Most travel groups would not require kitchenettes or large suites, but your travelers may want to have a coffee pot or hot pot every day. This could be one of many factors in choosing a hotel, your “home away from home.” Many travelers want to wake up to the thought of that first cup of coffee or tea in their room before the start of a busy travel schedule.
Hotels Bid – You Save!
Next time you’re planning a church tour or religious retreat, try using the RFP (request for proposal) tool found on Religious Travel Directory. It’s easy, and should save you quite a bit of money!
- Visit our site and post your hotel request – including location, number of rooms, any food and beverage and your budget
- Provide as much information as possible to ensure hotels bid aggressively
- Submit your request, and automatically your rfp is submitted to dozens of hotels in your service area.
- Hotels respond via a secure interface. You login to compare their rate against other hotels, and view their hotel amenities.
Thousands of churches have found our hotel rfp system a fast and easy way to book hotel accommodations for their group. Try it out!
Other questions that may be raised by tour members: Does the room have a hair dryer? Do I need an electrical converter and adaptor? Is there an ironing board and iron? These seem like small concerns when looking at the overall travel experience but, with packing light being emphasized, it is important.
Consider the types of accommodations available—3-, 4- and 5-star hotels— and know what that means for your group, and for your travel budget. Hotels in foreign countries are categorized under a different type of rating system than in the U.S. Properties in the 2-star category would not usually be recommended, and in some countries 3-star hotels are not up to established standards with American groups. Your travel industry partner is the best source of information to assist you in understanding the comparisons to a U.S. hotel.
Also understand that international hotels typically have smaller rooms that are not comfortable for three or four to a room. Many beds are twin, but if a double or queen bed is a must, be sure to designate this in preparing your rooming list.
Websites for each hotel are good references and important to provide to your travel group. The hotel website has contact information for family members back home.
Search our Religious Travel Directory for group friendly hotels.
Location is important if you have free time for evening strolls or shopping and want to be within walking distance. City-center hotels may be worth the extra dollars in the tour price if many of your activities are nearby – if not, save money by locating just outside the city. You will find a better quality property at a lower rate.
Perhaps your group will want to stay in a monastery or mission guest house. If you are planning a youth trip, youth hostels are a great experience. It is not the amenities that attract youth to this type of lodging but the opportunity to meet travelers from many different countries and cultures. A monastery or hostel can be an exciting element to your trip, but be sure you understand that such accommodations differ from standard hotels and advise your travelers of any differences they will encounter.
For example, some of these alternative lodgings have quiet hours in the early evening. Others have minimal meal service. Do your guests have to handle their own luggage because there’s no bellman, and walk up flights of steps to get to and from their rooms? Have a bullet point list of questions before considering such lodging – advance planning can make this a very meaningful experience and ensure no surprises on arrival.
If the travel is a true pilgrimage, staying in a monastery or mission guest house is an important part of the tour. Your travelers will experience a spiritual richness that is not found in a standard hotel, an opportunity to listen to the hush of holiness or the majesty of nature. Remember that monastery or mission guest houses are available in North America—you don’t need to go to “across the pond” to experience this.
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