Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Compare and Save Using Priceline

Alright, the first thing you must understand is that hotels don't put up rooms way in advance. Bidding is not for planning a trip for two months down the road. The cheapest room rates are obtained shortly before your reservation dates. This means that if you are trying to book for Mardi Gras or another big event you most likely will not have a lot of luck. That being said I have been surprised at what deals I have gotten and when I have gotten them. Who says last minute planning doesn't pay off.

The main method to not getting ripped off is to check a website like Hotwire.com. Don't bid above the price shown on the competitor site. If your bid is not being accepted and you don't think the AREA will be booked out then bid again later. It is that easy. Priceline's inventory of empty hotel rooms does not hit the shelves until the product is almost spoiled.

I once, tried to bid on a room in Las Vegas, which are notorious for going for reduced rates. Well I was trying to plan the trip a few months in advance, and it seemed like no matter what I bid, the bids simply weren't excepted. I even tried bidding above the Hotwire.com price. I ended up forgoing the trip, because I didn't feel like I was getting the deal I wanted. Yeah, I know I am a cheapskate. Later I took a trip to Los Angeles for a huge tradeshow, and my wife booked the rooms two hours away. I called up and after a really long discussion convinced Priceline to refund my money but interacting with the hotel. I thought for sure we wouldn't find anything in the vicinity of the tradeshow, but I was pleasantly surprised when I booked a three and a half star room for just forty five dollars. The amazing thing is that the hotel seemed to be full.

The point is if you absolutely have to plan ahead, bidding might not be the best route. Then again if you want to make some last minute plans don't let your ideas of not being able to get a room discourage an attempt.

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