I know I haven't done a travel post in a while. Honestly, most of the traveling we've been doing lately has been of the moving variety. But all that's about to change.
Fall through spring tend to be our big travel months. We take a week trip in the fall, a 4 day trip for New Year's, and another week in the dead of winter (to warm up of course). Then there's always the odd long weekend peppered in here and there.
Our fall trip this year is to Belgium and The Netherlands and it's rapidly approaching. I just booked our hotel for Brussels and I simply had to share it with you. I got some kind of deal on our room, and you can too! So here's another refresher course on how to travel cheap...courtesy of the most frugal traveler around...me!
I've posted these tips in the past but it's never a bad idea to get a refresher course on bidding for travel, so here we go!
Airfare is the only thing you can never really get a great deal on. It IS possible to bid for it but the rules state that they can put you on just about any flight in a 24 hour period with layover times as long as 5 hours. No thank you. I'm willing to give up some control over my hotel room but keep your hands off my flight plans.
I always use Kayak to search for flights. It searches the search engines. It's the best. It's a one stop shop for flights and will always find you the best deal.
Now here is where you can save a boatload of money, and trust me, I do. Bidding for your hotel room on PriceLine is the only way to go if you ask me. Not 10 minutes ago I won a bid for a 4 star hotel room in the center of Brussels for, get this, $45 a night!!! 45 dollars, not euros...a night!!! Why wouldn't you do this!?!?
Now I've got my sights on a hotel in Amsterdam for $65 a night. It's a bit pricier but it is a more well known city and that makes a difference. Here's how I do it.....
Step 1.) Go to www.biddingfortravel.com
Bidding for travel is a huge bulletin board where people post their winning bids, failed bids and hotel specifics. When you bid on Priceline all you get do do is choose the area and the star rating...the rest is up to chance. But if you read posts on bidding for travel you can narrow down which hotels you might get. I knew it would be one of two and I was right.
Step 2.) Bid on Priceline.com
Priceline only allows you to bid one time per star rating in a 24 hour period. Yesterday I tried to get a room for $40 in Brussels and lost, so today I raised my bid by $5 and won. Sometimes you can even get lucky by just re-bidding the same thing the next day. The closer it gets to your travel date the better your chances are because hotels want to sell unsold rooms for whatever they can get. It's better than nothing at all right!
Now, all sales are final. They charge your card the minute a bid is accepted and you have no idea what hotel you're getting until after they charge your card, but a 4 star hotel is a 4 star hotel wherever you go so you really can't go wrong.
Think you can't afford to go away for New Year's eve? Or maybe you're just looking for a weekend away (Nick and I are thinking of doing a weekend in Nashville soon). Please, pretty please give Priceline a try. If you're a little scared about the whole not-knowing-which-hotel thing then start small. Just bid for a weekend getaway somewhere close. I promise you'll be hooked. I am!
I know I sound like a walking advertisement (unpaid of course) for Priceline but that's because I've never, ever had a problem with them and they've allowed Nick and I to spend the money we save on more important things...drinks are on us!