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Note: All travel is subject to frequently-changing governmental restrictions—please check federal, state, and local advisories before scheduling trips. 

Turning 21 is a huge milestone for young Americans. It’s no doubt an exhilarating time, but with all the going out options it can be hard to know where to start. Never fear! We’ve got the top 10 neighborhoods nationwide for bars, food, culture, and all the other nightlife you can handle.

RELATED: These are the best beach bars in America

East village: New York City

First up on this list is the birth place of New York punk: East Village. While CBGB, the bar that started it all, has been closed for years, a mix of classic institutions like Mona’s (cheap Guinness Thursdays!) and new favorites such as Maiden Lane keep the drinks, bites and music flowing. When you need a good meal to bust the next morning’s hangover, stop by Yellow Rose for some central Texas–style tacos. Or you could head to Punjabi Grocery and Deli for some fantastic $1 samosas.

Where to stay: Four Points SoHo Village

Pacific Beach: San Diego

Don’t forget your surfboard and bathing suit when you’re heading out for this never-ending beach party. We’re hitting up Shore Club to start the night with $5 beers and ocean views; afterward, The Local Pacific Beach has you covered with Big Ass Nachos and frozen piña coladas until 2am. To bust the hangover the next morning, you can’t beat Kono’s egg burritos.

Where to stay: Beach Haven

Little Five Points: Atlanta

You like weird? Good, because L5P, as the locals call it, has all the weird you can handle. Topping just about everyone’s list is Vortex. Housed in a skull with glowing vortexes for eyes, this 21+ joint serves up killer burgers alongside an impressive list of local brews, 22 single malt Scotches and a selection of moonshine. While we wouldn’t fault you for just holing up at Vortex, if you do make it out, shops like Criminal Records and vintage shop Junkman’s Daughter are well worth the trip, as are too many other stand out bars in this neighborhood to name.

Where to stay: The In-town Spot

Bardstown Road: Louisville

More a thoroughfare of great bars, music and food  than a neighborhood, Bardstown Road just about reigns supreme for a night out in the Upper South. We’re starting at Bambi, because on Bardstown Road you have to start at Bambi. If you’re really feeling it, you could even attempt the Bambi walk. About 20 bars, 3 miles, you have to get a drink in each one. No water, no virgin this or that. A drink at every. Single. Bar. If that’s a little more booze than you’re ready for, Shakespeare themed The Bard’s Town is serving up Midsummer Night’s Greens, To Bean (Or Not To Bean) burgers and the First Folio Fish to help soak up all that alcohol. And if you prefer your drinks outdoors, hit up the Holy Grail, a bar in a converted centuries-old church that has one of the best beer gardens in town.

Where to stay: The Heart of Louisville Apartment

Rainey Street: Austin

Largely made up of Craftsman style houses turned bars, Rainey Street has something for the casual or serious bar goer any time of day. Craft Pride showcases an extensive selection of Texas beer and wine, not to mention a killer BBQ food truck and live music out back. What happens when you stack seven shipping containers on a street corner? Nightlife entrepreneur Bridget Dunlap tried it when she created the obviously named Container Bar and found out you get a really cool layout with plenty of open space to chill, drink and listen to live music. If you’re looking for food, head on over to Bangers for sausages ranging from classic bratwurst to duck, bacon and fig, all on a bun. They’ve also got housemade pickles and local watermelon.

Where to stay: Homewood Suites Downtown Austin

Adams Morgan: Washington, DC

Known best for its nightlife, DC’s Adams Morgan is full of can’t miss spots for 20 somethings. Splurge on a meal at the Michelin starred Tail Up Goat before getting your evening look together at the universally recommended Meep’s Vintage. Drinks like the Desert Falcon and Faloodeh Swizzle are on hand at Middle East inspired Green Zone or head to the two level Town Tavern; it’s a lowkey turn-of-the-century pub on the ground floor, DJ driven dance floor up top.

Where to stay: The LINE Hotel DC

Logan Square: Chicago

Just a quick CTA Blue Line ride away from Chicago’s bustling downtown is something of a haven for 20 somethings. Logan Square is packed full of good pizza, cheap beer, arcade bars and concert venues. Get off the Blue line at California and walk across the street for a PB&J Special—that’s a big slice of pizza, a can of PBR, and shot of Jameson for $10—from the cash-only Boiler Room. Another cool deal here: Use the ATM in the bar and bring your receipt to the bartender for a free shot. Not in the mood for pizza? Get in on the Hong Kong street food lunch specials from Friendship Chinese before you catch a show at Concord Music Hall. After the show head to Logan Arcade for beers and arcade games until 2am.

Where to stay: The Robey

RiNo: Denver

Known locally as RiNo, Denver’s River North neighborhood is full of old warehouses and factories hosting art spaces for the city’s creatives. Head over to 2424 Larimer Street on Fridays for the RiNo Art District Night Bazaar. Featuring over 40 vendors selling craft cocktails, beer, fashion, and food trucks, it’s a can’t miss. If it’s not Friday, stop by Our Mutual Friend’s vibrant store front for a local brew or six. For food in RiNo, we’re headed to Osaka Ramen and then going to tour the artist studios and galleries at the Dry Ice factory.

Where to stay: The Charming Cowboy S

Belltown: Seattle

Belltown is almost tailor made for the newly minted 21 year old. Right on the water front, it’s one Seattle’s most walkable neighborhoods and full of coffee shops, restaurants, little boutiques and, yes, all the nightlife you could ask for. Start your day off right with the Bitchwich Combo Deal from Biscuit Bitch. Then take a wander through the Olympic Sculpture Park before heading to the renowned 5 Point Café where happy hour happens 4–6pm, a burger’s $3.50 and you get $2 off draft pints. Then, play some skeeball while sipping some excellent cocktails at Rabbit Hole ‘till midnight.

