6 Great Tips For Finding Cheap Hotel Rates

During any tour to any destination, two things make up the bulk of your expenses: travel and accommodations. Therefore to eke out any savings from the trip you will have to invest a lot of time and effort on finding cheap hotel rates to keep your expenses low and your smiles up.

While looking for cheap hotel rates, keep the following tips in mind.

1. Location is everything – Hotel rates vary from place to place depending on its location. You will have to ask yourself if where your balance lies: convenience or price. Most convenient locations in any city will have hotels sporting rates in the upwards range in any market.

Some less accessible areas will offer lesser rates. However, you will have to decide for yourself whether the inconvenience is worth the price. If you are pretty familiar with the area you are traveling to, then locations with lesser rates in less accessible or attractive locations will be less of an issue for you.

However, if you are traveling to an area for the first time, you will have to think twice about staying at a location that is a little inconvenient.

2. Schedule is also everything – The basic law of supply and demands states that the more the demand, the more expensive the item will be. The same is true for hotel rates, if demand for a travel destination is high, then you are bound to spend more money.

So if you are planning to stay away from home, try to make your hotel reservations for off-peak seasons. Hotel rates during peak season can be as much as three times more than regular rates. This alone is reason enough to look to reserve during off-peak seasons.

3. Amenities – Some hotels are pricier because they offer amenities that, while great for those looking for extravagance, are useless to some travelers. If you can live without some of these amenities, then you could consider looking for hotels that are cheaper because they do not offer these amenities.

4. Negotiate – Most front desk personnel are personable and can give good advice on getting better rates at their hotels. Negotiate with them to get good discounts for your stay.

If you are staying for more than a week, then you might want to ask if they offer lower rates for longer stays. Also ask if they have special promos during the period of your stay that you can take advantage of.

5. Search online – Comparing rates, amenities, and location is easier nowadays because of the power of the internet. The internet makes searching for good rates on good hotels easy and painless.

The good thing about internet hotel hunting is that most hotel search websites show prices for rooms, amenities, location, and best of all, user reviews of the hotel itself. This will give you a better idea of what to expect when checking in with a hotel for the first time.

6. The power of a Travel Agent – Travel agents have good contacts among hotel chains and can get discounts on reservations thus made. If you choose to have a travel agent help you get a good hotel, then make sure that the service fee you pay them does not make going through an agent more expensive then making the reservation yourself.

Germ Free Vegetarian Dining: 5 Disease Culprits You Won’t Encounter at A Vegetarian Restaurant

These days, it seems like germs are everywhere. From the swine flu to the avian flu, we seem to be under siege from deadly bacteria and viruses. Fortunately, when you dine in a vegetarian restaurant, there are some illnesses that you can forget about for an hour or two. Here are 5 germs that you are less likely to encounter when you choose a vegetarian dining option for your next meal.

1. Salmonella
This illness-causing bacteria is carried primarily in meat and eggs. Most often, people ingest the bacteria when eating meats or eggs that have not been fully cooked. Since your vegetarian meal contains no meat or eggs, you do not have to worry about proper preparation time.

Salmonella can sometimes spread from contaminated meat to other foods and surfaces if the preparer touches the item after handling uncooked meat. Vegetarian restaurant kitchens are safe from any possibility of cross contamination. Even if a germ managed to get on your veggie before it arrived at the restaurant, the bug is eliminated when your chef washes your veggies before use.

2. Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) a.k.a. Mad Cow Disease
Rare but deadly, BSE is caused by a mutated protein that enters the body and causes the brain and spinal cord to degenerate, eventually leading to death. It is carried exclusively in meat products and is transmitted by consuming the affected beef. Your dinner at a vegetarian restaurant is guaranteed to be BSE-free.

3. E. coli
E. coli is a bacteria which produces toxins that can cause serious illness and even death, particularly among those with a weakened immune system. It is most commonly transmitted in undercooked meat, such as the hamburger-related outbreak on the West Coast a few years ago. While unwashed produce can occasionally contain E. coli, basic washing eliminates the bacteria. Simply put, as long as your restaurant is washing its vegetables before use, you’re completely safe.

