Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Get More, Pay Less

We went on a little mini getaway last week. We took Chloe to a children's museum (ee-um, as she calls it) and a really cool zoo. We needed a place to stay, so I used as I have a few times in the past. I'm never disappointed when I do.

I thought I might share my experiences, in the event anyone is curious about how it works.

First of all, you don't have to use the 'name your own price' feature. But that's what I always use and we get a steal of a deal every time. The major downside to the 'name your own price' feature, is that you have to give your credit card info and if they accept your offer, it's a done deal. Understandably, this might scare some people off. This is the main reason I'm sharing my experience. If you understand how it works, you will likely be more willing to give it a try.

This time I decided I wanted to spend 40$ on a hotel room. Now, you might be thinking - well, stay at the Red Roof Inn or Motel 6. Not to say anything bad about either of those places, but I'm looking for more of the quality of a Hilton or Holiday Inn for the Motel 6 price.

The cool thing about priceline, is you put in when and where, and then you tell them what star level you want and how much you are willing to pay. The trick to getting a great room at a great price, is to select a high star rating and then put in your price. As long as you're specifying a 2.5 or 3 star rating, you don't have to worry about winding up in a rat trap. They might not accept your offer, but you never know... They might!

There are certain limitations, and you can't just keep upping your price by 5$ until they bite. There are different criteria that you can change and every time you are denied, you have to change one of the criteria, or wait for 24 hours before trying again with a higher price.

For instance, we stayed in Grand Rapids, Mi. There were 4 different areas you could choose from in GR. I obviously wanted the one closest to the museum, but that was one criteria that I could change to see if it made a difference. Eventually, I had to lower my star rating to a 2, before it accepted my price of 40$. I waited until the day before we left (on purpose, for weather reasons) so I didn't have the cushion to try for a nicer room at a slightly higher price.

As it always does, it worked out fine. We wound up at a Baymont Inn. It was a nice spacious room, with a king bed and plenty of space for a pack N play. It had a pool and hot tub, a work out room, and free breakfast. Not bad, huh?

I've booked rooms in NYC (twice), Grand Rapids (twice) Fort Wayne, IN, Tampa, FL, and surely a couple other places that I can't remember right now.

Go check it out. You can see everything I've talked about, and play around with it before you click accept. You'll be really glad you gave it a try!

I have nothing to do with priceline or Baymont Inn, I justed want to share my experience in an effort to help anyone who may have considered using priceline, but didn't know how it worked.

For more great tips, visit We Are That Family for Works For Works for Me Wednesday.


  1. Ya know I've always been curious to try this...but thought there was no way they'd accept my low-ball offers. Well, gosh, I'm pleased to see that they really do accept low offers (I'd think $40 was unthinkable but in your case it worked out great!!) so I'll have to remember to do next time we are looking for a place (uhm, next year?! LOL) to crash for a night. Thanks for posting...I was curious as to others' experiences and not just the paid actors on TV promoting the site. :o)

  2. How cool! I've always heard about it, but never tried it because I didn't realize you had that many options. I always figured you would name a price and then could end up in a crummy hotel or a scary part of town, but it seems like it really has worked well for you. Thanks for the explanation!