Money Matters: Hidden Hotel Deals

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The kids are out of school and now you may be planning the summer vacation.

Before you hit the road you'll need to make a hotel reservation, and you don't have to bust the budget. Denise Trowbridge from Bankrate has some tips and tricks to get the best deal.

1. Use Priceline like a pro.
Priceline allows savvy travelers to book rooms at near rock bottom market prices. But there is a catch. You can only bid once every 24 hours for a hotel on a particular date in certain area. Start bidding for a top of the line hotel first. If you lowball you can bid again for cheaper hotel right away because its in the same area.

2. Discover what's so hot about Hotwire.
If Priceline is too complicated for you then Hotwire is for you. Hotwire shows the room price and amenities and location, but not the name of the hotel until you click "book now". But before you do that do your homework and make sure you're saving as much as you think you are. Know the regular prices in the neighborhood you will stay in on the dates you will be there.

3. More sites offer hidden hotel deals.
Travelocity's Top Secret Hotels and Expedia's unpublished rates service show the price, star rating and a neighborhood map along with customer reviews. Get A Room's unpublished rate service. All of these are competing for your money with the big guys.

4. Figure out what a good deal would be
Familiarize yourself with the neighborhood where you're bidding. You don't want to stay in an area that's not safe. Check the hotel's website and see what the regular room rate is. There are websites like Better Bidding and Bidding Traveler that will help you through the process by showing examples of what rooms are going for.

So happy hunting and remember, a hotel would rather have some of your money than an empty room. So have some fun and enjoy your vacation in the hotel room you didn't pay full price for.

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