Dude seriously? Ninjas are like the toughest, most dangerous, awesome things ever. I studied for hours as a kid to learn the art of Bo staff fighting and throwing star skillz. Sadly, it was never put to use and has faded. It does not mean that I’m not a ninja in my own special way, read on and you’ll see.
There are about 9 trillion different methods for travel shopping but I’ve got locating a good hotel for cheap down to an art, follow along and try these tips yourself when you say “I’ve been working wicked hard at work and need some time to get away with my wife to Gary, Indiana…word.”
Reader: Why are you talking like that?
FiscalGeek: Mind your own beeswax, just read on.
Okay Gary, Indiana is a bad example, my apologies if you live there, but if you’ve been to Gary I don’t need to explain myself. For our example Hotel Excursion let’s pick a city near to me Bellevue, Washington. This technique is especially useful for what I would call a second tier city. A city near to a major metropolitan area like Seattle but slightly smaller. The key is for it to have a few good hotels you’d want to go to, but not hundreds and you’ll see why.
First go do some looking around the city you are interested in by visiting TripAdvisor. Read the reviews and make sure there are some hotels you’re interested in staying at. The reviews are what you are here for, learn something about your different options.
Reader: should I go ahead and book my hotel room from TripAdvisor?
FiscalGeek: Sure if you want a Back Roundhouse Kick to the chest from me, just hold on!
Now get yourself over to Priceline and here’s where your ninja skillz are going to pay off. Do a search for your city again and you’ll see a list of the hotels and their star ratings. Check out your particular star category (say 4 stars) and you’ll see all the hotels Priceline has listed and their best published price. Make sure all these hotels are up to your standards and near where you want to be. For this case there only happens to be of 4 star hotels in Bellevue which happen to be right in the area I want to go.
Reader: Alright I’m booking now!
FiscalGeek: <slowly eases his hands off his nunchaku>…Hold it, not yet!
Now you head over and click on the “best deal” tab and begin your final negotiation. Choose the exact area you were researching for me it’s Bellevue — Redmond. Now choose your star rating (4-Star Deluxe) and then finally name your price. I mean seriously low ball these guys. If you saw that the room was going for $200 over at TripAdvisor then offer them $100. You’ll be surprised the deals you often can get here. I recently stayed in the Hilton for $69 when it listed everywhere else for $150. Ninja skillz. There is a catch though, you’re committing to that room no questions asked, so be sure you’re traveling no matter what otherwise that money is gone.
Reader: Oh snap this one’s easy head to Google and search for flights that way.
FiscalGeek: Sure if you want to be like 77.54 percent of the suckas searching the Internet Machine, but if you’re seriously dope you’ll head to with the other 9.41 percent of the elite who know where the magic happens.
Bing seriously has some of the coolest technology out there for determining the cheapest flights and provides detailed suggestions on when is the best time to buy based on it’s Farecast technology. For instance, I put in Flight details from SEA to BOS and it gives me results with a predictor on whether to buy now or now and some great options to filter my results.
It takes some patience and a little online detective work to ferret out the best deals, but it could mean the difference of traveling to Butte, Montana or Innsbruck, Austria — you pick. Good luck and let us know your ninja travel shopping tips.