Eight cities where you can live like a local without breaking the bank

The Hotel Price Index (HPI) can help travellers find affordable destinations, like Hanoi, to gain authentic cultural experiences. (CNW Group/Hotels.com)

Hotels.com finds destinations for budget-conscious Canadians looking for something new

TORONTO, May 9, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - Travelling ain't cheap. After flights, hotels and food, there is little left in the wallet for attractions and excursions. This is why so many Canadians travelling on a budget turn to all-inclusive packages where one payment can take care of it all. While this is great for some, the downside is that staying within resort grounds may mean missing out authentic experiences and culture the destination has to offer.

So what's a world explorer - on a budget - to do? Well, turns out you can have the best of both worlds. The travel experts at Hotels.com® have sorted through their Hotel Price Index™ (HPI™) to find eight interesting destinations where you can have an authentic cultural experience without going broke.

City: Hanoi, Vietnam
Average Daily Hotel Rate: $66 CDN
Why go? This nature-filled city is full of classic architecture, culture and great silks - who'd have guessed? If you're an adventurous foodie, the local cuisine may be an enjoyable challenge where cobra is a popular menu item. Hotels in this city experienced price drops of 14 per cent from 2011, making it an affordable option.

City: Siem Reap, Cambodia
Average Daily Hotel Rate: $67 CDN
Why go? Another city that experienced a significant drop in hotel prices, Siem Reap is known for its friendly locals and exotic temples. There's a lot to do and it may be hard to pick just a few, but a boat tour of Kampong Phluk Floating Village is a must-see.

City: Reno, Nevada, United States
Average Daily Hotel Rate: $74 CDN
Why go? Many may have been to Las Vegas, but how many of us can say we've gambled in Reno? This is another 24-hour city that'll satisfy any gambler's desires. For those with a passion for more than cards and tables, this city's location is perfect for active travellers who can indulge in all-season sports and ski in the morning, and kayak in the afternoon.

City: Pattaya, Thailand
Average Daily Hotel Rate: $81 CDN
Why go? If you're looking to party, you won't be disappointed here. Located only 90 minutes from Bangkok, Pattaya is the go-to spot for nightlife and beaches. Hotel prices in this city dropped 8 per cent from 2011, which can only mean one thing - more money for shopping!

City: San Jose, Costa Rica
Average Daily Hotel Rate: $89 CDN
Why go? If you're into museums, San Jose has one for everything. Well, not everything, but gold, jade and insects are covered. If you'd rather get outside, plan a visit to the jungle or Poas Volcano National Park to view its impressive craters.

City: Sacramento, California, United States
Average Daily Hotel Rate: $96 CDN
Why go? Skip the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles and head to Sacramento where for four months of the year it's considered the sunniest place on earth. If that alone hasn't sold you, a visit to Old Sacramento might. Travel back in American history, check out some 19th century buildings and take a ride on a historic train or riverboat.

City: Moerfelden-Walldorf, Germany
Average Daily Hotel Rate: $98 CDN
Why go? Located near Frankfurt airport, this scenic town is surrounded by forest and features pretty half-timbered houses, churches and a historic water tower that is often featured in postcards. It may not be as big as Berlin, but the town has plenty to experience with fifteen different festivals throughout the year.

City: Valencia, Spain
Average Daily Hotel Rate: $104 CDN
Why go? Grand Prix, La Tomatina, paella and 300 days of sunshine… we're sold. A visit to this classic Spanish city is sure to impress. Plus it's affordable with hotel rates dropping a reported 17 per cent from 2011.

It's time to experience destinations like a local. With so much to see and do and so little time off work, make a resolution to get in some real travel this year - the buffets and wristbands won't be missed, promise.

About the HPI™
The HPI is a biannual report that looks at hotel prices in cities all around the world. The data is based on bookings made through the Hotels.com website and the prices listed are the actual prices paid by Canadians - not advertised rates. The report examines prices paid in 2012.

About Hotels.com®
Hotels.com (also known in Canada as Hotels.ca) is a leading online accommodation booking brand. Through the Expedia, Inc. global network of websites, Hotels.com, LP connects travellers with over 200,000 properties around the world, ranging from international chains and all-inclusive resorts to local favourites and bed & breakfasts, together with all the information needed to book the perfect stay. Hotels.com, LP benefits from one of the largest hotel contracting teams in the industry, obtaining the best rates for its customers, and offers frequent sales, special deals and promotions. There are more than 7 million Guest Reviews on the websites from users who have actually stayed in the hotels to ensure customers can make an informed choice when booking. Through Hotels.com, LP's industry-leading loyalty program Welcome RewardsTM, customers can earn a free night for every 10 nights stayed at more than 85,000 hotels. Under its Price Match Guarantee, if a customer can find the same deal for less on a prepaid hotel, Hotels.com, LP will refund the difference. Travellers can book online or by contacting one of the multilingual call centers. Special apps for mobile phones and tablets can also be downloaded at www.hotels.com/deals/mobile_app/ enabling customers to book on the go with access to 20,000 last minute deals. Hotels.com publishes an award-winning twice-yearly review of international hotel room price trends called the Hotels.com Hotel Price Index™, which is now produced in 31 individual country editions, with North American data available at www.hotel-price-index.com. Follow Hotels.com on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Hotels.comCA, on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/hotelsdotcomca and on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/hotelsdotcom. More Hotels.com news is available at: http://press.hotels.com/en-ca/.Hotels.com, LP is part of Expedia, Inc., the largest online travel company in the world with an extensive portfolio that includes some of the world's best-known brands.

Hotels.com, Hotel Price Index, HPI, Finding You the Perfect Place and the Hotels.com logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Hotels.com, LP. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners. © 2013 Hotels.com, LP. All rights reserved. CST # 2083949-50

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SOURCE: Hotels.com

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