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Old 08-18-2016, 05:06 AM   #21
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We rented our condo in FL in the past on VRBO. State of FL monitored requests for HOA approval for renters and demanded the 11% bed tax. We passed it on, but were very upfront with our renters. No one complained when they realized it was a state/local tax and was required by law.
Not all rentals charge the tax. But, the state is pretty aggressive about finding non-compliance and will threaten legal action to out of state owners.

As previously mentioned, "taxation without representation" of tourists.
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Old 08-18-2016, 05:58 AM   #22
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Just booked a hotel in Memphis. The tax was something huge like 17% and on top of that a local fee like that discussed there. Made the $129/night advertised fee a farce.
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Old 08-18-2016, 08:33 AM   #23
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You know hotel chains are starting to complain about places like VRBO not following the rules and undercutting their business.

Yet to me nothing has gone up more in price then the middle tier hotel chain nightly rates, The percentage of increase in the last 2 or 3 years has been insane.Certain properties that we have used on weekend nights down in MSP area have literally doubled.Double the base rate add taxes and fees on it all and it really comes out as a crummy deal IMO.
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Old 08-18-2016, 09:19 AM   #24
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You know hotel chains are starting to complain about places like VRBO not following the rules and undercutting their business.

Yet to me nothing has gone up more in price then the middle tier hotel chain nightly rates, The percentage of increase in the last 2 or 3 years has been insane.Certain properties that we have used on weekend nights down in MSP area have literally doubled.Double the base rate add taxes and fees on it all and it really comes out as a crummy deal IMO.
We had planned to drive from near Chicago to Seattle this summer. No longer like to stay in the "recycled" places because of bugs and cooking smells, etc. Got to checking "decent" (Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Microtel, etc.) motels and were shocked at the prices. We typically just sleep in such places (no pool activity, no long term stays unless near a tourist destination, etc.) We decided we may just skip this trip until next lifetime. Not that we could not afford it - it's just that we can't seem to justify the ridiculous costs for the service delivered. I wonder how many other folks are reaching the "saturation" point in such travel expense gouging. I think a lot of these places realized the gas prices were down and folks thought they could now afford to travel, so they took advantage and raised their prices. Hey, that's the "system" so I say "go for it." But just count us out this time. YMMV
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Old 08-18-2016, 09:31 AM   #25
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We had planned to drive from near Chicago to Seattle this summer. No longer like to stay in the "recycled" places because of bugs and cooking smells, etc. Got to checking "decent" (Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Microtel, etc.) motels and were shocked at the prices. We typically just sleep in such places (no pool activity, no long term stays unless near a tourist destination, etc.) We decided we may just skip this trip until next lifetime. Not that we could not afford it - it's just that we can't seem to justify the ridiculous costs for the service delivered. I wonder how many other folks are reaching the "saturation" point in such travel expense gouging. I think a lot of these places realized the gas prices were down and folks thought they could now afford to travel, so they took advantage and raised their prices. Hey, that's the "system" so I say "go for it." But just count us out this time. YMMV
Well properties close the the Interstate have always tended to be prices a little bit higher then the norm. But don't give up on your trip.Hilton/Hampton Inn has a particularity good branded credit card. I got one with 70K bonus points with a 2000 minimum spend. It gives I think 5x bonus point for Hilton stays and open you up to lots of discounted room offers..In fact I like the Hampton breakfast particularly when we are on the road. No one wants to get up and start a long day of driving by having to look for breakfast someplace.And the breakfast is certainly better then a fast food breakfast, since we don't want to spend an hour at a sit downbreakfast in the beginning of the day.
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Old 08-18-2016, 12:09 PM   #26
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Yes, I agree that the Hampton in particular has jacked up its prices regardless of the local fees. We switched to the Marriott's Fairfield Inn for our driving vacays, which seem cheaper and include the same level and quality of breakfast as the Hamptons.

The hotel fees are like mandatory car rental fees--the car rental base price often seems reasonable but boom that initially quoted $14.95 weekend day is doubled by the time you hit the reserve button.
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Old 08-18-2016, 02:28 PM   #27
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Yes, I agree that the Hampton in particular has jacked up its prices regardless of the local fees. We switched to the Marriott's Fairfield Inn for our driving vacays, which seem cheaper and include the same level and quality of breakfast as the Hamptons.

The hotel fees are like mandatory car rental fees--the car rental base price often seems reasonable but boom that initially quoted $14.95 weekend day is doubled by the time you hit the reserve button.
IMO it's the SpringHill suites Marriott brand that is the closest to the Hampton and the Residence Inn would be a notch above the Hampton. I feel the Fairfield breakfast it not quite there in quality but it is a little cheaper.

