My work involves a fair amount of travel, mostly UK based and spread all around the country. I live in Yorkshire, about the same distance from Edinburgh as it is to London, which is handy in one respect as I am centrally located in the UK. However, when I have a concentration of meetings or commitments in one part of the country, I find it much more efficient to stay in the local area, rather than brave the 3 or 4 hour commute and do it all again the next day.
Having a young family I try and keep these to a minimum and I have always been one who enjoys my own bed, but every fortnight I normally have occasion to stay over somewhere in the UK.
Rather than following the crowd and submitting to the “know what your getting” sales pitch of the chain hotels, I always make a point of finding an independent hotel to stay in to get some variety. As long as the price is right of course. I find you get a much better flavour for the local area doing it this way and I am often pleasantly surprised by what you can find in these hidden away locations. Even though the cost of these stays is picked up by my employer, I have a personal rule that says I wont spend more than I would if it were my own money so I try and max out at £100 a night and it should always include a breakfast!
http://www.expedia.com is my booking site of choice, mainly because my Barclays account gives me 5% cash-back on reservations, but also as I find it easiest to navigate and there is a great selection of hostelries available.
As part of my personal finance blog I thought this would be a great place to document my stays and experiences where I continue to try and make staying away from home as enjoyable as possible.