Where to stay: The Belltown Inn

Downtown: Raleigh

Raleigh, North Carolina, is something of a hidden gem across the board. The city has 10 colleges and universities, and a significant student population that keep the nightlife rocking all year long. Don’t miss the Raleigh Beer Garden where you can sample a world-record holding 350 different beers on tap. Go back to the roaring ‘20s at the Green Light, listed as one of Thrillist’s best secret bars in the world (it’s tucked behind a book shelf at the Architect Bar and Social House). Meanwhile, State of Beer has you covered for all your sandwich needs and, of course, even more beer. Get some local fashion at Edge of Urge or across the street at Unlikely Professionals, which also has a full beer/wine bar.

Where to stay: Raleigh Marriott City Center

Tagged: California, Cheap City, USA, Cheap Tips, Chicago, City, Destinations, Food & drink, New York City, seattle, Texas, Top 10 list, Types of Travel, Washington DC

Note: CheapTickets compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site.

Zach Cunning

Zach Cunning

Zach’s love of travel has led to him walking Roman roads along the Camino de Santiago, bartending throughout South America, surfing the Atlantic coast of Morocco and teaching backpackers everywhere the fine art of shaking up the perfect margarita. When he’s not traveling, Zach lives, works and studies in Chicago.
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Note: All travel is subject to frequently-changing governmental restrictions—please check federal, state, and local advisories before scheduling trips. 

Hotel developers are continuing to take their swimming pools to new heights—as in, sharply designed rooftops oases. In placing them atop their properties, hotel guests can not only lounge by the water but also relax while soaking up incredible skyline views. But before you pull out your swimsuit, note that these pools are only open to registered guests. Also, due to the pandemic, pool access in some instances requires an advanced reservation after your hotel booking is confirmed.

RELATED: 8 eco-friendly hotels that don’t cost a fortune

The William Vale: Brooklyn

The William Vale

A luxe property in hip Williamsburg, the Vale Pool is recognized as the longest outdoor hotel pool in Brooklyn and features private poolside cabanas and daybeds by reservation. The hotel’s guests can sunbathe and order drinks, as well as food from a light bites menu by Chef Andrew Carmellini of NoHo Hospitality.

W Miami

W Miami

Containing what’s known as the WET deck, this Marriott property features a spacious terrace that runs along a 90-meter rooftop complete with a lounge area, rooftop cafe, and an infinity pool. The centerpiece of this 15th-floor rooftop is the 300-foot infinity pool that runs down its center and is shrouded by lounge chairs and greenery. Yet another private pool and lounge are located on the 50th floor, providing unparalleled ocean views. 

Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis

Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis / Christian Horan / Four Seasons

Among the amenities at this prime resort in Missouri, the Sky Terrace may be its greatest highlight. It’s described as a modernist take on rooftop splendor complete with an outdoor pool, splash pad, private cabanas, and al-fresco dining. The Sky Terrace is located eight stories above the Mississippi, providing unparalleled views of the Gateway Arch, city, and the river.

Kimpton Hotel Van Zandt: Austin

Kimpton Hotel Van Zandt / Credit: Whit Preston

This property’s fourth floor pool deck is an urban oasis with shaded cabanas letting guests soak up a scene encompassing vistas of Lady Bird Lake and downtown Austin. Its indoor and outdoor spaces blend seamlessly, too, so guests won’t miss a beat from a stage featuring live music performances at the adjacent restaurant and bar, Geraldine’s. At night, an oversize outdoor fireplace brings forth a camp-fire scene.

The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

The Boulevard Pool at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

This Las Vegas Strip resort has what’s known as the Pool District, which consists of three swimming pools that include the Chelsea Pool and The Boulevard Pool. While The Chelsea Pool is at Level 14 in The Chelsea Tower, The Boulevard Pool is the top act with panoramic Vegas views. At the Boulevard Pool, cabana or daybed reservations include a built-in food and beverage minimum. During the summer, the pool’s marquee becomes a screen for the property’s Monday night movie series. 

New Orleans Marriott

New Orleans Marriott

Located in the heart of New Orleans between the historic French Quarter and bustling Warehouse District, this 4-star hotel features two expansive rooftop pools atop 800 rooms and suites. Located adjacent to one another, the pools are heated and surrounded by exotic plants and flora. Take a few laps or a quick dip before basking in the sun, while enjoying sweeping views of downtown New Orleans and the city skyline.

The Rally Hotel: Denver 

Image courtesy of The Rally Hotel

Opened in March 2021, this Denver newcomer has its plunge pool located within a skybridge roof deck full of dramatic views. Guests can marvel at the vast scenery, with the Rocky Mountains to the west; the Mile High City Skyline to the east; and, to the north, Coors Field. 

TWA Hotel at JFK Airport: Queens

The TWA Hotel at JFK Airport/ Credit: Eric Laignel

Located across from Terminal 5 at JFK Airport, Eero Saarinen’s 1962 TWA Flight Center has gained a second life as a hotel, with one perk being its rooftop infinity pool and observation deck overlooking a runway. There’s a pool bar menu involving aviation-themed cocktails along with wines and bubbly drink options. 

The Graduate Richmond: VA

The Graduate Richmond

This hotel’s rooftop pool, which is open May through mid-November, offers sweeping views of downtown Richmond to be taken in while relaxing in lounge chairs. At Byrdhouse, its restaurant and bar, guests can sip on cocktails and munch on shareable snacks and apps—from veggie egg rolls and fried byrd sliders, to smoked jumbo wings, and the signature Graduate Smashburger.

Margaritaville Hotel Nashville

Margaritaville Hotel Nashville

Creating a beach resort atmosphere in downtown Nashville, the rooftop pool at Margaritaville Hotel Nashville feels like an island paradise in the midst of Music City. Guests can swim in and soak up views of the Nashville skyline from the fourth-floor pool deck. Its Fins Bar offers live local music every Thursday–Saturday. Along with an extensive lineup of boat drinks, brews, and the hotel’s namesake margaritas, the menu has a great selection of lite bites, sandwiches, flatbreads, salads, and Tennessee favorites, including pulled pork and blackened shrimp.

Hotel Cerro: San Luis Obispo, CA

Hotel Cerro

While hotel pools often have citywide views, this Californian property in San Luis Obispo has a rooftop pool terrace that embraces the natural splendor of its surrounding hillside.  Complimented with lounge chairs and cabanas, the pool at Hotel Cerro has a menu that includes salads and sandwiches, light lunches and fresh cocktails during the daytime. At night, the pool can be used for private events and gatherings. 

The Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa: GA

The Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa

This four-diamond resort along the Savannah River has a cool backdrop, in that its rooftop pool faces the waterfront. Guests can not only look over at the river but might also watch ships passing to and from in the Port of Savannah. The pool is also heated and paired with a hot tub. Order from poolside beverage and lunch service, plus rent a poolside cabana for privacy or relax in a hammock.

Sonesta Philadelphia Ritterhouse Square

Sonesta Philadelphia Ritterhouse Square

This hotel boasts the city’s largest heated outdoor hotel pool, and is located within the Philly neighborhood that it’s named after. Available only to guests, lounge chairs are first come, first served, but there are also red single sofa seaters for relaxing across from the water.

Canopy by Hilton Scottsdale Old Town: AZ

Canopy by Hilton Scottsdale Old Town

This Hilton property’s Star Well & Being Spa has a rooftop pool with background views of Scottsdale’s McDowell Mountains.  An adults-only oasis, the pool is only open to those who have either paid for spa access for the day as a guest of the hotel, or to those who’ve had a treatment that day.

Tagged: California, Cheap Tips, City, Destinations, Las Vegas, New York City, Texas, Top 10 list, Types of Travel

Note: CheapTickets compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site.

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Every year on April 22, Earth Day reminds us to honor our planet and protect our environment. For some, it’s as simple as planting a tree. For others, it’s about an eco-conscious lifestyle, and that includes the way we travel. Looking for an eco-friendly hotel that won’t break the budget? Here are eight stylish, affordable hotels that are doing their part to protect Mother Earth. 

RELATED: How to become a more eco-conscious traveler in 2021

Waikiki Beachcomber by Outrigger: Honolulu

A room at the newly renovated Waikiki Beachcomber by Outrigger

Waikiki Beachcomber by Outrigger features a life-sized wave print by surf photographer Zak Noyle.

Want a dreamy, eco-conscious escape to Hawaii? Waikiki Beachcomber by Outrigger, which has been transformed into a dreamy beach oasis after a $35 million renovation, offers one of the best values on the island. Rooms are breezy and dreamy, featuring life-sized prints of ocean waves, and yukuta-style robes. Eco-friendly local coffee brand Hawaiian Paradise Coffee and compostable paper coffee cups are also used.

Pop into on-site Maui Brewing Co. for a taste of local craft beer. In the morning, enjoy freshly brewed Kona coffee at Hawaiian Aroma Caffe, Waikiki’s most Instagrammed coffee shop. After a day on Waikiki’s famed white-sand beach, watch the sunset from the rooftop pool while sipping a tropical cocktail.

Book Waikiki Beachcomber by Outrigger here.

Eaton DC: Washington, D.C.

A room at the Eaton DC Hotel

The design-minded Eaton DC Hotel champions “progressive social change.”

Can a hotel also be a place for social change? That’s the ethos behind Eaton House, the innovative hotel brand that marries a co-working, membership-based community activists’ space, wellness center and radio station, with all the amenities of a hotel. Eco-conscious, thoughtfully curated, design-forward rooms provide the perfect pied-à-terre from which to explore our nation’s capital.

Walking distance from Black Lives Matter Plaza and the White House, Eaton DC is also LEED® Gold-certified. Sustainable elements include certified organic mattresses and all-natural bathroom amenities. Even the food program is sustainable: American Son, the on-site all-day cafe, features a range of locally sourced, plant-based fare. The rooftop bar also has its own herb garden and wind turbine, contributing to the hotel’s carbon-neutral footprint.

Book Eaton DC here.

The Glen House: Gorham, NH

The Glen House Hotel Bar

The majestic bar at The Glen House Hotel features expansive views of Mount Washington.

A dog-friendly boutique property nestled at the base of Mt. Washington, The Glen House has attractions for all four seasons. In winter and early spring, enjoy alpine skiing at nearby Wildcat Mountain and Attitash. Winter sports such as cross-country skiing and snow-tubing can also be accessed at the adjacent Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center. The Mt. Washington Auto Road on the SnowCoach is also a fabulous attraction. In the summer and fall, there are myriad outdoor activities such as hiking, kayaking, and mountain biking. 

The Glen House, which was first erected in 1852, unveiled its fifth incarnation in 2018. Carbon neutral and almost entirely energy self-sufficient thanks to the use of a hydro-generator and solar panels, this sustainable New England property also features an underground geothermal system for heating and cooling. Unwind after your daily exertions with a dip in the saltwater pool, followed by drinks at what Architectural Digest calls “The most beautiful bar in New Hampshire.”

Book The Glen House here.

Swissôtel Chicago: Chicago

Swisshotel Chicago lake view double room

A lake view double room a the Swissotel Chicago.

Ideally situated along the Chicago Riverwalk within walking distance of Navy Pier, Millennium Park, and the Art Institute of Chicago, Swissôtel Chicago is one of 3,358 Accor Hotels to take the UNESCO Sustainable Tourism Pledge. Green initiatives at the hotel include a commitment to reducing single use plastics, the use of cold water for laundry, and composting.

Sleek, affordable, and family friendly, guests rave about the 43rd floor penthouse health club and its panoramic views. The Kids Suites, decorated with kid-sized furniture, stuffed animals and video games, are also popular. Guaranteed reservations to The Palm Chicago, the storied on-property steakhouse, is a bonus.

Book Swissôtel here.

ARIA Resort & Casino: Las Vegas

ARIA Resort and casino exterior

ARIA Resort & Casino

Sin City may not be the first place you think of when planning an environmentally responsible trip, but ARIA Resort & Casino is every bit as eco-friendly and environmentally conscious as a grand eco-lodge in the mountains. Bargains abound if you book midweek or off-season. Located within the LEED® Gold certified Citycentre campus, green hotel initiatives run the gamut from water conservation to energy efficiency. The campus also boasts a natural gas co-generation plant, which reduces heat emissions.