The Marriott chase card often pops up with some great bonus offers as well and includes Marriott Silver status which can get you a few discounts.My last bonus offer came with enough free points to get us six free nights at the brand Marriott Springhill suites in Moab Utah that had an internet rate of 200 a night plus tax.I think you can qualify for a new bonus offer every 2 or 3 years.
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Old 08-18-2016, 06:59 PM   #28
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We had planned to drive from near Chicago to Seattle this summer. No longer like to stay in the "recycled" places because of bugs and cooking smells, etc. Got to checking "decent" (Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Microtel, etc.) motels and were shocked at the prices. We typically just sleep in such places (no pool activity, no long term stays unless near a tourist destination, etc.) We decided we may just skip this trip until next lifetime. Not that we could not afford it - it's just that we can't seem to justify the ridiculous costs for the service delivered. I wonder how many other folks are reaching the "saturation" point in such travel expense gouging. I think a lot of these places realized the gas prices were down and folks thought they could now afford to travel, so they took advantage and raised their prices. Hey, that's the "system" so I say "go for it." But just count us out this time. YMMV
We are all victims/beneficiaries of supply and demand. Maybe the equation is shifting in favor of fly/car rent versus drive depending on your objectives? We flew to Seattle and went to Port Townsend, Bainbridge Island, and Victoria. Could have driven up to Seattle but that would be more tiring and we've done that before (first time in 1974 and heard Nixon resigning as we drove back home).

Anyway, hope you find something that is to your liking. Best to enjoy the good weather season and enjoy oneself. We have redesigned some vacations after finding out things about the intended destinations that were not to our liking.
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Old 08-18-2016, 11:19 PM   #29
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.....We typically just sleep in such places (no pool activity, no long term stays unless near a tourist destination, etc.) We decided we may just skip this trip until next lifetime. Not that we could not afford it - it's just that we can't seem to justify the ridiculous costs for the service delivered. I wonder how many other folks are reaching the "saturation" point in such travel expense gouging. .....
When travelling by myself in my van long distance, I bring a couple of pillows, sleeping bag, and single mattress, because it's a lot more convenient and free to sleep vs paying a hotel $100 just to sleep.
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Old 08-19-2016, 08:22 AM   #30
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When travelling by myself in my van long distance, I bring a couple of pillows, sleeping bag, and single mattress, because it's a lot more convenient and free to sleep vs paying a hotel $100 just to sleep.
I can see the pros..save money and can drive until you are tired and want to stop instead of planning around available hotels.

and the cons. no bathroom, possible safety issues and at truck stops and wayside rests having to try and sleep over the noise of 18 wheelers coming and going and keeping their noisy engines on. We snowbird drive in the winter and a lots of nights it would be too cold to sleep in a van.
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Old 08-19-2016, 09:44 AM   #31
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I can see the pros..save money and can drive until you are tired and want to stop instead of planning around available hotels.

and the cons. no bathroom, possible safety issues and at truck stops and wayside rests having to try and sleep over the noise of 18 wheelers coming and going and keeping their noisy engines on. We snowbird drive in the winter and a lots of nights it would be too cold to sleep in a van.
I traveled all around the country in van - for 6 months. You carry a porta-potty for emergencies, stay in campgrounds, with occasional truck stop / rest stop overnights in a pinch. It isn't luxury, but it is doable.
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Old 08-20-2016, 09:23 PM   #32
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I'm generally a campground person when we travel, but the IHG (Holiday Inn) credit card bonus is great, and we stay for free at a lot of their hotels because the point redemptions at some of their hotels are quite low.
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Old 08-20-2016, 10:26 PM   #33
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We usually pick up the coupon book at the state welcome exits. Usually find a Hampton, Country Inn, LaQuinta, and the like for $60-$90, all in. It doesn't seem too bad to me. You get a breakfast (even something besides carbs lately!). They don't always accept the coupons, though, if they have "an event"in town (even though the parking lot is empty?). We just drive on to the next town. This is southeast and Midwest...I don't know if this holds elsewhere.

But yeah, the coupons always have the before tax rate, so I've come to expect a much bigger bottom-line than the advertised price. As long as the only extra charge is the tax or taxes, I just chalk it up to the cost of doing business. On a base of $50 or 70 bucks, even a 17% hit ain't too horrific.
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Old 08-20-2016, 10:44 PM   #34
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Was in the business until retirement and can tell you that hotels don't like charging taxes and fees and I have never heard of a hotel doing it without being required to by some taxing authority. Hotels know that guests (especially groups) look at the all in cost of the accommodations when choosing their meting sites and hotels compete with other cities that may have lower fees or taxes. These fees and tax increases hinder the hotels ability to increase rates to actually pay for the operating of the hotel. As has been mentioned hotels have felt unfairly penalized when required to collect these fees but the VBRO's, until recently did not have to and they are direct competitors. Now resort fees...guilty as charged.
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Old 08-20-2016, 11:08 PM   #35
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We usually pick up the coupon book at the state welcome exits. Usually find a Hampton, Country Inn, LaQuinta, and the like for $60-$90, all in. It doesn't seem too bad to me. ......
When travelling with DW, we have in the past done this too. And I've even phoned via my cell from a close location to see that they will accept the coupon (or I go to the next coupon hotel).

Sometimes they tell me "we can't accept the coupon over the phone..." but I tell them I'm 10 minutes away and won't go there unless I know. It works.

Once we had a funny experience, the hotel turned out to be in a real dive area, as we got really close to the hotel we passed strip clubs, some warehouses, etc. And the hotel itself, was very scary.... threadbare carpet, etc..
We did stay as I was too tired to drive on, and it all worked out just fine.
But that is the problem with the coupon books, unlike a website reservation, there are not even photos of the hotel to view.
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