Thursday, June 09, 2011

How to use your computer to get high quality low cost hotels!

Priceline, Bidding For Travel and Trip Advisor.

This information was originally given to me by a friend. I have changed it a little to try and make it easier to understand and use. OK,I’ll admit it: I’m on a mission to teach others how to get high quality hotel rooms at the lowest cost possible when they travel. So I would like to share how to make the most of, the website that helps users obtain discount rates for travel related services like airline tickets, hotels and rental cars. Priceline is not a direct supplier of these services. Instead, it facilitates its suppliers’ services to its customers.

Priceline offers two basic services:

1. A fixed-price travel service just like any other travel agency.
2. The other is the “Name Your Own Price” feature.

Priceline’s fixed-price service offers nothing special in terms of pricing, unless Priceline happens to posts a mistake rate that users can jump on if they act quickly. But that’s rare.

However, the “Name Your Own Price” feature can save you up to 60 percent on hotel costs
if you know how to use it.

To make the most of Priceline, you have to start by becoming familiar with four other sites:,,, and

BiddingForTravel, TravelBuddy, and BetterBidding are sites that list successful previous Priceline bids for airfares, hotels and car rentals around the world. Along with TripAdvisor, they also list reviews for the hotels in any given city, and by region, and by star rating, Five Star is the best, One Star is really bad. I bid for Four Star and Three Star hotels and, if the reviews are OK, Two and a Half Star hotels in a region where I want to stay.

To go through the steps, I’ll use a trip I took to see a client a few years ago. He lived in Boston at the time.

First, I went to and the Name Your Own Price hotels and found the various regions listed for the Boston market as well as the top hotel ratings in that zone.


1. I opened another window and headed to On that site, I went to “hotels,” then “Mass,” then “Boston.” I checked previous accepted prices in the various regions of Boston.

2. Then I looked at reviews of the hotels on

3. Then decided what star level I was comfortable with.

For me the downtown Copley and the Back Bay regions were too expensive. The airport region was best for me and within my frugal budget, especially since it came with shuttle service to the subway stop (“T”) to go downtown and then back to the hotel. On other trips to Boston, I’ve typically gotten the Hyatt Harborside Hotel, at Boston Logan Airport for $56 per night. It’s a beautiful hotel that costs $149 a night on a typical weekend. I always ask for a waterside room. If you do not ask for what you want, when you get to the hotel, they will give you a bad view by the elevators.

The key to being successful at is to read carefully the section on bidding and re-bidding. It is located in the Hotels FAQ. Suppose you want “Zone Airport” and a Four-Star hotel. From previous bidders, you see that $56 has been won in the past, so your first bid should be: Zone Airport, 4 stars, $50. If you don’t win that one, then add another zone that only has lower star levels available, and this time bid $54. If there are five zones without a hotel over three and one half stars, you get five free re-bids until you get an accepted bid.

Re-bidding allows you to start low and move your price higher without changing your parameters. But I have to caution you again: Read these sections of before going to where you will actually place your bids. You should even practice this technique with several imaginary cities without hitting the “Buy My Hotel” button. Once you’ve booked on Priceline, there are no refunds.

We have had people stay in Priceline rooms in over 30 U.S. cities, as well as in London, Dublin, Paris and Rome and they have never been disappointed. The key is to do your research on or first, then double-check the reviews at

It’s also important to remember to bid one star level higher in Europe for accurate comparisons to U.S. hotels. One bad hotel in a given zone and at a given star rating should force you to bid at a higher level or different zone for that city.”

Bottom line: By using these websites in conjunction – Priceline, TripAdvisor, BiddingForTravel, BetterBidding - you can save 60% on your travel expenses for the rest of your travel life.

It takes some work, but a dollar in your pocket is better than a dollar in someone else’s pocket. Play with this a couple of times and it will become easier than you think.