Rooms at ARIA are spacious and luxurious, with one-touch lighting and temperature control, sumptuous linens, plush robes, and a soaking tub. Full resort amenities include a full service spa, three spectacular pools, shopping boutiques, and myriad dining options ranging from Jean-Georges Steakhouse by celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, to cult-fave Din Tai Fung (famous for its Taiwanese soup dumplings).

Book Aria Resort & Casino here.

Bentwood Inn: Jackson Hole, WY

Bentwood Inn Great Room

The Great Room at Bentwood Inn

Fun fact about Bentwood Inn: The lodge was constructed out of reclaimed wood salvaged from Yellowstone National Park’s great fire of 1988. One of the signature domestic properties in the Preferred Hotel Group’s Beyond Green portfolio, Bentwood Inn is the ideal choice for eco-conscious travelers who want to explore the great outdoors. Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, and downtown Jackson Hole are all just a short drive away.

A bed and breakfast lodge that’s listed among National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World, each of the five rooms features a king bed, luxe linens, fireplace, and Jacuzzi tub. Private balconies and bay windows contribute to the cozy cabin feel of the property. The Inn’s many sustainable practices include composting, the use of natural, locally sourced products, and a commitment to installing renewable energy systems by 2024. Bentwood Inn is also a founding member of 1% for the Tetons, which provides funding to local conservation projects and programs. We’ve found rooms for under $150 nightly.

Book the Bentwood Inn here.

Orchard GardenSan Francisco

Photo courtesy of Orchard Garden

With a motto of “Eco-friendly is in our DNA,” sustainable and environmentally conscious practices are not just an afterthought at Orchard Garden—they’re an active part of the hotel’s culture. The first LEED® certified hotel in San Francisco, this eco-friendly property is located within easy walking distance of Chinatown, Union Square, and the Financial District.

Rooms are zen-like in palette and design, with cotton spa robes, Egyptian cotton bedding, and Gilchrist & Soames bath products. The hotel also has its own sustainable restaurant, Roots, as well as a rooftop terrace (a perfect spot to catch the sunset). Philanthropic-minded travelers will appreciate the hotel’s give back program, which donates a portion of its proceeds to the American Cancer Society. Through their partnership with Plant A Billion Trees Nature Conservancy, the hotel also plants a tree for each review left on Tripadvisor. 

Book Orchard Garden here.

Hotel SkylerSyracuse, NY

Photo courtesy of Hotel Skyler

Built in 1922 as a synagogue for the  Temple Adath Yeshururn congregation, Hotel Skyler Syracuse is a Tapestry Collection by Hilton property that has the distinction of being both historic and green. The only LEED® Platinum certified hotel in Syracuse, the hotel was rebuilt entirely around environmentally sound and sustainable practices, from its geothermal pump-driven heating and cooling system, to its use of LED lighting, organic fabrics, and recycled materials. Located in the historic University Hill neighborhood and walking distance from Syracuse University, the Hotel Skyler is the perfect choice for an eco-friendly escape to upstate New York.

Tagged: California, Cheap Tips, Chicago, Destinations, Las Vegas, Washington DC

Note: CheapTickets compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site.

Mai Pham

Mai Pham

Mai Pham

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Note: All travel is subject to frequently changing governmental restrictions—please check federal, state and local advisories before scheduling trips. Check specific travel restrictions by country and state here.

People everywhere are finding themselves with a familiar office these days: their home. With COVID restrictions in place, many of us will likely have at least a few more months until we’ll be asked to work in-person again. Until then, that means you probably have some flexibility with where exactly you work, so why not get an office with a view? Whether you’re working solo or have a pod of friends looking to temporarily relocate together, we rounded up 7 vacation rentals that have everything you need for working remotely. Great WiFi, space to work and fun things to do outside of the 9-to-5 means all you need to do is pack up your laptop and book it!

ALSO: 6 ways to be the perfect vacation rental guest

The Catskills, NY

The Catskills in Upstate New York is one of the loveliest places on Earth, no matter the time of year. This tranquil villa in Roxbury offers 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, an outdoor shower, plus a hot tub—great for friends and roommates sharing a quarantine bubble. In the winter, you’re a quick drive to Plattekill Mountain where you can ski, while warmer months allow you to go knee deep into one of the many rivers and creeks to fly fish. The home is eccentrically decorated (think peacock wallpaper, velvet chairs and sunken floor-level Jacuzzi tubs) so maybe it’ll help get the creative juices flowing during the workday hours. Plus, you’re just a two-hour drive from the NYC so you can easily visit whenever you crave a little concrete.

Costa Rica

Recently reopened to Americans, the lush tropical forests and beautiful beaches of Costa Rica are calling your name. For around $100 a night, a room in this killer home could be your new office. In addition to the sweet ocean views, this property offers free WiFi, has a pool and hottub, and is only a 13-minute walk to the beach. Surfing is a favorite pastime here so be sure to book some lessons when you arrive. Head south for a stretch and live the pura vida like a local.

Scottsdale, AZ 

Warm desert temps will be right outside your front door at this charming 4-bedroom home in Scottsdale. This house has tons of space for everyone to have their own work area and lunch breaks can be enjoyed in the huge backyard at the picnic table. After work, plunge into the pool to wash away any workday worries. The home is just a quick drive to Old Town Scottsdale and just a bit further north from is Fashion Square, with plenty of shopping and restaurants. Especially during the pandemic, Scottsdale makes a great home base, since there are so many amazing outdoor activities nearby. Spend weekends hiking Papago Park, Superstitious or Camelback Mountain, or book a hot air balloon ride over the desert!

Barbados

This stunning southern Caribbean island is offering visitors extended stays with its new “Welcome Stamp.” The stamp allows tourists to stay for 12 months, making Barbados an ideal place to hold up for a while and work. Villa Jarrow, featuring 3 bedrooms and 3 baths, is set right on the shores of St. Lawrence Bay, meaning you can clock out and be swimming in cerulean waters within 60 seconds. There are plenty of restaurants and shops in the village nearby and the property offers easy access for water skiing as well!

