Updated: Jul 8, 2019
So our first family vacation went well. We went to Virginia Beach and took 4 of the children with us. Considering August is peak season, we found a cheaper hotel, not lacking in quality, just less expensive, a little bit of a drive. It was like 20 minutes to drive to the beach. We only stayed 2 nights, 3 days so I didn't mind saving over $100+ dollars to stay a little further away and not right on the boardwalk like my husband and I are able to do in Feb/March! It's so hard to find a hotel that will accommodate 6 to a room as it is. The first hotel we booked was The Knights Inn & Suites. It was the next block over from the boardwalk. For being able to fit all 6 of us to a room and being that close to the beach $304 for 2 nights wasn't bad. Then I realized it didn't have a pool (which we didn't even use the one that was in our hotel we did stay at so it really wouldn't have mattered, but not sure how the kids were going to react with the ocean, I wanted to at least have the pool option). I found another hotel that could fit all of us to one room and it was down towards where we normally stayed, The Dolphin Inn. UNTIL I read HORRIBLE reviews. There was literally not more than 5 good reviews. I cancelled that, went back to the original hotel.
After doing some more research, I found that I could book the Quality Inn/Sleep Inn through the choice hotels website and earn points, extra perks and save money. I knew with this hotel we were at least getting quality at a decent hotel. It was in Norfolk towards the beach up that way. Booked it. Then saw that if I used my AAA I could save another $10, so I cancelled that booking and booked using my AAA, on the choice hotel website. After all said and done I save $110 off of the Knights Inn hotel and $150 off the dolphin inn price! Not bad. I'm really horrible when it comes to making up my mind when booking things! Thank Goodness for Booking.com.
We rented a van to go and I even saved over $100 on that by taking 1 day off of my rental. I would have saved even more but I had to pick it up on a Friday, I didn't need it til Monday morning but they didn't open until after I wanted to leave and they weren't open on the weekend. So instead of keeping it 2 extra days after we came home, I took it back the next morning so it saved me money!
Lastly, saved some money by using Restaurant.com for saving on meals!