Higher hotel rates can be offset with Priceline, Hotwire


Hotel rates are headed higher in 2011, but you can dial back the price on 4-star accommodations using some of my favorite strategies.

Over the last several years since the recession, I have gotten deals on hotels that have been off the charts. It’s not been unusual for me to pay from $30-$40 per night for what I consider a nice hotel.

Yet a group that I respect a lot called Smith Travel Research estimates that hoteliers will push up prices by more than 4% this year as occupancies continue to firm up. That’s not a lot of money, but it’s not moving in the right direction for our wallets.

Priceline.com and Hotwire.com have really been the secret sauce behind my deals and they can work for you too. Before I try bidding on any of them, I first visit a couple of message boards where people share what they’re bidding and what’s been accepted as a successful bid. BiddingforTravel.com is particularly good for Priceline and BetterBidding.com can be used for Hotwire.

My brother is obsessed with Priceline. He and I always commiserate any time our first bid is accepted. You never want to get a hotel on the first bid. You want to be turned down and then enter a re-bid because it means you’re in the right territory!

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