Priceline Rules

by Dual Income No Kids on October 9, 2007 · 0 comments

When I first heard about priceline, I wondered if it was too good to be true. Being a savvy traveler, I had to check it out myself. Now I’m officially hooked, and use priceline whenever I can. Here are a few tips for making out big time:

  • If you don’t know anything about priceline, the basics are that you give the price you’d like to pay for travel (car rental, hotels, flights, etc), and then if someone takes your bid, you pay that price. If you bid too low, you have to make some adjustment to your bid or wait 24hrs.
  • Start in advance if possible. Priceline makes you change your bid or wait, but if you bid early this works to your advantage. I’ve still found great last minute deals, it’s not a sure thing.
  • Know the market. Depending on what it is you are looking for, know what price you’d like to be paying.
  • Make sure to go to the Name Your Own Price section, otherwise you can be suckered into their standard offers.
  • Car rentals are the no brainer, since one brand is comparable to others. I’ve gotten as low as $14/day on week long rentals, and $50 for a weekend trip.
  • Hotels are a bit trickier. This is done by location and rating level. Depending on the city and how they break out the zones, this can work for or against you. For instance in say the Dupont Circle area of DC, it would be a safe bet to bid on a three or four star hotel and know you would come up with something fine, since you can look at the list and make sure there aren’t any sketchy options. However in Portland, Oregon they include the whole city in one zone. Bidding on a three stars wouldn’t be certain to get a sweet spot in downtown. Whereas bidding on a four star hotel it was guaranteed to be one of three hotels. We were able to get one of the best hotels in Portland, the Benson, for $100 and then we were upgraded for our honeymoon. My vote is to go for a better hotel and bid lower.
  • Flights, I haven’t tried these. My vote would be that it isn’t worth it unless you have the flexibility.

All and all it is a pretty good way to save money while traveling! Enjoy bidding!


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