9 Secrets to Scoring a Hotel Upgrade

(Photo courtesy of Shutterstock)

Scoring a hotel upgrade can be fairly easy. Upgrades do not necessarily have to mean larger rooms; they can also include things like better views, bigger beds, or quieter areas in the hotel. The first step is asking hotel staff if any upgrades are available—many travelers forget to do so. You'll never know what kind of upgrade you can score until you ask! Here are nine more tips to scoring hotel upgrades:

1. Join a hotel loyalty program. Most programs are free and members get upgrades and other cool perks. Hotels often give special treatment to repeat customers, so let staff know at the time of reservation that you're a loyal customer.

2. Travel off-season. Guests have a better chance of scoring an upgrade when hotels aren't at full capacity.


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The Best City Destinations for Affordable Spring Travel

(Photos courtesy of Flickr members Martin de Lusenet, Werner Kunz, and Krista76)

We've had to dig ourselves out from quite a few snowstorms this winter and we're getting sick of it! Spring—and spring travel—can't come soon enough. The best part? Traveling during these months doesn't have to break the bank. In fact, we found three cities that offer great deals in their off-peak season.

Newport, RI

Newport happens to be one of America's most well preserved cities. Stroll through giant mansions and admire the preserved museums and landscapes from years ago. Take a deep breath of salty air as you look out into the ocean from one of Newport's beaches, or plan to spend the day outdoors on a boat, biking around town, or walking through Newport's boutiques and shops, art galleries, or other historical sites. Check out Newport hotels on Tingo here.


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Best Beaches for a Winter Escape


(Photos courtesy of Flickr members superstrikertwo, Rob-Keller, and eliduke)

Sure, snowball fights and ice-skating are plenty of fun, but after a while, enduring the winter cold becomes miserable. There's no better way to beat the winter blues than packing a beach bag and heading somewhere sunny and warm. Start planning your sandy escape to one of our top beach destinations! We'll let you in on a little secret—fabulous hotels in Hawaii, Mexico, and Florida are on sale on Tingo right now!

Hawaii

Kaanapali Beach, Maui: This beach is perfect for a vacation full of pampering and relaxation. The beach is lined with cabanas, all kinds of beach activities, and butlers who will deliver the drink of your choice—piña colada, please! Many of Hawaii's biggest and nicest resorts are nearby, so there are plenty of locations in which you can splurge. Soak up some rays and work on your tan, knowing that you're lounging on one of Hawaii's prettiest beaches.

North Shore, Oahu: The North Shore is a surfer's heaven. The waves attract top surfers from around the world but are also calm enough for a beginner to test out the sport. If surfing isn't your thing, you can still appreciate it by watching one of the many competitions in the area. Or, shop in the nearby town and enjoy the local treat of rainbow-flavored shave ice.

Hanalei Bay, Kauai: Hanalei Bay beach, more than two miles long, is one of the most picturesque in the world. The waves are great for surfing and boogie boarding. In the summer, the water becomes much calmer, making it more like a lake. At that time, it's a better environment for stand-up paddle boarding and swimming. The best part about Hanalei Bay is that it's not usually crowded, so you'll have plenty of space to take in the beautiful surroundings and enjoy yourself. 


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Hotel Checkout Checklist

(Photos courtesy of Flickr members wwarby, skampy, and Heather_McNabb)

Nothing is worse than getting back home from a vacation and realizing you left your favorite jacket in the hotel closet or your laptop charger in the outlet. Next time you check out, look over this list and make sure you can answer "yes" to the following questions:

1. Did I pack the night before? It's easier to pack up your suitcase the night before you check out of a hotel room. That way, you're not pressed for time and rushing to make the checkout time, and you'll avoid leaving items behind.
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10 of the Best Holiday Destinations


(Photos courtesy of Flickr members pfala, melulou, and 12thSonOfLama)

They say "home is where the heart is," but for those of us with an extra sense of wanderlust, home is not always where we end up. For those who hope to spend the holiday season in a far-off place, the Tingo team has put together a list of 10 of the best destinations in which to do so. We've even included two different hotel options available on Tingo for each destination: a steal and a splurge (hurry, though, because a lot of them are selling out quickly!). If you book a hotel that can be canceled and the price of your reservation drops after you book, Tingo will automatically refund you the difference. And if a better room becomes available for less than what you originally paid, we'll let you know right away so you can snag it! Without further ado...

