Hotwire: Save A Chunk On Hotels + More
Posted by Kurt Smith
I first discovered Hotwire when booking hotel rooms on a ballpark trip way back in 2003, and I have been using them so much ever since that paying $100 for a hotel room is something I don’t even consider anymore.
I’m sure you’ve noticed how expensive hotel stays are these days. If you book directly through a hotel website, you’re looking at triple digits to stay anyplace decent, and that’s not even counting the additional markup to stay in an expensive city like Boston. Years ago, before I became independently middle class, I would often stay in a Motel 6 or whatever place accepted AAA coupons.
Have you ever stayed in a Motel 6? You’re kind of happy just to see a bar of soap in the shower. But there’s a reason Motel 6 and Super 8 and Days Inn are so popular. Price.
Now, I don’t mind paying more for a nice room. I’ve stayed in Doubletrees and thought they were well worth the few extra bucks. But if I can get that room for $60 instead of $120, I’m going for it.
Hotwire makes that possible.
Hotwire lists rooms that hotels have trouble occupying and are willing to offer for a discounted price. You can sort hotels in your search by star rating, by a high level of positive reviews, by geographical area and by amenities. If you want a three star place with free breakfast and a pool near the O’Hare airport, and at least 80% of the people who review it liked it, Hotwire can find it for you.
There’s one catch: Hotwire won’t give you the name or address of the hotel until you book it, and there’s no canceling unless you pay a few extra bucks for a cancellation policy.
I have no problem with this. How many times are we familiar with the area we’re staying in anyway? I’ve had less than stellar experiences staying in popular name brand hotels. There can be a world of difference between two Best Westerns (I like Best Western, just using them as an example). If 90% of the customers liked the place, I figure I’ll be fine.
I have gotten some absolute steals on hotel rooms through Hotwire, and it’s still my favorite site for lodging.
By the way, you can also get inexpensive rental cars and flights through Hotwire, and I’ve done very well using Hotwire for that too.
Full disclosure: Hotwire is an affiliate of Ballpark E-Guides. Even if they weren’t I’d happily recommend them anyway. So tell them I sent you and use this link to try it on your next baseball trip.
(Hotwire ad courtesy of Hotwire.)