickness, such as pills or wristbands. Even if you have never experienced motion sickness before, it is always a possibility that you will be affected at some point on your trip. These items are relatively inexpensive, so it is a good idea to have some on hand.

Some items are basically essential for travel but should be brought using caution. These items would be things such as cameras, money and cell phones. You will definitely want a camera to take pictures of both the cruise itself and the destination. Consider what types of cameras would be best. Some choose to bring disposable cameras rather than risk losing or damaging a nice camera. However, if you are going on a cruise with lots of sights to see, such as an Alaskan cruise, this may be the time when you would need a good quality camera the most. You may be sorry if you do not bring a good camera, and it will be worth it as long as you take precautions to store the camera safely.

You will need money in some form both for extra incidental expenses on the boat as well as souvenirs, food and activities at your destination. Make sure that you research the safest type of money to carry and which forms of payment are accepted on the cruise. A travel agent will be helpful for advice on safe ways to travel with money.