To travel abroad, usually accommodation is second expensive part next to flight ticket. Even excellent hotel cannot be compared with my home. Sometimes accommodation can spoil a whole trip. But staying 5 star hotel during entire trip is quite burdensome.
Fortunately, we have a lot of choices. There are accommodations at all prices from expensive 5 star hotels to cheap hostels. If you choose Airbnb, you may stay clean local house which is cheaper than hotel. Moreover, there are hospitality exchanges which spend no money such as CouchSurfing.
However, if you cannot choose any of these alternatives, you must book a hotel to stay. You need to choose a good hotel considering location, price, facilities and services within your budget.
Typical hotel booking website
After selecting the date and the city, you can see a lot of hotels. Every hotel seems the same, and I don’t know which one to choose. It’s very hard to choose because of expensive prices as well.
tripadvisor.com is a bit better because we can compare the prices of many different websites, and can see the reviews with it. But the problem is that the reputable hotels are too expensive.
Hotel rooms are also perishable goods
Of course, there are some ways to get a cheaper hotel room. I explained that flight tickets are perishable goods in my previous post ‘THE NATURE OF AIRLINE TICKETS FOR SMART AIRLINE BOOKING’. Hotel rooms are perishable goods as well. There should be ways to book a cheaper hotel room.
I think you can understand what hoteltonight.com do when you see the picture above. However, if you don’t book any accommodation for overseas trip thinking you could reserve somewhere on the day’s night, you can get in trouble. (Ten to one, you will do). So don’t just believe hoteltonight.
Is there any other way? Last-minute reservation is not the only way to book cheaper hotels.
Hotwire.com shows the reduced prices of hotels in each area in the city. But the most important thing, the name of hotel doesn’t be seen. It’s a kind of blind deal that only shows star rating and amenities of the hotel. We don’t know which hotel it is. If you think it would be ok, book it. After payment, you can see the name of the hotel. Of course, you can’t cancel it after payment even if it isn’t you want.
In blind deal, hotels sell rooms quite cheaply. They cannot sell rooms like this in their official website or other hotel reservation sites. It’s cheap as a benefit in return of blind deal. As hotel, they can sell remained rooms cheaply without breaking the price system. Actually, the many other sites apply the same model of sale with different names.
Then, is Hotwire the best way? Of course not. Actually, the price of Hotwire isn’t surprisingly cheap. There is a cheaper website.
Select area, star level, and write the price you want. After several procedures, fill in the payment information, and click “Buy My Hotel Now”.
If it’s been paid, you succeed. If not? Nothing happens apart from your today’s opportunity. It will not come back until tomorrow….
By the way, you can’t bid within 24 hours with same condition (same area and same star level). If you have a lot of time until departure, you can rebid several times increasing the price. If not, you should decide the price carefully. If there are free rebid zones, you can rebid once again by adding another area where doesn’t affect your deal. If you have another credit card, you can bid as many as the number of credit cards you have.
Satisfaction when you win the bid
The real success is buying a good hotel room by minimum price which the deal can be accomplished. When you get nice hotel room more than 50% cheaper, the satisfaction is quite big.
Of course, if bidding price is too high, you could buy indifferent hotel room not that cheaply
You need careful plan for successful bidding
Thus, success or failure depends on the strategy. Which area? Which star level? How much will you bid? Is there any free rebid zone? If so, how can you use it?
Don’t worry. There is a helpful website for bidding hotels. It is Biddingfortravel.com.
The process of bidding in Priceline
The process of bidding in priceline.com using Biddingfortravel.com is as below.
- You should read Hotel FAQ, and increase understanding about Name Your Own Price system
- Next, You should check what kind of hotels does Name Your Own Price has, and how much was the price of winning bid of the others. And then you should check the price of the hotel you want in the scheduled date.
- Establish the bidding strategy. Decide the area, star level, and the range of bidding price. Check how many times can you bid (Free rebid zone or different credit card)
- Bid according to the bidding strategy. If you succeed, enjoy the satisfaction and your travel. If not, you should find another way.
But be warned, if you don’t fully understand the Name Your Own Price (1st step) or you don’t have enough information (2nd step), you may failed to establish a good strategy (3rd step). It would make you feel a sense of shame. Of course, in most cases it’s cheaper than the lowest price in other websites. But there can be a possibility that hotel B (which doesn’t have as much value as $50) could be booked at $80 instead of hotel A which you prefer and can be booked with $100 in other websites.
I understand. You may wonder why is it so complicated to reserve a hotel. There is an easier way.
There is a nice website, biddigtraveler.com. This website also helps bidding in Priceline.com. It provides much useful value by systematization and interface innovations. It’s not that hard to use this website, so give it a shot.
There’s no free lunch
There’s no free lunch. The price can be as cheaper as you pay much effort. Even it’s hard for you or you can’t be bothered with this, you should pay average market price to reserve. Good services just lessen the difficulty and cumbersome.
The article becomes longer again. Let’s summarize.
- Hotel is perishable goods. Of course, there are some cheaper ways to buy.
- You can use hoteltonight.com for last-minute reservation.
- If you use Hotwire.com, you can book a hotel much cheaper though you cannot know the hotel’s name.
- Name Your Own Price service of Priceline is cheaper than Hotwire.
- You should study in Biddingfortravel.com and do market research to establish a strategy before you bid.
- Biddingtraveler.com offers easier way.
- There’s no free lunch. Even it’s hard for you or you don’t want to pay this small effort, you should pay average market price to reserve.