Key West, FL

If you like piña coladas and key lime pie, Key West is calling your name! The Bahamian Reed condo sleeps 5 people, has 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, and overlooks the pool. The bright, tropical decor will automatically cheer up your soul after a long arduous year. The Old Town location of this property is awesome, just a few blocks from Duval Street where all the fun bars, restaurants and shops are. There’s no better place to head this winter than the southernmost point of the USA

Austin, TX

Throughout the pandemic, Austin has stayed weird…and that was their goal. (Their motto is Keep Austin Weird, after all.) If this sounds like you, then go live among other eccentric types and indulge in amazing food, a killer art scene, live (outdoor) music and cocktails that go down a little too smoothly. All 2,500 square feet of this charming home can be yours, putting you less than a 5-minute walk to the downtown Austin scene. The 3-bed/3-bath home sleeps 12 and has a grill on the back patio. It has every appliance you could dream of, including a printer which will come in handy when you need to write to your boss that you’ve decided to work from home a little longer.

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Yes, this one requires a long plane ride but if you’re ready to go full digital nomad, Chiang Mai is an amazing place for an extended visit that includes working from “home.” Thailand is already a very affordable destination but right now, their government has sweetened the deal by offering a special tourist visa so you can stay up to 9 months. Book this amazing home and you’ll live like a king for $125 a night. The luxurious 3-bed/3-bath property comes with a car and driver, as well as maid service! You can work poolside and hit the tennis court after work. On weekends, you’ll be able to go hiking or mountain biking, hit the beach or head into the city, which is only about 25 minutes away. Heads up: You will have to quarantine for a bit upon arrival.

Tagged: Destinations, New York City, Texas

Note: CheapTickets compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site.

Compass + Twine

Compass + Twine

Compass + Twine

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Note: All travel is subject to frequently changing governmental restrictions—please check federal, state and local advisories before scheduling trips.

With social distancing still in full swing, vacation rentals have become more popular than ever—and it’s easy to understand why.  When you rent a private home, condo or cabin from a travel site like CheapTickets.com or its sister site VRBO, you’ll be in contact with fewer people, sharing less spaces and have more control over cleanliness. But for anyone new to vacation rentals, or even for some of us who have been booking them for a while, it can be helpful to occasionally turn your reviewer’s eye on yourself, and think a little about how certain things you do—or don’t do—could make you the perfect vacation rental guest.

RELATED: 15 vacation rentals with amazing pools

Call or message your host if arriving late

Communication and courtesy go a long way. Hosts have lives too, and if there’s not a lock box and the host has to personally hand you keys, keep them looped in if you’re going to be late. They’ll likely understand traffic and other unexpected delays; just be sure to keep them updated so they’re not waiting around all day unnecessarily.

Stick with the number of guests on your reservation

When you book a rental for two, avoid bringing along extra unannounced guests to your stay, or inviting large groups over. It’s helpful for hosts to know exactly how many guests are staying at the property so they can plan out how many towels and toiletries to leave, snacks and other amenities.

Practice proper pet etiquette

If the rental is pet-friendly and your host has approved a pet, there are typically rules to follow. “If traveling with a dog, make sure there is no barking,” says Maggie Espinosa, who owns a vacation rental in La Mesa, near San Diego and listed on VRBO, a CheapTickets.com sister brand. She also asks that guests clean up all dog waste in the yard and keep the dog under your eye for the duration of your stay. “Do not leave the pet unattended in the house while you’re out sightseeing,” she says. Bring a crate to keep Fido secure while you are sightseeing.

Be mindful of utilities

Use common sense when using appliances and be courteous about thermostat settings. “Please treat the home as if you are paying the utility bills,” says Jan Garrabrandt, a host/owner of a historic home in Lancaster County, PA, that’s listed on both VRBO and CheapTickets.com. “We think that running the air at 63 degrees and opening the windows is a waste of not only energy, but stresses the heck out of the air conditioner—and the owner.” If you are heading out for a day of exploring, adjust the thermostat, and turn off the lights and appliances.

Be tidy, respectful and honest

“Enjoy your stay but respect the property and its contents,” says Connor Griffiths, a VRBO host in British Columbia, Canada. If something gets damaged, let the host know rather than hide it in hopes they don’t find out. “Hosts expect a level of wear and tear and will likely shrug off a broken plate,” he says. Finally, a quick tidy up when you leave is always appreciated. No one expects you to clean like a professional, but remember that vacation rentals are people’s homes, so leaving the place tidy is appreciated.

Leave a review if you had a great stay

Your positive review can go a long way, as hosts rely on these rentals for their livelihoods. If the property was clean, well-stocked and there were added extras like wine or cashmere blankets, put all of this in your review. If you didn’t have a perfect stay, constructive feedback can help hosts improve the experience. No need to get melodramatic with your review or nitpick small details. Just provide your fellow travelers with the information they’ll most likely find useful. “Be fair, keep the review based on things the host has control of such as communication, cleanliness and providing a great property. Don’t complain about bad weather or how a garbage truck woke you up in the morning,” says Griffiths. And, he says, if you want to provide some suggestions to the host directly, consider using the private feedback section rather than the public review.

 

Tagged: Cheap City, USA, Cheap Tips

Note: CheapTickets compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site.

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Note: All travel is subject to frequently changing governmental restrictions—please check federal, state and local advisories before scheduling trips.

Right before COVID-19 struck, the travel industry was the second-fastest growing sector in the world (after manufacturing) and contributed nearly $9 trillion to the global economy. That all changed this spring, however, as stay-at-home orders took effect and countless vacations were canceled around the world. But as the freeze on both domestic and even global travel begins to thaw, travel is making its way back—though it may not look the same as you remember it. As you’re looking forward to planning a trip this summer or fall, you can expect these six key experiences to be different.

RELATED: 10 amazing National Parks photos to inspire your next trip

Vacation rentals

If there’s one facet of travel that’s fared better than others, it’s this one. That’s probably because longer-stay vacation rentals, which you can book directly with CheaptTickets, host fewer visitors than hotel rooms on average, and there are fewer common spaces to share with other guests. Vacationers also have more control of the cleanliness of their accommodations, and you can expect heightened cleaning standards and more generous cancellation policies before booking your next stay. Although some regions are still closed to vacation rentals, there has been a surge in bookings this summer as people seek a safer escape from home.

