June 20, 2007

Finding a hotel

Marie gave me this tip for finding accomodations, at least here in the eastern US: Park at a moderate-level hotel and use your laptop to check the rates. Places like Days Inn and Best Western usually have free wireless that you can access outside.

I'll add a few more tips:
  1. Use a service such as Priceline or Kayak.com to check the rates (and ratings!) BUT...

  2. Don't book it until you have checked the hotel's own website. Moderate hotels often have their own discounts, and internet sites have a booking fee included in the rate.

  3. You can also call the hotel's reservation number and ask about discounts for AAA or whatever group you belong to.

I used these methods when I had to stay in Winchester unexpectedly. And since it was few minutes after midnight, I could not book a room over the internet for that same night, but I could check the rates and customer ratings.

On the other hand, when I knew I'd be staying in Washington, DC, I made my reservation ahead of time. Rooms there are likely to be booked up, and they are quite expensive. I checked various travel sites and found nothing that was reasonable within 20 minutes of my destination, and 20 minutes in the DC metro area easily turns into an hour with the traffic.

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