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Old 08-03-2010, 12:38 PM
 
367 posts, read 953,093 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by okgo View Post
It's considerably more expensive, in my experience. I did this last spring and ended up getting quoted $99 as a walkup rate for a Days Inn. A trick you might try: drive til you want to stop, get yourself to civilisation, then find yourself a spot with free wi-fi and book a place in town through Hotwire or Priceline. Much cheaper. Just make sure you stop before it gets too late -- usually you can't make a same-day reservation past 11 pm.
I second this advice, I have personally done this many times. A 3G smart phone can probably do this without the need for Wi-Fi as well.
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Old 08-03-2010, 01:02 PM
 
Location: San Diego
5,027 posts, read 13,415,221 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazy_bd View Post
I second this advice, I have personally done this many times. A 3G smart phone can probably do this without the need for Wi-Fi as well.
Yup, that's why there is the Priceline app! You save a lot more using that than going directly to their site. They regularly throw in $20 bucks, so you only bid say $40, and Priceline covers the rest. So while a $40 bid didn't get you the room, the $60 will. Love their app, it's one of my favorites!
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Old 08-03-2010, 01:14 PM
 
Location: Chciago
721 posts, read 2,663,217 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kayy911 View Post
Hi, next month I will be embarking on a 21 hour drive from CA-SD and I don't know when or where I am going to stop to stay for the night, I plan on driving until I get a little tired then start looking for a place to stay. Generally what is the difference in price when you just stay for the night at some dive hotel off the freeway on a road trip and does anyone else do this and generally what are your experiences? Would you rather just plan where you're going to stop ahead of time?
I recently ran into this problem when traveling, didnt want to make a reservation b/c I wantd to drive til I was tired and stop. When you see signs in front of hotels like rooms from $39 thats if you book in advance its normally closer to $60 if you just show up.

If you have an iphone go online nad book your room minutes before you show up. If you dont have an iphone you can usually get away with just calling up a half hour before you arrive and making a reservaton.

Kinda dumb you gotta play games to get the advertised rate but that has always worked for me.
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Old 08-03-2010, 01:53 PM
 
171 posts, read 585,372 times
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Thanks for all the input guys, keep it coming, I think I'll bring my laptop and find a McDonald's or Starbucks with free WiFi and book a hotel near there when I get tired. Any other tips?
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Old 08-03-2010, 01:58 PM
 
Location: MMU->ABE->ATL->ASH
9,127 posts, read 17,141,418 times
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On one trip my Sister called me and had be book her a hotel room, Was alot easyer for her to call me on her cell then pull off, find a wifi signel that was not locked, and then book it. She called me about 10 mins before she was getting off the hiway and i went online from home and found a hotel for her, actualy had her go another 10 min further down the Hiway cause the rates in 2nd town were $40/less for the night. She found out that the 1st town had a big wedding booking most of the two hotel there and that pushed up there rates I guess.
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Old 08-03-2010, 07:41 PM
 
Location: Tucson/Nogales
17,401 posts, read 21,239,668 times
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When I'm on vacation, I never book motels/hotels in advance, that would take the fun out of traveling, even when I've traveled to foreign countries.

To me, that would be like being at work, to be held down to a reservation somewhere, got to be here or there at a particular day or time span.

And with this ongoing recession, no matter where you go today, this country or a foreign country, there'll always be a room waiting for you, and not at a higher rate either.
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Old 08-03-2010, 08:28 PM
 
14,260 posts, read 23,991,339 times
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There is nothing that I dislike more than to have to do the hotel shuffle looking for a room well into the evening. You generally always pay more and it is a real hassle.

Personally, I head to Kinkos or log in on my laptop and do the Hotwire/Priceline routine. Generally, and especially in this economy, getting a cheap room is not difficult even within the 24 hours. I have taught a lot of people how to use Priceline and Hotwire and if I get into a jam, I will call them and have them book me a room.

In most properties, especially in the evenings, you are dealing with a front desk clerk who has no ability to negotiate prices. They are not going to lose their job if you move on to another property; they might lose their job if they give you a discount that you are NOT entitled to.
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Old 08-21-2010, 10:36 PM
 
Location: Texas State Fair
8,566 posts, read 9,667,470 times
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Different hotel chains are going to price according to ownership and management policy. I know some about Best Western which is different from most, so I'll share that here.

Best Westerns are locally owned but built according to BW spec's and operate according to requirements. As opposed to many hotels that are franchise operations.

Most hotels along the highway are likely to be less busy during the week. If it's about 8 or 9 p.m or later and you see a BW with no cars in the lot you're likely to get a discount rate.. on the spot. Typically, no pets.
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