Using Priceline.com to the max for hotel stays

Happy Birthday to Ma Gow!

This weekend marks the beginning of what theoretically could be a ‘Round the World’ trip, as it spans a little over 28,000 miles, and crosses the Atlantic and Pacific, twice.  But it is two separate tickets, essentially back-to-back. I’ll post about it in the coming days.

My first stop is London with a couple friends, and we were still in need of a room for Sunday night.  So there are 3 of us, and after a little digging around, many British hotels that have 2 beds usually only gives you twins.  One of us said that we would take the floor, but I don’t want any of us to have to do that.  So I turned to Priceline.  For those of you who’ve never used it before, its an awesome way to stay at places which would be out of reach at retail prices.  I bid and got booked the Hilton London Paddington for Sunday night.  From the Hilton site, they were asking $250 ($300 after tax) for the night.  After really working Priceline, I was able to snag that room for $110 AFTER TAXES. Almost a 66% discount.

Here’s the general process of how to do it.

Priceline allows you one bid per specific inquiry per day.  Meaning 1 bid per location per hotel * ranking (1 star, 2 star……5 star).

First research on sites like kayak, expedia, the hotel’s website (Hilton, Marriott, Starwood, Hyatt, etc.) for the retail rate for the area you are interested in.

In your city, take note of what * (# of stars) hotels are available in which areas.  Not every area has all 1-5 stars available.  I was interested in looking for a 4* hotel.

Start at a price about 33%-50% of the retail (pre tax).

Now, if that price isn’t accepted, don’t fret.  There’s a way to actually get a few rebids in.  If say you’re looking for a 4* in Location A.  But Location C only offers 2* and 3*. On the next try, if you add in Location C, but still only look for 4*, you can put in another bid for the 4*, and if its accepted, has to be in your preferred area since there are no 4* hotels in the added area.  You can rinse and repeat until you either get an accepted bid, or run out of lower locations.

Here are some other great sites related to getting the most value out of Priceline:

http://www.biddingtraveler.com/
(I just found out about that site today, after I already got the hotel)

http://biddingfortravel.yuku.com/

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2 Responses to “Using Priceline.com to the max for hotel stays”

  1. […] the Courthouse Doubletree and then go check in at the Hilton London Paddington Station.  (See my Priceline entry on how I got this hotel for 60% off).  We lucked out getting this hotel (since through Priceline you don’t know the exact hotel […]

  2. […] Hilton London Paddington Station review and the adventure trying to make a phone call Read how I scored this hotel in my quick overview of how to maximize Priceline HERE. […]

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