Yes, I Saved 50 Percent On This Last-Minute Priceline Hotel

Apr 6


Randy Greencorn

Randy Greencorn

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I love saving money on Priceline and Hotwire, but I always wonder if I could have gotten a better deal if I waited. This articles helps Priceline and Hotwire users solve the dilema: Should I bid early or later on Priceline and Hotwire?


Priceline and Hotwire can save customers a lot of money on hotel reservations. When you reserve a hotel on either of these sites,Yes, I Saved 50 Percent On This Last-Minute Priceline Hotel  Articles you do not find out the name of the hotel until after you make a reservation. Hotels love to sell off excess capacity through Hotwire and Priceline because hotels are able to offer deep discounts without diluting their brand. The reason customers love Priceline and Hotwire is obvious - great deals on hotel rooms.

But there is nothing worse than booking a hotel only to find the reservation price decrease AFTER you made your purchase. As the moderator for a Hotwire and Priceline forum, I have found that timing of your purchase is critical as hotel prices fluctuate wildly. Here are some guidelines to help you decide whether to book early or later on Priceline and Hotwire.

2 Months In Advance: As a general rule, it is almost never advantageous to reserve you hotel on Hotwire or Priceline more than two months early. Most hotels prefer to run their own promotions and use more traditional methods to book reservations. There are some exceptions when you may want to use Priceline or Hotwire earlier than two months. Some examples include peak travel periods such as the height of summer (August), as well as some of the popular holidays (think Florida during Spring Break or New Orleans during Mardi Gras). Similarly, any major event that draws visitors from out of town may be a reason to book more than two months in advance.

6 - 8 Weeks In Advance: Hotels begin to look at bookings two months in advance, and depending on the vacancy rate, may start offering promotions. This is when you can get discounts and when selection on Hotwire and Priceline is typically greatest. Again, whether you should book at the 6 to 8 week mark will depend on what is happening in the city at the time. This is a good time to book if you are traveling during the high season or if special events are being held.

2 - 6 Weeks In Advance: From about two to six weeks out are when you can get the best deals but selection may be thin, and in some cases vacancy may not be available. Certainly during the shoulder and off seasons, this is when the best deals can be found. Hotels ideally like to be running at or near capacity and are more willing to offer deep discounts to fill the rooms.

Last Minute Deals: If you are within two weeks, one of two things typically happen. (1) Hotels are full and you will have to pay a higher rate. This happens during peak periods or special events. (2) Quite often, hotels will lower their prices even further. This often happens in Las Vegas, where, no matter what event is in town, there is always at least one hotel with excess capacity and willing to give a great discount. Although this is the cheapest way to get a hotel, there is some risk involved. As well, you may need to be more flexible with location of you are looking for a last minute deal.

There is obviously no best answer for when to book your hotel. Many factors come into play: the time of year, whether or not special events are happening, your flexibility, and risk propensity. A great resource available to help you decide is, an internet forum where customers post their 00 Hotwire and Priceline winning bids.

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