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Old 02-09-2016, 09:57 AM
 
Location: Lake Arrowhead, Waleska, GA
1,084 posts, read 846,547 times
Reputation: 1579

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Hi folks,

I have been planning to drive up to Pittsburgh (from North Georgia) on 2/10 (tomorrow) for several months. My best friend was transferred there last August and tomorrow is actually my birthday, so we have plans for the weekend. We're driving over to Hershey, PA to see a comedian (who I won't name because she offends some people), on Friday 2/12 and going to the Pittsburgh Auto Show on 2/14.

The problem is the weather- it isn't looking great for tomorrow or the next day. So now I'm thinking about leaving this evening (probably around 7pm) and driving at least to Knoxville (200 miles) or Bristol, VA (about 300 miles). The total drive is about 680 miles, so Bristol would be close to halfway. I'm just planning to drive until I'm tired or when/if I run into dangerous road conditions.

Since I'm not certain where I plan to stop for the night, it's impossible to book a hotel ahead of time. I've found several in both cities that would suffice and they're priced anywhere from $89 to $149/night on Hotels.com (and Priceline). If I call one of those hotels tonight and they have vacant rooms, would they give me that price or possibly even lower? Or could I book it from the parking lot using the web browser on my phone? What's the best way to get a walk-in or last minute call-in deal at a hotel?

Any advice will be greatly appreciated!!! Thank you in advance for your help!
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Old 02-09-2016, 10:04 AM
 
Location: MMU->ABE->ATL->ASH
9,126 posts, read 17,129,667 times
Reputation: 9980
I would book it from the parking lot, or from rest area 30-50miles out. ( I do it about one Hour out, few times found the town I was planning to stay in was book solid, or very high, due to some local event that was filling lots of the rooms. Causing the remaining rooms to be High Cost.)

Walk-in, Last minute call to front desk or 800 number number get your something close to rack rate most of the time. They know once you are in the lobby, or on the 800 number you probably are not going to shop around, leave to often, and take a higher price.
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Old 02-09-2016, 10:36 AM
 
221 posts, read 158,416 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IGoZoom View Post
We're driving over to Hershey, PA to see a comedian (who I won't name because she offends some people) ...
The way people post on C-D really cracks me up. You could have just said that you're going to Hershey for a show. The parenthetical was completely unnecessary. But now people will feel compelled to figure out the mystery of who you're seeing that is so offensive (as I was). I don't think she's as offensive as you think she is. More obnoxious than anything.

That said, I've heard good things about the Hotel Tonight app, but I don't know how well it works for rural areas.
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Old 02-09-2016, 11:13 AM
 
Location: Hougary, Texberta
8,581 posts, read 11,070,781 times
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Trivago worked a breeze when we did a 'round the continent from Houston to Vancouver Island and back last summer.

We would search an hour or two before we stopped. Always got a significant discount off of the rack rate.
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Old 02-09-2016, 12:07 PM
 
Location: Silver Spring, MD
1,300 posts, read 1,094,672 times
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I would second the Hotel Tonight app. We have used it while in Europe with no issues. One benefit is that managers will sometimes lower the price as the day goes on so it's possible that you can get a better deal closer to your check in time.
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Old 02-09-2016, 02:20 PM
 
15,530 posts, read 13,519,456 times
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I would not even bother doing that. Just drive until you feel like stopping for the night, then the first hotels that come up just pull in and ask, and most likely they are within your price range or you will just need to go around to a couple to get one within range.

Those who travel frequently know the routine, and the expected price depending on the hotel chain.

Driving and just stopping for a hotel is no big deal, no reason to book in advance or in the parking lot.

Atlanta (meaning N. Georgia) to Pittsburgh is a one day drive, no reason to even stop for the night, just leave in the morning.
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Old 02-09-2016, 02:32 PM
 
221 posts, read 158,416 times
Reputation: 624
Quote:
Originally Posted by boxus View Post
Atlanta (meaning N. Georgia) to Pittsburgh is a one day drive, no reason to even stop for the night, just leave in the morning.
Unless road conditions warrant it.
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Old 02-09-2016, 04:36 PM
 
163 posts, read 111,786 times
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One other low-tech option is those "hotel discounts" magazines they give out at roadfside rest stops, tourist information centers and lots of McDonalds. In my experience, you're better off booking online at a AAA rate, if you can.
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Old 02-09-2016, 06:18 PM
 
Location: Lake Arrowhead, Waleska, GA
1,084 posts, read 846,547 times
Reputation: 1579
Quote:
Originally Posted by boogityboogity View Post
The way people post on C-D really cracks me up. You could have just said that you're going to Hershey for a show. The parenthetical was completely unnecessary. But now people will feel compelled to figure out the mystery of who you're seeing that is so offensive (as I was). I don't think she's as offensive as you think she is. More obnoxious than anything.

That said, I've heard good things about the Hotel Tonight app, but I don't know how well it works for rural areas.
You're right. I could have just said we're going to see Kathy Griffin. period. My thinly veiled reference was an attempt to appear that I cared how other people felt about her. I obviously like her if I'm driiving another four hours after my 11-12 hours drive from Atlanta to see her!
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Old 02-09-2016, 06:29 PM
 
Location: Lake Arrowhead, Waleska, GA
1,084 posts, read 846,547 times
Reputation: 1579
Quote:
Originally Posted by boxus View Post
Atlanta (meaning N. Georgia) to Pittsburgh is a one day drive, no reason to even stop for the night, just leave in the morning.
I'm going to try to make the drive in one day. I'm planning to stop at the New River Gorge Bridge on US-19 and I also hope to make it to Everything Fiesta in Sutton, WV before they close at 6pm. I have a Fiestaware addiction that we don't talk about....

If I break it into two days and stay somewhere overnight, it will be because of discomfort. I had cervical spine surgery in 2005 and they had to harvest bone material from my right hip. They cut a hole the size of a quarter and scooped it out (using the words of my surgeon). My c-spine and the two discs they removed have never been a problem since, but I tripped an fell down a few stairs landing on my right hip on the concrete basement floor! It hurts like a SOB sometimes and it can get really uncomfortable after four or five hours in the driver's seat of my car (or SUV/Crossover or whatever you want to call a Mazda CX-9). I'm thinking of buying (or leasing) a Volvo just because their seats are so comfortable....thrones would be a more accurate term for them.

But the CX-9 does have lot of space, which can be very useful. It has 138 cubic feet of interior space...which actually makes it a Full-sise/Large Crossover or CUV. I could sleep in it if it wasn't so cold!

I'm planning to get a good 8-9 hours of sleep tonight and I should be good to go as long as my hip doesn't start aching. I could make the drive from ATL to Pittsburgh in less than nine hours if not for the VA and WV law enforcement!
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