Travel Blog In light of the economic downturn, more and more travel-related businesses are realizing that the days of nickel and diming guests are over. Those who want to rebound from the recession are now offering great perks and prices for travelers. Businesses that offer great value and amenities let travelers on a budget enjoy affordability without sacrificing service or luxury. Santa Barbara vacation rental guests can take advantage of these top industry trends that promote service and value when planning their next trip!
Travel Smart Tip #1: Book a Santa Barbara vacation rental for the fraction of the cost of a hotel.
Booking a Santa Barbara vacation rental offers so many more benefits than a hotel. More space, more privacy, more money saved, and no one will levy your 401k if you so much as look at the mini-bar. Paying all of those mandatory hotel fees, taxes and service charges is like being nibbled to death by ducks.
Staying in a Santa Barbara vacation rental home allows for flexibility and a more relaxed approach to planning your day. Would you rather eat your eggs Benedict outside on your beachside patio or hurry through a hotel buffet line surrounded by hot and smelly chafing dishes? Dining in your Santa Barbara vacation rental is simply a more soothing and cheaper option than the frenetic process of eating out three times a day.
Santa Barbara vacation rentals offer a wide variety of choices, from large lodges and cozy cottages, to beachside bungalows and hot city homes. Some Santa Barbara vacation rentals offer a free concierge service so you have the insider knowledge of a seasoned expert at your fingertips. And no one will charge you ten bucks for a cup of coffee or an extra blanket at your private Santa Barbara vacation rental home.
Travel Smart Tip #2: Take the train and avoid the hassle and added expense of air travel.
If you’ve flown lately, you know what a nightmare it can be. Depending on the airline, you may have to pay extra to redeem frequent flyer miles, change tickets, check your bags at curbside (heck, check your bags at all!), use the airport wi-fi, use a pillow or blanket, get a snack or even down that drink you desperately need to keep from losing your cool. One airline is even requiring passengers to empty their bladders before they board while another is considering charging for using the restroom!
Or you can arrive calmly and coolly by train. Amtrak’s Coast Starlight is widely regarded as one of the most stunning train trips in the world, and a great way to arrive at your Santa Barbara vacation rental relaxed and refreshed. Running daily from Seattle to Los Angeles, this 35-hour trip meanders down the gorgeous California coast between Oakland and L.A., and includes a stop in Santa Barbara.
It’s a good value, too. If you book Sleeper Service accommodations, all of your meals on board are included in the price along with fresh linen and towel service, complimentary bottled water and daily newspapers. And no one will extort $25 before they load your luggage on board.
For more information, call 1-800-USA-RAIL or visit the Amtrak web site.
Rolling through the Santa Barbara station at 6:17 p.m. on the southbound leg, and at 12:48 p.m. northbound, you arrive at your Santa Barbara vacation rental just in time for a delicious meal. This brings us to our next money-saving suggestion.
Travel Smart Tip #3: Look for value-driven prix-fixe menus to enjoy a gourmet meal and unique dining experience.
Many restaurants are reacting to the recession by offering affordable prix-fixe menus. The concept is simple. For a given price, diners are offered a multi-course meal that usually consists of an appetizer, entrée and dessert. Within those categories are three or four options to choose from, enough choices to satisfy the most discriminating palate.
There are a lot of delicious dining choices in Santa Barbara. You’ll find everything from haute cuisine prepared by chefs who trained in multi-starred Michelin restaurants to holes-in-the-wall with scrumptious offerings that only the locals know about. Ask your Santa Barbara vacation rental concierge to help you find the perfect place to dine and save.
Travel Smart Tip #4: Look beyond glossy brochures to online resources and blogs with local news and insider travel tips.
A lot of businesses have banded together with other non-competing venues to offer great deals and discounts. Some examples might be: buy a movie ticket and get half off an ice cream cone at the creamery next door, or buy a family membership to a small local museum and get into other more expensive museums nearby for free.
You can find a lot of these opportunities with a little digging online. Tourism sites, travel blogs, local news sites and other web sources are great ways to get up-to-date information, plan ahead and stick to your budget without compromising your dream vacation.
Travel Smart Tip #5: Bring your friends and family for a shared participatory experience.
More and more people are discovering the joys of vacationing together. Family travel surged after 9/11, and accelerated again with the current recession. People band together when they’re under stress, and discovering a new, or rediscovering a favorite, destination or activity with family and/or friends makes a vacation a lot more relaxing and rewarding.
Staying in a Santa Barbara vacation rental with a group, especially a multi-generational one, opens up a world of possibilities. Grandpa might discover that making sand castles really is a fun way to spend a day. The grandson who groaned at the thought of visiting a stuffy old mission might be enthralled by the history and stories of real people who walked the same passages he is treading.
Traveling with loved ones can enrich relationships, and there’s no more fun and beautiful place to do it than Santa Barbara.