All the latest posts have been about my resent trip to Russia. I know this travel destinations sounds a bit exotic to many people, therefore I wanted to share my travel experience in Moscow. But at the same time I havent forgotten other travel related activities & planning some other trips as well. But before that here are 3 reminder things about planning a trip:
1. Of course, when we think about trip & related expenses, first advice from everybody is plan in advance. What comes to this trip I did it – got flight tickets already in December ( 4 month before the trip). Since then I’ve been comparing the prices that been offered as a ‘special deal’ and can say that the price I bought the tickets was one of the best. Few times for the short period there were some offers with prices close to one I had but basically it showed that as it gets closer to departure date a ‘special deals’ or ‘sales‘ prices don’t go lower that the basic level price, if booking good time in advance.
2. Other thing I wanted to mention is a hotel reservation. Earlier on to book a hotel room in Russia with international booking engines was almost impossible. There were just few international brands with 4-5 star hotels. What I was usually doing for my Russian trips, is doing search on local russian sites & then looking for the website of particular hotels I was interested. That way I could get at least reasonable price range for 2 – 3 star or private hotels.
When planning my trip to Moscow this year, out of curiosity I did a search on Booking.com – the hotel booking site I use for European destinations. Big was my surprise to find that they have added many hotels and even hostels with reasonable prices for Moscow and Russia in general.
What I like about Booking.com is that you can find hotel reviews there. For booking a hotel in Moscow that is very important because many ‘hotels‘ arent really a hotels, but just one floor or even one very big apartment as a ‘small private hotels’. Last time I visited in Moscow I actually stayed in one like that. The best things were central location and the price around 2000 rub. Not so good things – that is a big apartment were you rent just one room ( with shared kitchen, shower &WC); furniture in rooms are not the best quality; no internet access.
3. Last thing I’d like to mention here is – get off the beaten tracks. And here I mean your habits of planning the trip.
For several years I had clear picture what is the best way to plan my a trip to Moscow. As mentioned before, I was nicely surprised to about opportunity to book a hotel in Moscow on my favorite booking engine and was about to do it. In the last moment I decided to check out the special offer from event organizers.
I know the hotels they were offering – the good ones. And I knew the price range of hotel rooms there. From my experience before I knew that mostly every time hotels offered by organizers are good but they cost much more I’d like to pay. Definitely not a budget friendly ones. So I just do my own research & find the one nearby area.
Same was about to happen this time as well. But for god knows what reason I downloaded a hotel registration form. And what I see there? Both 3 and 4 star hotels are offered with very reasonable price. Of course I want it. Why I didn’t take the offer before? Because I knew the price for that hotel & I could not imagine that special discount for event participants will be so big…
What I wanted to say here is that even you’ve been doing something for years & you think your solution is one of the best one, check out the some other options that are a bit outside your regular beaten trap. Because it might happen that NOW there is a better, cheaper or more convenient way…
What comes to me – I’m about to try one more thing I havent done – use Priceline.com for bidding on hotel room for one of my next trips.