Monday, July 30, 2007

Two-Day Getaway: Hotels Get You

So just for kicks 'n' giggles the Wife and Kid and I took off this weekend for a little getaway. Nothing major — just a 3- or 4-hour jaunt south to Dallas / Ft. Worth (well, mostly Ft. Worth). It was a fun time; pleasant and memorable (in a good way) experiences were had by all. As it happened, I lucked out: being the sucker that I am for pretty much anything Star Wars ... including traveling prop and costume exhibits.

Why We Never Do This Sort of Thing

I have become the sort of person, it seems, who, given time, can talk himself out of purchasing or doing almost anything. The more I think about spending the money or the time, the more likely it is that neither will ever get spent.

It's a little odd, really. Typically I have very little problem suggesting to The Wife, spur-of-the-moment-like, on Friday afternoon that we should pack up a few things and head somewhere for the weekend. Like Dallas.

Pre-planning a weekend mini-trip like this, on the other hand? Say, a week or more in advance? Nope. Darn near impossible for me. By the time the weekend rolls around, I will have given myself roughly 114 reasons why we shouldn't go, and my brain will be plowing around for even more.

When it comes to vacations, in My Weird Brain, spur-of-the-moment = good. Planned and contemplated over days/weeks/months? Bad.

Speaking of bad, let's talk hotels for a moment. Just because I want to.

Priceline Ain't All That

Let's start by noting that I reserved our hotel rooms roughly 5 hours before we were to arrive in Ft. Worth. And I did so directly through the hotel chain itself, because it was easy.

Done this way, our two-bed, nonsmoking room cost us $139 per night ($155 after taxes), for a total outlay of $310 for our weekend lodging. That $310 constituted roughly 59% of our total getaway cost.

Just out of curiosity, I checked what those same accomodations would've cost me if I'd set them up thru Priceline a week in advance:

Wow. Just not that much difference. I thought Priceline and Travelocity and all the rest were supposed to be Tremendous Vacation Money-Savers? Does Priceline (or do any of those services) work better if you need something last-minute?

Am I missing something here?

(Other than the fact that I should probably be more open to vacations. And planning.)


— Posted by Michael @ 12:03 PM


Michael, this is The Wife again.

"Typically I have very little problem suggesting to The Wife, spur-of-the-moment-like, on Friday afternoon that we should pack up a few things and head somewhere for the weekend."

I'm biting my tongue . . . :-)

A good time was had by all. I'm glad we went. Next time tell me the day before so I can pack during the day and we can leave as soon as you get home, rather than 8:30-9:00 PM. Pretty please?

OH -- and thanks for taking us!


I almost always book through the hotel itself anymore. Maybe in a few instances it would be cheaper, but overall, I've found that the price difference is teeny (and that when you go to pay, it's made up for in the "convenience" charge...last time I used travelocity it was something like a 10 dollar convenience type charge for using their service...which actually made the night *more* expensive than if I'd just booked directly)

The other truly big life saver is that usually if you book directly, you can change and/or cancel your room right up until the day of check-in....with the priceline/travelocity type places you can't change or cancel your stay without paying a fee. I think with travelocity it was $25.00....oh, and it is MUCH easier to deal with the hotel directly than have to go through customer service of some internet conglomerate. Travelocity had me on hold for 45 minutes to solve a problem! I don't care what hotel you stay'll never be on hold for that long and they're more likely to actually fix your problem.


I've found the same with hotel booking. The only real savings I've found is in hotel rewards (obviously only if you stay there enough). I am able to bank rewards time while on business travel and then cash in rewards for personal use.

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