If you’re still worried, go organic for your vegetarian dining. Certified organic farms were found to have a lower incidence of E. coli than other producers. If you want to be doubly sure that your meal is bacteria free, an organic vegetarian restaurant is less likely to have E. coli than other restaurants.

4. Shellfish poisoning
Nearly everyone has known someone who has gotten sick after a seafood dinner. Clams, mussels, oysters and scallops are the most common culprits. These two-shelled bottom feeders often build up toxins as they filter the water for their nutrients. When improperly cooked, those toxins remain in the meat, entering your system and leading to a few days of gastrointestinal misery. You can avoid any risk of shellfish poisoning by opting for a vegetarian dining option instead.

5. Clostridium perfringens
This is another illness-causing bacteria carried in poorly prepared meat and poultry. While the subsequent gastrointestinal upset is not usually fatal, it is weakening and can last for 24 to 48 hours after consumption. Most of us have experienced it at some time or another without knowing it, since studies have shown that the majority of the population has antibodies left over from previous infection. To save yourself from a case of the “stomach flu,” choose a vegetarian restaurant instead.

Dangerous, disease-causing bacteria lurk in incorrectly prepared meat, poultry and shellfish, and you can get your dose unknowingly from a meat-serving restaurant. Choose a vegetarian restaurant instead for a germ free dining experience.

Vegetation and Vegan Montreal – Selecting Vegetarian Restaurants in Montreal

If you are like most vegetarians with family and kids then finding a family friendly restaurant can be quite a challenging task for you. Especially when you are new to a place, you would not know much about the eateries there. However, few options will always be there. When you are planning your trip to Montreal, you won’t find it difficult to get vegetarian restaurants. Vegetarian options are found in several restaurants. There are a good number of quality vegetarian restaurants in Montreal serving a variety of vegetarian dishes to choose from.

If you are like those vegetarians those who are choosy and picky about foods, then you need not worry. For people with picky eating habits, it is common to turn up foods which are not familiar too. Fortunately, people working in a vegetarian restaurant know this and keep an eye on detail. While you are in Montreal, you will find most vegetarian restaurant offering you creative vegetarian dishes which won’t bore you. Here are three most popular vegetarian/ vegan restaurants in Montreal, offering their specialties. Discover the best of vegetarian Montreal selecting any one of them.

ChuChai

Location: 4088 Saint-Dennis, Montreal, Quebec

Chuchai is a vegetarian Thai restaurant located in Saint Denis, Montreal. This Thai restaurant ranks among the finest Thai restaurants in Montreal serving fine vegetarian Thai cuisine that chiefly means delicious but not cheap.

Being in service for years now, ChuChai enjoys a good following. Thanks to their list of delectable Thai curries with are served with the vegetarian wheat or the soy based beef, shrimp, chicken and the duck alternatives.

The list of food items you find on the menu are high in protein, delicious and low in cholesterol. There are about 95 inventive vegetarian menus on list. All in all, it’s quite an attainment. The entrees served at ChuChai generally runs in between $8 -$25. Try the duck salad and few other excellent choices like the hot coconut chicken soup.

Aux Vivres

Location: 4631 Saint Laurent, Montreal QC, H2T1R2

This is one of the reputable organic vegan restaurants in Montreal. Nestled on the fashionable boulevard St. Laurent, Restaurant Aux Vivres specializes in serving innovative fresh organic vegan taste.

Aux Vivres is considered the big seller of the BLT wrap. Get big on taste replacing bacon with the smoked strips of the coconut. You can even choose to try out the Dragon Bowl consisting of brown rice, tofu, tahini and topped with fresh crisp vegetables.

Aux Vivres is great option for the health conscious food lovers. This vegan restaurant serves many cold and hot soup options, salads, chapattis, tasty sandwiches and even juices. Get some delicious toppings like hummus, tapenade and the roasted red peppers.

Spirite Lounge

Location: 1205 rue Ontario Est, Montreal

Another popular choice when it comes to select vegetarian restaurants in Montreal is Spirite Lounge. Surprisingly, there is no fixed menu. All meals served at this Montreal vegetarian restaurant are freshly cooked and served well. Meals differ from one day to the other. Well, if you’re not too picky, then Spirite Lounge can be a better option. You can complete your meal within $15.