Hotel Roulette – 5-star hotels at 2-star prices
Living apart from my wife means that we travel often. If we’re going to spend a whole bunch of money to see each other, why not explore and treat yourself at the same time? Travelling is easy once you know where you’re going. The hardest part of travelling is figuring out where you’re going to stay.
When your pockets aren’t as deep as you’d like
Jakki and I are not rich by any means. The fact that we live separately means that we have to support two different households. Imagine having to buy 2 of everything; 2 sets of dishes, 2 sets of furniture, 2 sets of beds, and 2 different internet carriers (not to include any other household goods). That being said, there usually isn’t a lot of leeway in spending. But when we’re together, we always like to live it up and stay in the nicest places possible. We do this by playing a game called “Hotel Roulette!”
Here’s how to save money on hotels (with a catch)
This is one of my favorite games to play. Ever heard of Hotwire? (I’m not getting paid for this btw, it’s just so good that I’d like to share). It’s this app/website that vastly discounts hotels based on location and star rating. The trick is that it won’t tell you which hotel you’re going to get until after you’ve paid – AND IT IS NON-REFUNDABLE. It’s a gamble which is why we call it Hotel Roulette. If you’re certain you’re going to be staying the night in these areas, then it’s definitely worth it. PLUS there’s a way to cheat the system and figure out what hotel you would get. We’ve stayed at 5 star hotels with steep, and I mean steep, discounts.
It’s really easy to use too. First, you put your basic hotel information (location, date, how many people). Once it shows you what’s available, there’s a map. It will show you hotel’s current prices in the area and hotels with the Hotwire rate. I always choose the Hotwire rate. You can search through different areas and see the pricing available based on their star rating. I’ve used this in the US, the Philippines, and in Korea.
Related: 10 Fun Date Ideas For Any Budget
How to find your hotel with the Hotwire Rate
So, here’s the trick to cheating the system. Hotwire will always show you the actual price of the hotel along with the discounted price. I’ve compared it plenty of times and it’s almost dead on to what the hotel would charge you for the night. They also show you a map of nearby attractions/locations with distances from the hotel, but this feature isn’t available all the time.
I would typically just search of similarly rated hotels in the area and compare its pricing with Hotwire. If the map feature is available, I use all the mapping skills I have to triangulate where the hotel might be and search that location on Google Maps.
Boom, there you have it. Fancy hotels at discounted prices. I hope this helps you in your travels and if you have ways of saving money on travel, feel free to share!