Booking a Hotel Last Minute: How We Saved Money

July 23, 2013

Planning, Travel Tips

We recently had to book a hotel last minute and I was scrambling. We had 2 days notice to book 4 nights stay. What’s worse is the last thing on my mind was about how to save money and make the most of our trip – the two things I always think about! Sadly, we had a death in the family and we did not have a choice. Luckily I had a read a fellow blogger’s post a while back about the Top 5 Reasons to Use Priceline and remembered something about booking last minute travel.

How To Book Last Minute on Priceline

I have not tried Name Your Own Price but plan to try this option at our next opportunity. In the meantime, I went to Express Deals as I wanted them to tell me what the prices were right then and there. I had very little time! Now note I had an idea a couple days ahead of time that we would be going to Maryland. I knew where my parents would be staying and wanted to stay near them, but did not want to pay the price that they were paying.

You need to know the town of where you want to stay or nearby and Priceline will give you an area that you can then look at a map to see how far north, south, east and west this covers.

It will also give you the list of hotels that you “could” get. The thing about Priceline is that you don’t know which hotel you will stay at, so make sure the list that is provided for the area you are looking at is somewhere you would want to stay.

As an example, my parents were staying in the North Jessup area of Maryland but one of the hotels listed for that area was La Quinta Inn. Although I have stayed at La Quinta Inn when I was in college it had been many years, and the ratings were not great on this hotel. I liked the options better in South Jessup. Yes, we would have to drive a little further but it was worth it.

Where We Stayed With Priceline

Last Minute Hotel: Extended Stay America
We ended up at the Extended Stay America. I had never stayed there before but it was so-so nice! We had a full suite and only paid $127 after taxes and fees for two nights. Can I tell you that when our family asked where we were staying and I told them how much we paid, they were very jealous! Most of them paid this for just one night! Plus we had a kitchen, comfortable bed, and a pull-out couch for Jolie. Talk about winning the lottery!

Other Options

I have written before about getting those miles and points and this is why. For the last two nights of our stay, we opted to use points from two different hotel chains.  Yes, we would have to switch hotels but we decided to visit other family in Maryland that was a little farther away so this worked out well for us.

The first night we stayed at a Holiday Inn Express. No trip is perfect and this is where we found imperfection. Unfortunately there was a wedding party celebrating two doors down from us so let’s just say it was the worst hotel we’ve ever stayed at. We typically like Holiday  Inn Express so it was disappointing and we were glad it was just for one night. Luckily, Starwood refunded all our points for this night.

The second night we stayed at Chase Suite Hotels. This was a surprise as we booked it using some little points my husband had from American Airlines. It was quiet, clean, and very big!
Chase Suite Hotel

Booking a hotel last minute can be a daunting experience, but I have to say that really is all it is made out to be and saved us so much money and time when we needed it most. Also using points with hotel rewards is easy to cash in on and quick – it’s not like trying to get a flight where you have to wait for that 1 seat to be available! Besides, who wants to think about saving money when they’ve got other important things happening.

Thank you Priceline and Adam from Visit Flyover Country for pointing me in the right direction!

Related Articles:
- A Day at Baltimore Harbor
- Saving to Travel: Our Saving So Far
- 21 Things Everyone Forgets to Pack at some point!
- Timeshare or not?


2 Responses to “Booking a Hotel Last Minute: How We Saved Money”

  1. Sharon Says:

    I didn’t realize they had express deals. I thought it was all about bidding. I’m going to look into this for our next hotel deal! Thanks for sharing!



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