Great tips for booking the best hotel at the cheapest price!

According to Clark Howard consumer advocate (and my hero) the best way to book a hotel at the best price possible is with these tips.

Clark uses either or only to book his rooms when he travels.  Now as many of you know, you cannot pick a specific hotel of your choice when using these booking services, and that freaks many of us out (including me as I am a fanatic for a 4 or 5 star hotel room.)

Clark has some great tips for using these services to make sure you get the best hotel room possible for the cheapest price.  I have not tried this yet but I am going to give it a shot the next time I travel.

  1. Make sure you only bid on 4 star hotels (if available), if not do not go lower than 3.5 stars.
  2. Got to a site like and see what the prevailing rate is for 4 star hotels in the area you wish to stay.  This way you will have an good idea what the going rate is and you can then compare.
  3. Pay attention to the customer reviews.  I have learned to read the reviews now to get a good idea of what other’s experienced at these hotels.  Now not everyone is going to be 100% satisfied so make sure you read more than one review.
  4. If staying outside the USA and traveling in the hot season MAKE SURE it has air conditioning.  Many do not.  We are spoiled here in the USA and many countries do not have air conditioning in their hotel rooms.

Planning a trip to the New Jersey shore this summer? Here is what it will cost you to get on the beach!

If you are planning a trip to any of the New Jersey shore resorts then you should know it’s not always free to use the beach in each town.

Here is a list of the current charges (for some) to use the beaches in each town.

Weekly or seasonal beach tags are your best buy if you intend to go to the beach more than one time.  Some towns will allow you to buy your beach tags in advance of your trip so call the tourist bureau in that town.

Atlantic City, NJ – there is no charge to enjoy the beach.

Avalon – beach tags are required.  Daily fee $6, Weekly fee $12, Seasonal is the best buy at $28 if you are going to return.  These beach tags are also accepted on Stone Harbor beaches.

Barnegat Light (LBI) – beach tags are required. Badge Prices: Pre-Season- $30 (price good through June 9th) after June 10 $40. Weekly badges $22 (Saturday through Friday) Daily- $5. Seasonal senior badge is $12 (65 or older, must be purchased in person with proof of age.)

Beach Haven (LBI) – beach tags required.  Daily fee $5, Weekly fee $20, Seasonal $30. Senior citizen badges (65+ in person with ID) and children under 12 are free.
Brigantine – beach tags required. Daily fee $8, Weekly fee $14, Seasonal is the best buy if you intend to go again at $18 and Seniors 65 or older are free.

Cape May – beach tags required.  Daily $6, Weekly fee is $18 and Seasonal is $28

Cape May Point – beach tags required.  Daily $10, Weekly $25 and Seasonal is $35

Corson’s Inlet State Park – there is no charge to enjoy the beach.

Harvey Cedars (LBI) – beach tags required. Daily Badges $6.00, Weekly Badges $20.00, Senior badges available for persons 65 & over – $9.00 per season (with proof of age). Free for active duty military and their families as well as for veterans. Seasonal  (through June 15th) $30.00 After June 15th: $40.00
Holgate (LBI) – beach tags required.  Daily $7, Weekly $20, Seasonal $30 until June 14, after June 15 season badges are $40 each. Senior citizen (65+ purchased in person) seasonal beach badges are $5. Veterans beach badges (with valid ID) are free.

Island Beach State Park – beach tags required. Saturday-Sunday & holidays (7am to 8pm): NJ resident (per car) $10 non-NJ resident $20 Monday – Friday (8am to 8pm) NJ resident $6.00 per car, $12.00 non-NJ resident. Motorcycles are $5/NJ resident, $7 non-NJ resident every day.

Long Beach Township (LBI) – beach tags required.  Daily fee $7, Weekly fee $20, Seasonal fee $30 until June 14 and after $40.  Senior citizen (65+ purchased in person) seasonal beach badges are $5. Veterans beach badges (with valid ID) are free.

Longport – beach tags required. There are no daily or weekly tags available.  Seasonal $30 for adults 12-64, $10 for seniors 65 and older.

Margate – beach tags required. There are no daily or weekly tags available.  Seasonal $15. Margate beach badges are also accepted in Ventnor City. Beaches here are free on Thursdays, as part of the Margate Business Association’s “Thrilling Thursdays” event.

North Wildwood – the beaches here are free.

Ocean City – beach tags required. Daily $5, Weekly $10, Seasonal $25.

Sea Isle City – beach tags required. Daily $5, Weekly $10, Seasonal $25. The beaches here are free on Wednesdays (except July 4).

Ship Bottom (LBI) – beach tags required.  Daily $7, Weekly $20 and Seasonal are $30 – Pre-Season until May 31st, $40 after June 1st. Senior (65+) season badges are $10.

Stone Harbor – beach tags required. Daily $6, Weekly $12, Seasonal $28. Stone Harbor beach tags are also accepted in Avalon.

Strathmere – beaches here are free.

Surf City (LBI) – beach tags required.  Daily $7, Weekly $18 and Seasonal are $25.00 (on or before May 31, $35.00 after May 31st)

Ventnor City – beach tags required.  There are no daily beach tags available for Ventnor City.  Weekly-$10; Season-$15. Ventnor City beach badges are also accepted in Margate.

