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Sometimes you get what you pay for. And sometimes you get more. Much more. To help travelers save a ho-ho-whole lot of money on holiday travel, CheapTickets.com® encourages anyone with travel plans to look beyond the stars and not rule out two- or three-star accommodations as they make lodging plans for the most wonderful time of the year.

CheapTickets.com found that while the majority of Americans tend to gravitate towards four- and five-star hotels, choosing a three-star property at this holiday season’s top destinations can save you up to 33% compared to a destination’s average daily hotel price.

“While two- and three-star properties may not have extensive onsite services or dining options, many offer a really great experience, some with charming settings and overall excellent service,” said Justine McDonald, a CheapTickets.com travel expert. “The key to finding these exceptional two- and three-star options is looking for hidden gems that are vetted and highly recommended by fellow travelers, ensuring high value and alleviating fear of the unknown.”

Finding these surprisingly beautiful, cheap and comfortable hidden gems is easier than ever on CheapTickets.com as customers can filter search results by properties’ star ratings and then sort by guest rating, resulting in a list of options that both fit their budget and come highly rated. In addition to reviews and comments, CheapTickets.com also lists a “recommended by” percentage, where travelers can see whether or not customers would recommend the property to a friend.

CHEAPTICKETS.COM POPULAR HOLIDAY DESTINATIONS AND AVERAGE HOTEL PRICES

Great two and three star hotels

CHEAPTICKETS.COM TOP PICKS FOR HIDDEN GEM TWO- AND THREE-STAR HOTELS

To make planning travel even easier (and cheaper!), here are CheapTickets.com editors’ top picks for awesome two- and three-star hotels in some of the holiday season’s top destinations.

Las Vegas: Excalibur
Sample average daily hotel price: $53
Percentage of customers who would recommend: 77%
This castle-like resort on the Las Vegas Strip has something for every member of the family to enjoy, including a casino, an arcade room, a full-service spa, an outdoor pool and poolside bar, seven restaurants, three bars/lounges and two cafes. Don’t miss the medieval joust dinner show!

Photo courtesy of The Redondo Beach Hotel

Photo courtesy of The Redondo Beach Hotel

Los Angeles: The Redondo Beach Hotel
Sample average daily hotel price: $182
Percentage of customers who would recommend: 95%
From complimentary Wi-Fi to free continental breakfast daily, The Redondo Beach Hotel is all about the little extras. Monday through Thursday evenings, visitors can even mingle at a hosted wine reception. The hotel boasts many rooms with marina views, and even has a bike rental station on-site for those who want to explore the nearby beaches like a true Southern Californian.

Photo courtesy of the Bay Club Hotel and Marina

Photo courtesy of the Bay Club Hotel and Marina

San Diego: Bay Club Hotel and Marina
Sample average daily hotel price: $117
Percentage of customers who would recommend: 90%
Located on Shelter Island, The Bay Club Hotel & Marina is a waterfront property just 4 miles from Old Town and 7 miles from the Gaslamp Quarter. This property offers stunning views of the San Diego Bay, downtown skyline, Point Loma, and of course, its private marina.

Photo courtesyof the Vagabond Hotel

Photo courtesy of the Vagabond Hotel

Miami: The Vagabond Hotel
Sample average daily hotel price: $176
Percentage of customers who would recommend: 95%
The chicly retro Vagabond Hotel is within the vicinity of Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Port of Miami and the Bal Harbour Shops. Hearkening back to a bygone era, the Art Deco-style property offers an outdoor pool (plus a poolside bar) and a top notch fitness center.

Photo courtesy of the Acme Hotel

Photo courtesy of the Acme Hotel

Chicago: Acme Hotel Company Chicago
Sample average daily hotel price: $88
Percentage of customers who would recommend: 100%
This hip boutique hotel close to the Magnificent Mile offers a gym, free morning coffee, funky modern rooms (think giant zipper murals on the walls and lip decals on the bathroom mirrors) and an on-site lounge serving craft cocktails.

Photo courtesy of the Point Orlando

Photo courtesy of the Point Orlando

Orlando: The Point Orlando
Sample average daily hotel price: $184
Percentage of customers who would recommend: 94%
Not only is The Point Orlando close to Universal Studios Florida, Wet ‘n Wild, and iFLY Orlando, it also has plenty of recreational opportunities on-site, including a spa tub, a tropical outdoor pool and bar, and a well-equipped fitness center. Relax over cocktails and freshly prepared pizzas and paninis at the chic new Evo Lounge & Tapas Bar on the property.

Photo courtesy of Cambria Hotel and Suites

Photo courtesy of Cambria Hotel and Suites

New York City: Cambria Hotel and Suites
Sample average daily hotel price: $229
Percentage of customers who would recommend: 99%
Cambria Hotel and Suites is a brand new, upscale boutique-style hotel located in the trendy Chelsea neighborhood within walking distance of the Empire State Building, Times Square, Madison Square Garden, and Madison Square Park. Guests can take in the view from the rooftop terrace, enjoy a satisfying meal at its socialCircle Restaurant, and enjoy a signature cocktail at one of the two hotel bars before hitting the town.

Photo courtesy of Hotel Abri

Photo courtesy of Hotel Abri

San Francisco: Hotel Abri – Union Square
Sample average daily hotel price: $141
Percentage of customers who would recommend: 100%
This romantic and sleek hotel is centrally-located and is modern, yet charming. Its lobby lounge offers cozy seating around a gas fireplace, while an adjacent Italian restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Amenities include a 24-hour business center and a “tech menu” that allows guests to borrow or buy electronic accessories.

