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Saving in high-priced hotel cities, Part I

Helpful hotel booking tips

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Saving on Hotels, Part II
In Higher-priced cities in Canada and the U.S.


City names can make a big difference in hotel prices.

Driving along what was old Route 66 in Arizona, you may be thinking of staying overnight in Flagstaff, but decide also to check prices in Holbrook down the road “just in case.”

During summer 2006, you find that the Motel 6 in Holbrook, Arizona costs just $29.99 per night plus tax for one person.

In Flagstaff, the cost increases to $62.69 per night for the cheapest Motel 6 room—more than double for the same accommodation quality.

Why? Most travellers think of stopping in Flagstaff, as it is the best-known city in northern Arizona.

When planning stops on a road trip, always check rates in less well-known cities and towns.

Staying in high-priced cities

Sometimes, of course, you'll need to stay overnight in high-priced cities. But, try to minimize the nights you spend in these, while still having the same amount of time to see the sights or conduct business.

For example, Manhattan hotels may seem astronomically priced, even with Internet discounts.

If arriving late or leaving early, why not have your first or last night at JFK, LaGuardia, or Newark airports?

Using Hotwire.com, you can usually get a 2-star or a 3-star hotel room near these significantly cheaper than the same quality hotel in Manhattan. Saving this way could put $100 in your pocket.

The New York airport example applies to most large cities.

Decent hotel accommodation in downtown San Francisco costs big time. Safe parking in the city centre also costs a lot.
The solution is to cut down the number of nights you spend in San Francisco, without decreasing the time you need in the area.

Here are 3 ways to consider:

  1. Again using Hotwire.com, hotels at San Francisco International Airport often cost less than half of what the same quality hotels charge near Union Square downtown. (Frequent BART rapid transit trains connect these two areas.)

  2. If driving, you could stay in a less expensive motel or hotel an hour or so north the city (in someplace like Santa Rosa) for the first several nights, and visit wonderful places like Muir Woods National Monument, the Wine Country, and Point Reyes National Seashore that aren't in the city anyway.

  3. You could also spend several nights south of San Francisco. While in the San Francisco area, most people enjoy visiting Carmel-by-the-Sea, a very popular, a very charming, and a very, very expensive California coastal resort town, where until few years ago Clint Eastwood, the popular film actor, was mayor. However, you need not stay overnight in high-priced Carmel or set up a day trip from San Francisco.

    Instead, you could stay in inexpensive Salinas, which is less than 15 miles from Carmel. Salinas also makes an excellent base for visiting Cannery Row in Monterey, Big Sur, and Pebble Beach.

    Visit the beautiful Carmel area, but sleep in more mundane Salinas.

We're not suggesting that you waste great amounts of time commuting to sightseeing or business. And, you may want to pay extra for that very romantic hotel in Carmel.

Just try to save when it’s appropriate and reasonably convenient.

Go on to Saving in High-priced Hotel Cities, Part I or Helpful hotel booking tips.

 
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