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Travel Happy!

Written by Erz on Thursday, June 05, 2008

I recently went on a short trip to Beijing, China with my sweetheart and it was really a fantastic experience. The break was good for us both as we were finally able to take our minds off our busy work schedules.

What was even better was that we didn't quite spend as much as we thought we might have. This of course requires a little bit of planning and research beforehand. If you're just the kind who leaves everything to your travel agent, then you might be spending much more than you actually should.

A good practice is to check out hotel rates beforehand. And you don't even need to waste time going to individual hotel websites. For instance, a website like Hotels Combined helps you to seach multiple hotel reservation websites at once and provides a comparison so you can sieve out the lowest hotel prices. You can also view other specifications of the hotels if price is not your main concern. The great thing about this website is the massive number of hotels it searches so you can explore many different options in your travel plans. Best of all, the service is free of charge!

For us, we stayed at the Tianlun Songhe Hotel in the heart of the city center. This may not have been the cheapest hotel but it was reasonably priced, in a great location and had a modern business center, where we were able to surf the Internet at high speeds and check our emails in comfort.

Another good policy before you embark on your journey, especially if you're not going with a travel group, is to arm yourself with a comprehensive travel guide or get some information from travel websites such as Smarter Travel or Lonely Planet. The latter also publishes some very useful travel guidebooks which you can pick up from your neighborhood bookstore.

And by the way, if you're in Beijing for the Olympics, do drop by at the Forbidden City and Great Wall. It is simply spectacular and not to be missed! Travel happy!

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