Discount Secrets from a Truly Frugal Traveler

Welcome HotelRick Ingersoll, “The Frugal Travel Guy,” explains his Priceline discount system.

You’ll find great hotel deals on Priceline—if you know how to use the “name your own price” function. Become a bidding wizard with this system.

First, visit a board where people post recent Priceline bids. You’re looking for the lowest successful bids in your destination:

In another browser window, go to Priceline and use the “Name Your Own Price” box. Let’s say you need a hotel: Choose your star level, dates, and desired “zone” (neighborhood). Then follow these steps:

Say you want a four-star hotel in Boston’s Logan airport zone. (Important: That zone has four-star hotels, but not every zone will. As a backup, jot down every zone without four-star hotels, too.)

On one of the Boston boards, you see that $60 per night at a four-star, Logan airport hotel was successful. So your first bid is $55.

If your bid is accepted, your card is charged and you find out which hotel you’re staying in—no refunds.
If your bid is rejected, you have to wait 24 hours before rebidding. Or you can get an immediate “re-bid” by changing the star level, dates or bidding zone.

Eventually, you’ll land a discount that could be 50% or more off the standard price..

If you go for the immediate re-bid, here are some easy tricks so you don’t end up overpaying.

Raise your bid slightly, maybe $5.
Keep your star level and dates the same.
Add a zone that only has hotels at a lower star level. Bid again.
0 If you’re rejected again, click back to where you entered your first re-bid, raise your price slightly, and add another zone with no qualifying hotels. Right now, Boston has five zones without four-star hotels, so in this example you’d have five chances.

It sounds complicated, but only takes about 15 minutes to snag steep discounts for all your accommodations. Now, that’ll help you sleep better.

Keep on truckin’. What frugal travel strategies are you using this summer?

Rick Ingersoll is The Frugal Travel Guy—get more of his expert tips at

photo source: metroline6's shop on etsy

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