Finding a hotel in an area during its peak travel season is a difficult task. Finding one in Long Beach Island, New Jersey, however, is another obstacle entirely. The peak season runs from mid-May until October, as the summer months keep the area extremely busy. To some, the annual Chowdafest marks the unofficial end of the busy season. Due to COVID-19, it seems like things may be a bit different for the summer of 2020. Social distancing guidelines and crowd-size limitations have made vacation plans a bit troublesome for the immediate future. Regardless, once the world slowly returns to normal after the coronavirus pandemic curve flattens, the beaches of LBI will be full and flowing with people and energy once again.
When that happens, all those people need places to stay. Here is some great information about how to go about finding the best hotel room during LBI’s most hectic time of the year.
It may seem obvious, but booking in advance is a component often overlooked by travelers, especially ones who decide to travel on impulse. The further out from your trip you begin to search for the right hotel, the better odds you have of finding it. As it gets closer to the peak season for different areas, local hotels will start to fill up quickly, which can impact room rates and overall availability. With so many people constantly on the move, having flexibility and options to choose between can lead to a more confidently made decision regarding a hotel. It can be extremely frustrating to end up paying an astronomical cost for an average room because you are left with no choice but to do so. As with many aspects of life, always think ahead. Preparation for a trip is just as important as enjoying it once you are there.
If you book your room in advance, conduct the proper research before selecting a hotel. Online reviews are a great place to start your research. No hotel will ever market the fact they are a mediocre place to stay. Hotels will advertise that they offer top-tier service along with whatever amenities they provide.
Find out what else is around each hotel too. You might not have immediate access to your car on the trip. Even if you do, driving around in a touristy area can be cumbersome and time-consuming. Using a ride-share service is also an option, but the cost can add up quickly. You might end up doing most of your traveling in through LBI on foot. So, consider looking at hotels that are close to activities you plan on doing.
With so many hotels to choose from in LBI, take a look around before you decide to book a room. Read reviews and see what each hotel has to offer. A place might sound amazing and have everything you want, but it could also have nothing but one-star reviews online. Doing this background check on each place can save you from wasting time and money at a place you will end up hating on your trip.
Typically, hotel room rates go way up on the weekends. Mid-week bookings are a great way to try and stay at a pricier hotel for less than it usually would cost on the weekends.
Staying during the week does not just come with a cheaper rate though. It also often comes with fewer crowds. Bars and restaurants will likely be much less busy on a Tuesday night then they would on a Friday. Plus, amenities at the hotel will be less frequently used by others. Pools, spas, hot tubs and other luxuries should be far less crowded during the week, providing for a more individualized experience. Finding a spot on the beach during the day will also be much easier!
Hotel rate-comparison websites are a popular resource for booking rooms. These sites often promise to take rates from all the different hotels in an area and find the lowest possible price at each respective location. The problem, however, is that their information is not always accurate. Despite the claims of these sites, booking directly through a hotel’s website can end up saving you a lot of money.
For example, here is a comparison of the Spray Beach Hotel’s rates that are directly from their website and the ones on Expedia.com. The rate on Expedia in mid-june is $285 per night for a 2nd floor, oceanfront room. On the other hand, if you book directly with the hotel, the cost would be only $275 per night. That may not initially seem like a huge deal, but over the course of a six or seven-day trip, that money starts to add up quickly.
At the Mariner Motel, a three-day-weekend trip in July costs $561 at Hotels.com for a poolside room with two queen-sized beds. However, on The Mariner Motel’s site, that same type of room and amenities costs just $510. Again, the cheaper option here is booking directly through the hotel instead of third-party service.
Websites such as Expedia do a great job of pulling different rates and allowing potential travelers to look at a wide array of options. But, it is always worth checking out the rates on the hotel’s website, as it can save you a good chunk of change when booking. So, you will have more money to spend elsewhere on your trip or you can simply put it in your savings account.
While finding a hotel that fits all of your desires is ideal, you need to be realistic when seeking out a room. It can be difficult to track down the “perfect” room when looking around, no matter how early you begin your search. As a result, the process can become increasingly stressful and might cause you to overlook other options that may have worked out.
Instead of focusing on one specific type of room, keep your options open and be flexible. Make a short list of features you are not willing to compromise on, but be open to something different or new, as it can turn out to be beneficial in the end.
Two spots to check out on the Jersey Shore are the Spray Beach Inn and Mariner Motel. Spray Beach Inn is a higher-end establishment located right on the beach. It’s eatery, the Sand Dollar Restaurant, is one of the nicest places to eat in town. The hotel also has a pool and an outdoor beach bar with live music in the summer. With fresh and modern rooms, the quality and experience that visitors have at Spray Beach Inn are among the best in LBI.
The Mariner Motel serves as a more traditional motel experience with lower rates. It is a few blocks away from the beach and also has a pool. If you are looking for the best experience in terms of value, this is the perfect spot for you.
Long Beach Island is sure to be hopping with activity once the shelter-at-home orders have all been lifted and people are searching for someplace to spend time outdoors. If visiting LBI is on your to-do list this year, be proactive in your preparations and search for a place to stay the smart way.
For more information about visiting LBI, contact us today.