Photo courtesy of La Casa Hotel

Photo courtesy of La Casa Hotel

Fort Lauderdale, FL: La Casa Hotel
Sample average daily hotel price: $154
Percentage of customers who would recommend: 91%
A part of North Beach Village, this tranquil and serene space offers guests easy access to Fort Lauderdale Beach and the Galleria at Fort Lauderdale Mall. Guest rooms featurefour poster beds and classic design, and the beautiful pool and spa are surrounded with tropical greenery and Italian-style fountains, creating the ultimate oasis for guests looking to just get away.

Photo courtesy of Hotel Lombardy

Photo courtesy of Hotel Lombardy

Washington, DC: Hotel Lombardy
Sample average daily hotel price: $112
Percentage of customers who would recommend: 84%
Walking distance from the White House and the Foggy Bottom metro station, the HotelLombardy is a 1920s building with refined, classic rooms. Featured amenities include fitness facilities, free newspapers in the lobby, and in-room spa services available for a fee. Another fun fact: This property is a member of the Historic Hotels of America.

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Tagged: Beach, California, City, Las Vegas, New York City

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Oh, say, can you see… that Memorial Day weekend is quickly approaching? The holiday that’s become known for cookouts and mattress sales is still an opportune time to see some of America’s most patriotic sites. Here are some of our favorite places to explore, from sea to shining sea.

St. Louis, Missouri

Channel your inner Lewis and Clark with a trip to this Gateway to the West. Instead of roller coasters, give kids a thrill with a 630-foot-ride to the top of the city’s iconic Gateway Arch. Then sneak in some learning with a visit to the Old Courthouse below, followed by a relaxing sightseeing cruise down the Mississippi River in an old-school riverboat. Also pencil in a visit to the Magic House, the city’s popular children’s museum that’s packed with hands-on fun.

St. Louis's iconic Gateway Arch overlooks the Mississippi River. Credit Wikipedia.

St. Louis’s iconic Gateway Arch overlooks the Mississippi River. Credit Wikipedia.

San Diego, California

Tour the USS Midway Museum, a retired Navy aircraft carrier with flight simulators, interactive exhibits and the enticingly named “Ejection Seat Theater.” The floating museum’s lineup of Memorial Day week events including a veterans’ wreath ceremony, live music, kids’ activities and more. While you’re in town, take in some history at Cabrillo National Monument. Then end your trip on a lighter note with a visit to the San Diego Zoo—arguably America’s best.

USS Midway Museum. Credit Jeremy Thompson/Flickr.

USS Midway Museum. Credit Jeremy Thompson/Flickr.

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Start things off with a stop inside the National Park Service Museum and Visitor Center, where you’ll watch “A New Birth of Freedom” narrated by Morgan Freeman (we’re feeling more patriotic already.) Then, tour the historic Civil War battleground via car, hike, bicycle or even horseback. Take plenty of time at the Soldiers’ National Cemetery—also the site of Abraham Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg Address. If time permits, head about 140 miles east for a day trip to Philadelphia, where families can snap a selfie with theLiberty Bell, climb the “Rocky steps” at the Museum of Art and visit the Philadelphia Zoo.

Gettysburg National Cemetery. Credit Sallicio/Wikipedia.

Gettysburg National Cemetery. Credit Sallicio/Wikipedia.

Williamsburg, Virginia

Get the best of both worlds with a trip to this so-called “Revolutionary City,” known for its colonial-style buildings and historic reenactments. On Memorial Day, attend a special service honoring veterans of the American Revolution and Civil War who are buried nearby. Then fast-forward two centuries with a visit to Busch Gardens, a massive amusement park with all the modern-day trimmings—towering roller coasters, a simulator tour of Europe and water rides—making it perhaps the most well-rounded of Memorial Day weekend trips.

Governor's palace at Colonial Williamsburg. Credit Larry Pieniazek/Flickr.

Governor’s palace at Colonial Williamsburg. CreditLarry Pieniazek/Flickr.

Keystone, South Dakota

It’s one thing to see a picture of Mount Rushmore. It’s another thing entirely to view it with your own eyes. But you didn’t come all this way just to gape at the landmark, so head to the onsite amphitheater, museum complex, book store, gift shop (natch) and more. Stick around for the evening lighting ceremony, which takes place all summer from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Round out your vacation with some all-American activities like canoeing, biking the family-friendly George S. Mickelson Trail Mountain Trailhead or posing with the life-sized presidential statues around downtown Rapid City.

Can you name all four presidents on Mount Rushmore? Credit Dean Franklin/Wikipedia.

Can you name all four presidents on Mount Rushmore? Credit Dean Franklin/Wikipedia.

Fredericksburg, Texas

Nothing against the Alamo, but this town about 80 miles west of Austin packs quite a family-friendly punch.History comes to life at Fredericksburg sites like the Pioneer Museum Complex, National Museum of the Pacific War, the Texas Rangers Heritage Center and other historic buildings. Don’t miss the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park, which contains the native-son-turned-president’s boyhood home, family cemetery and other points of interest. And what’s more American than gorging on seafood? Memorial Day weekend blissfully coincides with the Fredericksburg Crawfish Festival.

This log cabin belonged to the grandparents of President Lyndon B. Johnson. Credit National Park Service via Wikipedia.

This log cabin belonged to the grandparents of President Lyndon B. Johnson. Credit National Park Service via Wikipedia.

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Tagged: City, Family, Holidays, Uncategorized