Monday, July 27, 2009

A Good Travel Deal

I heart Priceline and was telling a friend of mine all about it. So, I thought I would share the love with you guys too. This is my email to her verbatim, so I thought it might help you guys too on your next trip:

I love Priceline. However, I am super picky about where I stay when I go to the beach. So, I will give you my full insight on what I would do if an ocean view is really important to you guys.

When I go to a city, I always do Priceline Name Your Own Price:
- Once you enter in your destination nights a map will pop up. Just choose one area you want to stay. If your request is denied you can raise your bid by about $10 but you have to change locations on the map if you rebid.
- I usually choose a 3-star, as that is the lowest star I would be okay staying with. Those are usually like a Hilton Garden Inn. But, you can pick a low star and always get an upgrade. You can just never go down.
- I start at about $60 (ignore what they say the average cost per room is). I have gotten a room at a 4-star in Dallas, though, as low as $50.

You will either be denied or okayed. If you are denied you can go back in and bid on a different area and raise your price $10. If you are stuck on that area, you will have to either remove the cookies from your computer and go back in and bid or wait 24 hours and rebid at least $10 more. (Yes, this is seriously an art.)

That being said here are my minuses for Priceline when I am traveling to a beach:
I love to be right on the water and have an awesome view from my room. And, since you cannot gaurantee the room you are getting (one with a view) that would be a minus for me.
I also like to not have to cross a street or walk far to get to the beach, so that may be an issue with the hotel you get, even if you choose a certain area.
When traveling to cities, I don't really care where I am, so this works well for me. You are in a nice place, great price and the general vicinity of where you want to be.

Since I am a little more picky when going to the beach I use
www.vrbo.com. You talk and negotiate directly with the condo owner and see pics of the actual unit. I waited until the last minute on our honeymoon and get a $3100 condo for $1200.

Okay, probably way more than you wanted to know about Priceline. But, I love a good deal, so I hope this helps! When are you guys going? Keep me posted on what you guys get!


It's me again. Here are some samples of my deals with Priceline (these don't include taxes and fees, which will be roughly $18):
- Doubletree Dallas - $50
- Hyatt Chicago - $65
- Hyatt Ft. Lauderdale - $75
- Hilton Oklahoma City - $60

Use the money you save for an awesome meal on your next trip. (Clearly you know what my favorite thing to do on vacation is!)

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm with you on 'beach bidding,' or the lack thereof. ;)

I want a balcony with oceanview and have ended up with rooms a mile away from VA Beach on nearly every occassion.

But rather than arbitrarily bid for the cities, I like to check bidlesstravel out to see what everyone else has bid, then try my first bid lower and next for the lowest accepted bid the BLT search yielded. Check them out: http://www.bidlesstravel.com

Mama Mia said...

Sometimes it just kills me how much alike you & your cousin Dwayne are!!! He is a Priceline junkie! Our most recent Pricline "deal" was staying at the San Antonio Hilton On the Riverwalk for $75/night (4-star) and he was bummed b/c he decided he should have gone $65/night after he "won" it! Ha ha! He always thinks he could have gone lower...such a thrifty shopper! Anyway, we've had pretty good luck with using priceline so far too, but haven't used it for beach locations either. Mostly when we go to Florida we use Ocean Reef Resort properties to rent the houses we've liked in the Destin area. And, I have heard great things about www.VRBO.com so I plan to check that out in the future. Also, if you want to see something that will really make yourself drool, I have a friend who loves this site which is a luxury vacation auction site - www.luxurylink.com. I have yet to be able to "buy", but I love reading their emails and checking out what's available. Maybe one day...right??? Happy shopping!!! love, Jennifer DeFatta (faithful blog reader & commenter!!!)

Katie said...

Thanks guys! I will definitely check those out. I LOVE a deal!!!

stepfabulous said...

I use VBRO when I rent our condo in Vail to go skiing every year! It's awesome!

eGoDaddy said...

When we want a waterfront property, like you, we discovered www.vbro.com, too...great resource!

When "any ol' hotel will do," we also use priceline and fidn the rates hard to beat...will search for the lowest possible rate elsewhere, then fire off a bid for less, as to always save money. ;)

We also search bidlesstravel (http://www.bidlesstravel.com) to see what others are bidding for their hotels to get an idea on where to start...these three sites are all among my favorite bookmarks.

 
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