In a couple short weeks, I will be heading out to Baltimore to begin my cross country bike ride. I am going out a couple of days before the ride starts because I have some Frequent Traveler University friends who live in the area that I am excited to catch up with, and I also have to get my bike re-fit since I have to break it down to check it on the plane with me. I will be staying with my FTU friend for the first two nights, but I decided to get a hotel room for the last two nights before I leave.
Apparently something exciting is going on in Baltimore that Saturday night, because I couldn’t find a single hotel within two miles (no car!) that had available rooms (except for the very expensive suites, which I definitely wouldn’t pay for and don’t want to use points for since I am hardly going to be in my room)… and none of the redemption values were that great anyway. After checking all of the major hotel websites, kayak, pointshound, and the like, with little luck, I finally booked the Hampton Inn & Suites Baltimore Inner Harbor for a whopping $390.39 for two nights. At this point, I just wanted to have something guaranteed, because it was almost midnight and I had to be up for work at 5:15am the following day.
I had been talking to Ed, one of my friends from FTU during this process, and he pointed me to MileValue’s posts: Using Priceline to Save Hundreds on Hotel Rooms Part 1 and Part 2. I didn’t get the chance to look at them until the next day, but needless to say, it worked like a charm! I already knew that the likelihood of being within two miles of the locations I’ll need to be during send off weekend was pretty small, so I wasn’t too concerned about where I was going to be, as long as it was in the Inner Harbor area. I followed the instructions from MileValue’s posts, and ended up with the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront for $240.28 for two nights. This hotel is only about 0.2 miles farther away than the Hampton, and in my opinion, is a better hotel for about 60% of the price of the Hampton. Granted, because I booked through Priceline, I do not get elite benefits (doesn’t matter to me anyway since I don’t have status with Marriott) and I don’t get points for my stay. I would definitely argue that saving 40% is worth more than the points anyway though. All in all, using the Priceline Name Your Own Price feature is definitely something I will be doing again!