Hotels and resorts

When lockdowns first began, many hotels reported fewer than 5% occupancy rates. Although those numbers have slowly risen, most hotels are still pulling out all the stops in terms of making guests feel safe and confident about their stays. How are they doing this? Free sack lunches have replaced breakfast buffets, pool deck chairs have been spaced out, and room cleanings and sanitations have been doubled, according to some reports. In fact, Marriott and Hilton, the world’s largest hoteliers, are now using ultraviolet lights and electrostatic sprayers during housekeeping to kill bacteria and viruses from guest rooms.

 

Theme parks

On a recent visit to Lagoon, a Utah theme park that was one of the first in the country to reopen, visitors experienced uber clean bathrooms, hand sanitizer stations everywhere, and a lot more park attendants than normal. That said, reservations, social distancing guidelines and face masks are required, so your visit won’t be like it was before. The upside is that park capacities are being seriously restricted now, which means you can do a lot more rides in less time than before.

 

National Parks

The good news is all are open again. The bad news: Many of the most popular areas are still closed, restricted or with limited access (i.e. pedestrian or biker access only). The Grand Canyon, for example, only recently opened the popular Canyon Rim Trail, after months of closure. Similarly, many visitor centers, museums and amenities remained closed around the nation. Nevertheless, many parks are reporting higher than normal crowds. Before visiting, be sure to visit the specific nps.gov park website for the most up to date information.

 

Flying

Although airports and airplanes are no longer the ghost towns they were two months ago, they are nowhere near as crowded as they used to be. To keep customers safe, all major airlines require face masks to fly and now use high efficiency filters to keep cabin air as clean as a hospital. Some, like United, will start using electromagnetic foggers to disinfect planes arriving from abroad. That said, flight routes (especially direct ones) are less than half of what they used to be and schedules are subject to change at any given time as airlines continue to shift their fleets. What’s more, some states such as Hawaii and Maine still require 14-day hotel quarantining or proof of a negative COVID test before entering.

 

Road trips

If you want the most freedom and isolation, this is still your best bet. Along the way, you are sure to encounter much cleaner public restrooms and a lot of drive-thru dining options just like before (be sure to check local restrictions on indoor/outdoor dining, and pack a mask as many states require them to enter shops and eateries). In terms of booking hotels along the way, CheapTickets lets you read authentic user reviews that include reports on cleanliness and other factors. Also note that in some areas, landmarks and attractions may still be closed to the public, so check before adding a waypoint to your map.

 

Tagged: Cheap Tips, COVID-19, Flights, Tips & advice

Note: CheapTickets compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site.

Blake Snow

Blake Snow

Blake contributes to fancy publications and Fortune 500 companies as a writer-for-hire and frequent travel columnist. He lives in Provo, Utah with his supportive family and loyal dog.
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Note: All travel is subject to frequently changing governmental restrictions—please check federal, state and local advisories before scheduling trips. This post was updated January 13, 2021.

Different trips call for different types of accommodations. A  honeymoon may call for ultimate luxury while a road trip might call for a no-frills motel good for a few hours of sleep before you hit the road again. But in the middle are 3-star hotels: “Not too fancy” and “priced just right.” Usually, you’ll find a restaurant and a bar on property, the rooms will be a nice size and the beds will be comfy. You probably won’t find a gym or spa, and there might not be a pool or concierge service, but you’ll have everything you need. Best of all, you’ll get comfort without breaking the bank, and some are even designed  unexpectedly well. Here are 9 of our favorite 3-star hotels to make planning your next getaway a little easier! Just search CheapTicktes.com and filter by “three star” to search more hidden-gem properties like this.

RELATED: 8 hotels near Bonnaroo to book now

Las Vegas

Bet you didn’t realize you could get a good bang for your buck on the Vegas Strip! Book the Hilton Grand Vacations at The Flamingo (rooms start at $140) and you’ll be pleasantly surprised. The rooms are spacious (they all have kitchenettes), the location is ideal (kitty corner to the Bellagio Fountains), and there’s even a pool!

New York City

If ever there was a place to try to score a good deal, it’s New York. The Big Apple is just expensive, plain and simple. Locals will advise you to stay downtown, not uptown in Times Square, where all the tourists go. Downtown is central to all the sights and gives you a glimpse into real life in New York, away from all the tourist traps. At Cambria Hotel New York – Chelsea, you’ll be close to the subway station, near plenty of great restaurants, and—with prices starting at $99 per night—get a pretty good room deal as well!

Chicago

The Moxy hotel brand has been making a name for itself lately in terms of providing high quality for a crazy good price. The Moxy Chicago Downtown is no exception. The River North location is stellar, plus the hotel offers a complimentary continental breakfast (there’s also a restaurant and bar!), a 24-hour fitness center and concierge services. Queen room averages are under $150/nightly so you can save your money to enjoy the Windy City!

Austin

The Lone Star capital might pride itself on being weird (the motto is literally “Keep Austin weird”) but there’s nothing weird about Hotel Eleven. Rooms are reasonably priced, starting at $149, plus you can enjoy a drink on the rooftop terrace, there’s a bar and a coffee shop on site, and you’ll be able to explore Austin in all its weirdness from this sweet location.

Los Angeles

Culver City, a short drive to the beaches and a 20-minutes drive (sans traffic) to downtown LA, is a great centralized location from which to explore LA and its surrounding areas. We love the Mayumi hotel there. It’s family friendly, priced just right at $168 and up, and offers guests a continental breakfast. Plus, downtown Culver City is one of LA’s most charming and walkable neighborhoods.

Orlando

The theme park capital of the world is a popular city for families. If you plan to visit (with or without kids), saving money on a lodging is imperative. The Delaney Hotel, (which boasts a 4.9/5 guest review rating at CheapTickets.com), is a great choice. Rooms around $160/nightly and are huge by most hotel standards. You’ll find both a restaurant and a bar, a 24-hour fitness center, dry cleaning services, and a little grocery store to stock up on the essentials!

