Archive for May 8th, 2009
You might have heard about finding cheap airline tickets through Priceline.com. But have you heard that Priceline can help you bag some of the ideal hotel bargains out there, especially in massive cities? Priceline’s hotel search engine is simple to use. As it does with flights, priceline.com offers both ”set price” and “name your own price” options for searching for hotel rooms. You’ll find the ideal deals by denotive your own price. Priceline’s “Name Your Own Price” option is what makes it unique, and, provided that you can be a tiny flexible about the exact hotel chain and neighborhood you’ll be staying, it can help you save a bundle on your next out-of-town vacation.
To try the Name Your Own Price” feature for hotels, click on the button on Priceline’s homepage that reads, “Name Your Own Price—get deeper discounts.” When prompted, simply type in the study of the city you’ll be staying in, the dates on which you’ll need accommodations, and the number of hotel rooms you’ll need.
Once you wage this information, you’ll be offered a list of neighborhoods in your city of choice. If you choose New York City, you’ll be offered a list of neighborhoods that includes “Midtown East”, “Midtown West” and “Downtown.” Simply choose one or more neighborhoods that you’d be willing to stay in and then choose your preferred hotel star level (e.g., four-star hotel). Then name your own price. Priceline will then check to see if any of its participating hotels will accept your offer. You will be required to enter your credit card information in order to place your bid.
Hotels in Priceline’s Name Your Own Price network will often accept offers that are fifty percent or less of the usual rate. Why? Because the hotels would like to have someone stay in a room at a vastly reduced rate than grant the room remain vacant. Name Your Own Price can yield some surprisingly low rates, especially if you are looking for a room at the last minute. Priceline users have snagged four-star hotels in Boston for 0 a night and three-and- a-half star hotels in Philadelphia for a night. In smaller cities, like Baltimore and Milwaukee, three star hotels can be had for as low as to dollars.
The disadvantage to Name Your Own Price is that you don’t find out the actual study and exact address of your hotel until your offer has been accepted and your credit card has been charged. Never fear, though! The hotels in Priceline’s Name Your Own Price network are familiar, reputable hotels—Omni, Westin, Hyatt, etc.—and when you bid on a four-star hotel, you can feel confident that what you get in the end will be a room reservation in a four-star hotel. However, if you belong to a loyalty program or have a rewards card with a particular hotel chain, then Name Your Own Price might not seem so attractive.
After you submit your price and room request, it usually takes only a matter of minutes for Priceline to let you know if your offer has been accepted. If your offer is accepted, then your reservation has been prefabricated and paid for. If your offer is rejected, you will have to move twenty-four hours before you make the exact same offer. However, you can make the place an offer again immediately if you change some detail of your request. (Simply raising your bid price doesn’t count.) The easiest fix is to change your preferred neighborhood (for instance from Midtown West to Midtown East), add one or more neighborhoods to your request, or change your preferred hotel star level (for instance from four-star to three-star). It usually doesn’t take more than two tries to place a successful bid. Once you get the message that your offer has been accepted by Priceline, you can rest and try to figure out how you’re going to spend all that money that you by booking your hotel through Priceline.