Everyone’s heard of Priceline.com and Hotwire.com. In exchange for a great deal on airfare or travel, you give up some flexibility and information. That is, you don’t get to find out which airline or hotel you’re using until you’ve committed your money.
This lack of information spawned sites like BetterBidding.com and BiddingForTravel.com provide. Inside the forums, people share their bids, if they won, and what they won. There are also a few useful tips that novice users may not be aware of, like how to get “free” rebids. For example, maybe you bid $50 for a hotel room and got rejected. With the right information, you can try rebid again at $55 or $60 without having to change your original search parameters. Using this combo of history and multiple bids, you can avoid overbidding and get the best price possible.
For instance, I just used the information from BiddingForTravel to get a double room in a 4-star hotel in London for ?50 ($95) a night at Priceline, plus taxes. On the hotels’s own website, the room is ?150 a night, and even on Expedia’s “Special Rate” it was ?105 a night. $95 may sound expensive, but if you have ever tried to find affordable lodging in London, you’d agree that this is a great deal. I went upscale a bit as am sharing this room with an acquaintance, but still it’s only going to be ?25 per person.
Even for a decent HI hostel you are looking at ?20 a night for one bed. Last time I went to London, I went backpacker and stayed at a private hostel for ?15 for a bed. For that price you get a bed in a 8-person room – imagine a regular-sized bedroom with 4 children’s bunk beds in it. My legs hung a foot off the end. And three showers per 20+ people. It’ll be nice not to have to lock my bag to my bed this time
Many people also swear by these sites for domestic car rentals, and often get cars for under $20 a day including taxes.
Yes, and don’t forget to get cash back when you shop online. Thanks, DorkyDad. I totally forgot to do this on this booking, dangit.
By Jonathan Ping | Frugal Living | 9/14/06, 1:17am