Seattle

If you’ve got a trip to the Pacific Northwest on the books, look no further! The Sound Hotel Belltown in downtown Seattle is a  great property, no matter what official star rating you’re after. Prices start at $152/nightly, the design is fresh and funky, and rooms are spacious with ample natural light. The property offers a continental breakfast (for a fee), and also boasts a restaurant and bar. If you need to get your steps in (even after exploring the city) there’s a 24-hour gym on site you can hit up. The variety of room types also makes the hotel a great for groups.

San Francisco

The City by the Bay is famously expensive, but that doesn’t mean your hotel has to be. Book the Golden Gate Hotel, a 3-star property that most guests give a 5/5 stars in their reviews. With rooms averaging about $160/nightly, it’s an affordable boutique property that feels a bit like a bed and breakfast (there is a free continental brekkie included). The rooms are decorated in classic Victorian style, the place is charming and in a great location near Union Square. Views of the Golden Gate Bridge will greet and dazzle you each morning when you step outside to tackle the day!

Nashville

Music City Tennessee is one of the hottest destinations in the country right now. Whether you’re visiting for a bachelor or bachelorette trip, because you love music or with family, there is truly something for everyone in this booming Southern city. The Drury Plaza Hotel Downtown is in a great location and from the rooftop pool, you’ll have killer views of the city. For an average of less than $200/nightly, you’ll find large rooms with big windows and beautiful views, a restaurant and bar, laundry services and a free buffet breakfast. Fuel up because there is lots to see in Nashville!

Tagged: California, Chicago, City, L.A., Las Vegas, New York City, seattle, Texas

Note: CheapTickets compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site.

Compass + Twine

Compass + Twine

Compass + Twine

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One of the hardest parts about planning a Mexico vacation the whole family will love is figuring out how to pay for it. Look no further than Mazatlan for a memorable yet budget-friendly vacation destination with plenty of opportunities for package deals savings via CheapTickets.com right now.

Located along Mexico’s Gold Coast, Mazatlan is known as the “Pearl of the Pacific.” Adults and kids will enjoy visiting the beautiful beach on Stone Island, which has horseback riding, snorkeling and water sports, and the aquarium that houses an impressive display of marine life. Adults will want to take a brewery tour offered by the popular Mexican beer Pacifico, made in Mazatlan. There are also champion golf courses, shopping, dining and sport fishing available throughout this thriving beach city.

As for where to stay, there are plenty of great options for families—and family budgets. Listed here are just a few of our favorite kid-friendly resorts, most of which ring in around $100 per night or less, depending on season. Just be sure to book your room together with your flight to get the best possible price!

RELATED: 7 worthwhile Mexico destinations that aren’t Cancun

Holiday Inn Resort Mazatlan

Holiday Inn Resort Mazatlan

Holiday Inn Resort Mazatlan

Holiday Inn is certainly a hotel brand that knows the meaning of family fun, and their Gaviota Beach outpost is no exception. The resort is located right on the water so your toughest decision every morning will be deciding between sandy shores and the infinity pool. Many rooms have balconies and look out over the Mexican Pacific and Deer Island, a World Heritage Site. One of the greatest perks here, though, is that kids 12 and under eat and stay free, plus the hotel offers nanny services and on-site kids’ activities.

Coral Island Hotel & Spa

Coral Island Hotel

Coral Island Hotel

Located on the Malecon—one of the largest boardwalks in the world—the Coral Island Hotel & Spa combines traditional Mexican architecture with a modern minimalist style. The result is serene and beautiful, the perfect backdrop for a Mexico vacation. The rooms each have an ocean view and a private balcony, and kids will enjoy the fact that the hotel has a private tunnel allowing access to the beach.

Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay

Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay Resort & Spa

Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay Resort & Spa

Conde Nast once named Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay on its list of Top 20 Mexico hotels. The La Cordeliere Restaurant has an ocean view, as do all of the rooms. Kelly’s Piano Bar creates and relishes in its Hemingway-esque feel. The kids will enjoy beach-front access and the children’s pool.

Hotel Costa De Oro

Costa De Oro Beach Hotel.

Costa De Oro Beach Hotel.

This resort is one of the original beach properties in Mazatlan and is perfectly located to ensure a fun-filled Mexico vacation. The hotel prides itself on its impeccable service and the staff is well-known for being friendly and accommodating.

Palms Resort of Mazatlan

Palms Resort Mazatlan

Palms Resort Mazatlan

At the Palms Resort, stay right on Gaviotas Beach and enjoy family-friendly amenities like a kids pool, supervised childcare and kids activities, included with your stay. Parents will also appreciate the on-site laundry, in-room fridges, kitchenettes, private balconies and, of course, the infinity pool with swim-up bar.

Tagged: Beach, Cheap Tips, Destinations, Mexico, Types of Travel

Note: CheapTickets compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site.

Whit Honea

Whit Honea

Whit is a travel writer living in Seattle with his wife and two children. He packs light and travels often to far-away places, exotic lands and more than a few theme parks.
Whit Honea

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Thanks to Disney, Orlando has long been considered a kid’s paradise. But it’s also an adult wonderland, filled with speakeasies, fabulous museums and Instagram walls that have nothing to do with our friend, the mouse. Here are 7 reasons adults will love Orlando.

RELATED: The best Disney vacations to fit every budget

Wine Bar George

Orlando, Florida

Wine Bar George

Wine by the ounce? Check. The Sunshine State’s only master sommelier-led wine bar? Check. A candlelight atmosphere perfect for date night? This one checks all our boxes. Wine Bar George is a Disney Springs bar that’s actually affordable, thanks to its ingenious option of offering more than 140 top wines by the ounce. We couldn’t love this place more.

The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art

Orlando, Florida, museum

Photo | Courtesy of the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, Winter Park, FL

Who knew that Florida boasts the largest collection of Tiffany works and how much do we love a museum with a $6 entrance fee? Maybe if the city stopped bragging so much about their rides (perhaps justifiably), they’d have time to talk about this museum, which is outrageously good. It’s in Winter Park, about a 30-minute drive from Orlando, and it’s totally worth a day trip. In addition to this museum, Winter Park has the most adorable collection of boutique shops and restos. Get caffeinated at Barnie’s Coffee & Tea Co., where they draw the totally Instagrammable heart on your latte, and then head to the farmers market (if you’re visiting on a Saturday). Then, wander the walkable streets, which are perfectly lovely.

