This is Part 1 in a 3 Part Series on Priceline:
- Priceline Tools-Cheap Romantic Getaways
- Secrets Professional Priceline Bidders Know-Priceline Rebids
Cheap romantic getaways pretty much exclude jetting off to Paris for the weekend. However, if you have an adventurous spirit, utilizing Priceline might provide just the cheap romantic getaway your heart desires! This guide will introduce you to Priceline while future blog posts will get into some details and a top notch bidding strategy.
If you aren’t familiar with Priceline, it’s a bidding website where you “Name Your Own Price.” The idea is you enter your criteria…date, general location in a specific city, number of stars, etc. Then, you simply name what price you are willing to pay. Sounds simple enough, right?
For example, I just entered dates and Seattle. Then I narrowed it down to just downtown Seattle. I said I wanted a 4 star hotel. Priceline came back and told me the median retail price for a 4 star hotel in downtown Seattle is $172. Yikes! That’s no cheap romantic getaway! However, if I can get a 4 star room for, say, $75, now THAT’s what I call a cheap romantic getaway.
The trick with Priceline is that you don’t know exactly which hotel you’ll end up with until after your bid is accepted and you pay. 4 star hotels are a pretty safe bet.
So, how do you know how much to bid on hotels? You are trying to find that sweet spot price where your bid is accepted so you can actually snag a hotel room while also paying the lowest price you can. A very general rule of thumb is to bid 50 to 60% off what Priceline suggests as the median price for your selections. So in our example above, we would start our bidding somewhere between $68 to $86. The trick is if you keep your search criteria the same, you have to wait 24 hours before you can re-bid. So, if you are planning your getaway for tomorrow, you might want to bid higher so your bid is accepted.
You can rebid sooner if you change some of your criteria. One simple trick is to go to a higher star category. I wouldn’t mind a 5 star hotel! However, I know for a fact there are no 5 star hotels in downtown Seattle. So I can actually rebid without “changing” my criteria. There are many layers of rebidding we’ll get into in Priceline 201. Cheap Couple Getaways, here we come!