Planning for hotel expenses in Texas hadn’t been part of our two month travel plans and we had to do some last minute budget shifting. Leaving Central America a month earlier than intended because of illness, we arrived in Houston, Texas with no accommodation, no contacts and very little money.
My husband Barry had caught a nasty virus and after consulting with a doctor in Humble, Texas I found an excellent used book store, purchasing a good selection of reading material, filled a prescription and hunkered down in a comfortable hotel room near the airport while he recovered.Traveling back to Guatemala wasn’t an option and not wanting to go home early we quickly decided to take advantage of the opportunity of exploring southern Texas as soon as Barry was feeling better. Pricing accommodation rates was a bit daunting but during our online research we discovered Expedia’s Hotwire.com
That’s when the fun started. It became a game as to where we would be staying each night for the lowest price. Renting a car$13.95 per day rental cars with low Hotwire Hot-Rates! and mapping out a route we started the game of “find a hotel for tonight” using “Hotwire.com” online reservation system.
Hotel owners list their available rooms “at the last minute” and their prices are reduced substantially. Five star hotels price their rooms at three star rates. It was always a surprise as to what hotel we had reserved. We were able to pick the city and the area but the actual hotel was kept a secret until the transaction was complete. What a revelation when we found ourselves at a luxury airport hotel for the actual price of a mom and pop motel. Bath robes supplied rather than rough towels irritating our sensitive skin. What a treat.
Our first challenge each day was finding an internet hot spot to connect our laptop so we could log on to Hotwire. Many times we would park in front of a hotel, use their internet connection and Hotwire to search for a room. We actually ended up staying at the same hotel a couple of times.
The downside of this game was if we really liked the room and wanted to stay an extra night we had to pay the regular rate. A couple of times we tried booking it again through Hotwire but wasn’t successful because of their policy of not naming the hotel until the transaction was complete. We usually ended up in another hotel across the street or a few blocks away quickly learning that if we wished to stay in an area more than one night we had to take a chance and book for extra nights at the initial transaction time.
We had a great holiday ~ saw a lot of fascinating places and interesting historic sites. But the hotel experience was actually a highlight of our vacation with only one hotel we weren’t happy with. Being given a credit without any major problem by Hotwire customer service fully satisfied us.
Our two week stay in Texas became a wonderful experience and even though illness placed us there we enjoyed our stay – thanks to Hotwire.com. Our five star hotel rooms for three star rates enabled us to actually have a pampered vacation.
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