Wall Crawl

Orlando, Florida

Wall Crawl Orlando

It’s time for something Instagrammable, and Orlando has created the perfect backdrop. Opened summer 2019 in the Parramore neighborhood on Church Street, Wall Crawl ($25 for 60 minutes) is an indoor spot that has more than 20 walls filled with those fabulous Instagram walls. They’re colorful, there are props—including a very cute unicorn—and backdrops ranging from beach scenes to a chic living room. Not so confident in your own photo skills? They will provide professional photogs, and you can purchase those pics starting at $6.

Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek

HIlton Orlando Bonnet Creek, Florida, hotels

Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek

We love the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek resort because it’s surrounded by Walt Disney World and has a free shuttle to the parks, but it’s not one of those super Disney-focused spots. In fact, if you never left the hotel you wouldn’t know you were in Disney World. Plus, with rooms going for less than $200/night most nights, it’s much less expensive than other Disney properties. Another reason we’re obsessed with it? It shares its amenities with neighboring Waldorf Astoria, so you can use their fancy hotel, fancy bar, fancy everything without spending extra.

Epcot

Yes, it’s packed with kids. But it’s also got drinks from around the world, and that’s why we love it for adults. Try the avocado margarita at La Cava del Tequila in Mexico (trust us), the wine and cheese tasting in Germany and the bellini with raspberry puree and limoncello in Italy. If you love wine, try the Wine Walk: $20 for six 2-ounce pours in Germany, Italy and France.

Daytona International Speedway

race track

Race day

This is where legends are made, and you can walk or ride in their footsteps behind the scenes. It’s about an hour away from Orlando, and it’s open year-round. If you’re there in the off-season, take a tour (starting at $19), which will bring you right onto the track. Or get tickets to the actual race.

Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition

Titanic is a 20,000 sq. ft interactive museum that contains the second largest piece of the Titanic ever recovered, plus 300 recovered artifacts and costumed interpreters. It also recreates a cabin, a cafe and the grand staircase. It’s almost mandatory to do the Kate and Jack pose here.

Tagged: Cheap City, USA, Cheap Tips, Destinations, Florida

Note: CheapTickets compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site.

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So, you’ve decided to save money and book a hostel, eh? First of all, good move. While some hostels still live up to their reputation as party hubs (great—if that’s what you’re into), the term has diversified to include pretty much any location with shared facilities. What even better is that they’re often centrally located and some are even housed in spaces with fascinating former lives or intriguing histories. Here are some of the more interesting choices around the world.

RELATED: 9 gorgeous hostels in Europe starting at $10

Clink 78

Photo courtesy of Clink 78

Clink78: London, England

Charles Dickens worked here (back when he still needed a day job), and The Clash were held here after they were arrested. But you don’t have to acquire a rap sheet to spend the night at Clink78, a former courthouse/mini-jail in London’s King’s Cross St. Pancras neighborhood. If the location, with access to everything, doesn’t convince you, the theme will. Try staying in one of their cell rooms, or drink at the Clash bar until (almost) all your dreams of becoming an incarcerated British punk come true.

Firehouse Hostel

Photo courtesy of Firehouse Hostel

Firehouse Hostel: Austin, TX

Sure, almost every hostel has a bar—but how many have a genuine speakeasy? Located behind a bookshelf in the lobby (natch) is one of Austin’s best bars, featuring small-batch distilleries, deeply discounted happy hour specials, and an ever-rotating schedule of DJs and musicians—meaning you don’t have to step foot off the property to appreciate the creative city’s charms. Did we mention the hostel is housed within the city’s oldest fire station? How hot (we couldn’t resist) is that?

Jumbo Stay

Photo courtesy of Jumbo Stay

Jumbo Stay: Stockholm, Sweden

Staying in a decommissioned Boeing 747 during an airport layover may be the travel equivalent of dividing by zero, but Jumbo Stay, located in Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport, is here to make your absurdist dreams come true. Decked out in Pan Am blue, a nod to its former life, the functional interior also features overhead lockers, mini bunk bed dorms, a handful of private rooms, and the best “sleeping on the plane” experience you’re likely to ever have.

Hostel Fish

Photo courtesy of Hostel Fish

Hostel Fish: Denver, CO

A 120-year-old building, and former brothel (ooh la la) turned art hostel? We’re listening. If the extreme Rainbow Bright-levels of color on the walls don’t seal the deal for you, perhaps the hotel-quality beds or one free drink per resident during the 7-8pm happy hour will. (Isn’t that the only perk you really need?)

HI Pescadero Pigeon Point Lighthouse

Photo courtesy of HI Pescadero Pigeon Point Lighthouse

HI Pescadero Pigeon Point Lighthouse: Pescadero, CA

A crumbling California landmark turned functional hostel, Pescadero Pigeon Point Lighthouse puts all your nature dreams within splash distance of tidal pools, oceanfront walks and even a hot tub at the ready. Even if you’re not prepared to hang ten (or hang any for that matter), the stunning sunsets are worth shaking sand out of your shoes.

Railway Square YHA

Photo courtesy of Railway Square YHA

Railway Square YHA: Sydney, Australia

If you spent your youth reading Boxcar Children, you’ll dig Railway Square YHA, a hostel built into Platform Zero of Central Station in Haymarket, Sydney. Live out your transpo dreams while actually dreaming on former transport. Bonus: The location, literally right in the middle of the train station, is perfect if you need to catch a (moving) train in the morning.

Fauzi Azar Inn

Photo courtesy of Fauzi Azar Inn

Fauzi Azar Inn: Nazareth, Israel

Embrace the historical importance of the Holy Land by staying at Fauzi Azar, housed in a former 200-year-old Arab mansion. In addition to dormitory-style rooms, they also offer ensuite options, free tours and cake. Who doesn’t love cake?

 

Tagged: California, Cheap Tips, City, Destinations, Texas, Texas, Top 10 list, Types of Travel

Note: CheapTickets compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site.