Friday, June 11, 2010

To Save Money You Can't Be a Namby Pamby

vintage hotel sign through the viewfinder
My son is on a traveling lacrosse team and has a tournament coming up soon. The games start early in the morning so we decided to drive up the night before. But finances are tight. So I decided to give Priceline a go, and you know, karate chop those hotel booking fees.

We ended up with a room in a Hilton Garden Inn for $55.00 a night. This is half the price listed on the their website. I may be addicted.

There are, however, some caveats ... Priceline only guarantees double occupancy. There will be four of us. All four of us might be sharing one bed (granted it is a king). My kids are also young and flexible -- if necessary they can sleep on the floor. I am told Hotwire allows you to book rooms based on the number of people. I might just try this the next time to avoid the double occupancy issue.

I did call the hotel and request double beds vs a king. I was told there were no more double beds available. Then my husband called and pretended he wanted to make a reservation. Lo and behold they had a room with double beds. So if booking with Priceline don't expect first class service. We will ask for double beds again when we arrive and see what happens. If it's a no go then we'll simply snuggle up close.

Another caveat is that you don't get to pick the hotel when you are bidding. You do choose a star rating and general location. But you only find out the actual location after a bid is accepted.

So the moral of the story is you can save quite a bit of money via Priceline. But you can't be namby pamby and you are going to have to take what you can get.


Donna said...

I know.. isn't priceline really are the negotiator! Last time we were in LA we booked the airport Sheraton for $70 and when we got there they upgraded us to the suite! Momentarily I felt a bit dishonest and unworthy but after about 2 seconds I was over it. Enjoy your mini vacay!

Amy said...

Priceline used to give you a deal on groceries. It was awesome. You could offer the price you wanted to pay for anything; milk, vegetables, fruit, cereal, etc. They would either accept or decline your offer, but most times they accepted. We saved a TON when they used to do that. They didn't stick with it for long, though. :(

Mrs. E said...

I may have to give that a go! Thanks for sharing your story for those of us who haven't tried it. I wondered how it worked!