Wildwood – the beaches here are free.

Wildwood Crest – the beaches here are free.

Planning a trip to Disney? Check out these park ticket deals!

If you’re planning a trip to Disney, trust your ticket needs to Undercover Tourist – the only authorized Disney Ticket seller.

They are the nicest, most accommodating people. Each time we go to Disney, I trust only Undercover Tourist to purchase my discount tickets from – the service is excellent! (In addition to Disney, they also offer discounted tickets to other Florida attractions like Universal Studios, SeaWorld, Legoland, Busch Gardens, Cirque du Soleil, top dinner shows and more.

Short on time? They’ll send your tickets directly to your hotel if necessary, free of charge. (Or mail them, where appropriate.)

They’ve always got great deals going on; check out the latest. You can only get ’em by using the link below.

Lock in our lowest prices before the annual price rise! Save $48 on a Disney World 4-Day Park Hopper & get 3 extra days! Hop through all 4 parks.

Apply to become a Disney Panelist – put your knowledge to work for you.

Are you a Disney junkie?  If so here is your chance to put your Disney knowledge to work and get free accommodations to a Disney hotel, and/or park tickets.

Panelists will receive a Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland Resort vacation for panelist and up to three family members and/or park tickets for their participation on the Disney Parks Moms Panel. It is our policy to provide equal opportunity for all applicants without regard to race, religion, color, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age, marital status, covered veteran status, mental or physical disability, pregnancy, or any other basis prohibited by state or federal law.

Apply here!

Best time to buy an airline ticket

Knowing when to buy your airline ticket can be a real gamble. For the best value, do you leave it to the last minute…or book months ahead…or something in between? A recent study leaves no doubt as to the answer to this question.

The best time to buy an airline ­ticket usually is 54 days before the flight. Statistically, that is when domestic airline tickets are at the lowest price.

If you cannot buy at the 54-day mark, purchase your ticket between 29 and 104 days before your trip—tickets typically are within $10 of the lowest price during that period.

Source: Analyses by and

Ben Popken, senior staff writer responsible for consumer and travel reporting for offers more insight into the best time to buy an airline ticket here.

For even more savings on airline travel, check out BottomLineInc’s write-up on Google Flights.

And while you’re racking up the miles, you might want to look into their article Beware the New Frequent-Flier Rules to learn how to get the most for your miles now that airlines are altering their rules for frequent-flier programs—to the detriment of many travelers.

Hilton Suites Hotel, Ocean City, Maryland


Whenever we travel I insist on staying at one of the Hilton family of hotels and resorts.  My favorites are the Hilton Hotels and the Hampton Inn’s!  I have stayed at many hotels and resorts over the years and in my opinion none of the other hotel chains compare to the service and cleanliness of the Hilton family hotels. Even on our last trip to Disney in Orlando (a few years ago) I opted to stay at the Hilton instead of a Disney hotel. I’ll bet you didn’t know that the Hilton Hotel is right on Disney property?  Well it is and we were treated like royalty during our stay.

On our recent trip to Ocean City, Maryland we stayed (as we always do) at the Hilton Suites located at 3200 North Baltimore Avenue, directly on the beach in Ocean City!  My husband is a stickler for a room with a view and the Hilton beach front property does not disappoint.  He loves to wake up early on vacation and sit on the patio of our Hilton room and watch the dolphins in the ocean.  It’s a beautiful sight.




The rooms are spacious with a full kitchen, living room area with flat screen TV, a couch that opens to a queen size bed, and a table and chairs for eating-in if you desire.

The bedroom area had two queen size beds along with outdoor access to a patio with view that would marvel any tropical island.  

A stay at Hilton Suites (Ocean City, Maryland) Oceanfront places you in the heart of Ocean City, walking distance from Planet Maze and Jolly Roger Amusement Park. This 4-star hotel is within close proximity of Roland E. Powell Convention Center and Ember’s Island Miniature Golf.

Make yourself at home in one of the 225 air-conditioned rooms featuring kitchens with full-sized refrigerators/freezers and stovetops. Your room comes with a pillowtop bed, and all rooms are furnished with queen sofa beds. Rooms have private furnished balconies or patios. Wired and wireless Internet access is complimentary, while 32-inch flat-screen televisions with digital programming provide entertainment. Private bathrooms with shower/tub combinations feature jetted bathtubs and rainfall shower heads.

Take advantage of recreational opportunities offered, including an outdoor pool, an indoor pool, and a spa tub. Additional amenities at this Art Deco hotel include complimentary wireless Internet access, an arcade/game room, and shopping on site.


Enjoy a meal at one of the hotel’s dining establishments, which includes three restaurants and a coffee shop/café. From your room, you can also access room service (during limited hours). Thirsty? Quench your thirst at a bar/lounge, a beach bar, or a poolside bar. Cooked-to-order breakfasts are available daily for a fee.

So next time you are making your travel arrangements think “Hilton” for the best you can get! 

Please do check out the Hilton Suites in Ocean City, Maryland I promise you will not be disappointed.  Just look at the photos of this amazing hotel. Staying at a Hilton Hotel is a vacation in itself.