Most people want to stay in a downtown hotel when they visit a big city because everyone wants the convenience of being able to walk to their destinations, whether that's the shopping district, the theater district, the museums,the clubs and so forth. But you have to pay a lot of money for that convenience. It's even worse if you decide to rent a car to get around and bring it with you downtown, then you have to consider the hotel's parking fees and in a big city it can be as high as $40 a day. One way of cutting the cost of your hotel is to stay at a hotel near the airport.
But it's so far away, yes I hear that complaint often. But if you strategically plan your vacation and prepare, you can cut your hotel bill by as much as half if you stay at an airport hotel and often you can park you car for free or for 70% less than if you parked it downtown.
Choose an airport hotel that has a complimentary shuttle so that you can be dropped off at the airport. From there you can take public transportation downtown and go to any city attraction and come back. Your commuting expenses are minimized and you're still able to get to where you want to go. When it comes to shopping, then that part takes planning because you'll want to drop off bags in between shops and combine it with a night out on the town. Drop off your car at a centrally located garage early so that you can take advantage of their all day parking deal. Then you can leave your shopping bags during the day at the trunk of your car knowing that they should be okay and then go to see theater, go clubbing, or dine at a nice restaurant. And at night you can take your fully loaded car back to the airport hotel.
Another way to cut your parking expense is to check and see if any of the museums are centrally located and offer all day parking at a low rate and leave your car there. Of course you are combining a museum visit with your shopping.
In smaller cities where there is less traffic congestion, then it is a better deal because you can take your car and not worry so much about where to park the car and have a more spontaneous day and then return to the airport hotel.
If you've never stayed at an airport hotel you will be pleasantly surprised. Especially if you favor the major hotel chains. It's not only for people who want to stay near the airport to catch the early morning flight or for late arriving passengers on the red-eye anymore. The amenities that you will find at their downtown establishment can be had at their airport counterpart, again for a lower price. You might also like the fact that the halls are less congested and their pool and fitness rooms are not so crowded. So think outside of the box when it comes to accommodations and you will find your pocketbook might not be so empty when you get home.