Strasbourg, France

Strasbourg has been holding its Christmas Market since 1570. At the market, you can find holiday items like fir trees, Christmas decorations, ornaments, and handmade crafts. After you've finished strolling from chalet to chalet, collecting holiday trinkets and snacking on pastries and mulled wine, you can also admire the giant Christmas tree or skate on the rink on Place du Château.

Steal: The Hilton Strasbourg doesn't have much of a European feel, but the price can't be beat. It's located just a five-minute walk from a tram station, where you have access to the entire city. Holiday rates on Tingo are currently starting at an average of $109 per night.

Splurge: Regent Petite France is located just a 15-minute walk from the Cathedral and features unbeatable views of the river. Holiday rates on Tingo are currently starting at an average of $288 per night.


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Good Luck, Red Sox!

(Photos courtesy of Flickr members Sean Winters, Lorianne DiSabato, and CharlieKWalker)

The Tingo Team would like to wish our home team, the Boston Red Sox, good luck in the World Series! This season, the team rallied from last place in its division to first place in the league—we couldn't be more proud!


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Hotel Check-In Checklist

(Photos courtesy of Flickr members Christine Cowen, Basheertome, and Porto Bay Trade)

We've heard of a few hotel horror stories: guests walking into occupied hotel rooms, realizing that the "empty" hotel room had someone else's stuff in the bathroom, overflowing toilets, and unwanted wake-up calls at 4 AM. Next time you find yourself in a hotel room, use our Check-in Checklist to avoid the above problems and more! Make sure you can answer "yes" to the following questions:

1. Am I in the right room? Yes, it really happens—guests enter the wrong hotel rooms sometimes. Even if you think your room is empty, it's not a bad idea to check the dresser drawers and look for toiletries in the bathroom.

2. Do all of the locks work correctly? This includes the front door, the balcony door, and the window locks.


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News to Use: Delta's Pink Plane Takes Flight


(Photos courtesy of Flickr members Aero Icarus, TipsTimes, and The-Difference)

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. To support the cause, Delta launched its annual Breast cancer One employee-survivor charter flight on September 30. The "Pink Plane" is used to help spread the message across the world and to raise funds for The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF). The Pink Plane flew from Atlanta to Detroit, and passengers included more than 140 Delta employees who are also cancer survivors. 


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Salem, MA: Halloween Holiday

(Photos courtesy of Flickr members PetsAdvisor, MrPants, and MassMatt)

For the ultimate haunted Halloween, you must visit Salem, MA. Travelers flock from all over to visit Salem for the biggest Halloween party in America. Spooky Salem hosts haunted houses, historic landmarks, plenty of hotels and B&Bs, great restaurants, ghost tours, and a variety of other Halloween happenings.

One of our favorite Salem attractions is the House of the Seven Gables. It's the oldest surviving 17th-century mansion in New England, and it inspired Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel—not to mention admission is free! The Peabody Essex Museum is fascinating as well, and the Salem Witch Trials Memorial is a fitting tribute to visit especially during the Halloween season.


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Travel Trend Watch: Fall, Foliage, and Festivals

(Photos courtesy of Flickr members Jack W. Pearce, Christopher Harrison, and JMR Photography)

Fall is the perfect time to explore new cities and enjoy the changing scenery. Turning leaves, hot apple cider, sweater weather: We love it all. Here are our top suggestions for how to enjoy the crisp weather in some of our favorite locations:

Newport, RI— Just 20 minutes away from beautiful Newport, Escobar's Highland Farm in Portsmouth, RI as a fall activity for everyone. Hayrides and pumpkin patches make for perfect fall fun, and if you're feeling a little more adventurous, this year's Corn Maze features eight acres of twists and turns. Don't worry, they'll rescue you if need be.

Accommodations: Located in Newport's Historic District, the Pelham Court Hotel is perfect for your Newport stay. Explore the Tennis Hall of Fame or take a leisurely stroll along the Cliff Walk to spot beautiful mansions.


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