The Thrifty Accountant Newsletter

--Two minutes of money saving strategies


It’s time for a vacation–save with Priceline & Hotwire

Greetings fellow thrifty accountants!

Summertime beckons and thoughts turn to vacations. Where are the vacation bargains you hoped to find on the Internet?

Most of what I’ve found are empty promises–vacation prices that are sometimes higher than the prices you can get directly from the source hotel, airline, etc.

This issue shows you where you can get CHEAP prices without spending too much time looking.



I always dismissed the idea of “bidding” on a room in a hotel that I didn’t know the name of as a wacky idea–until I found out how to go about it!

The following two web sites that offer all the information you need to make an informed purchase of a hotel room using Priceline or Hotwire.

These web sites provide valuable information in three areas:

(1) what strategy to use in bidding

(2) find out what recent winning bid amounts were for your desired hotel

(3) find out which hotels you are likely to get if you select certain areas of a city and certain hotel ratings.

Using information from these web sites, I obtained a room at the Radisson Resort in San Antonio through Priceline for $66/night (regularly $109 to $159!) and I obtained a room at the Hyatt Hill Country through Hotwire for $160 (regularly $225-299). A 25-48% savings, if there are any number crunchers out there. This stuff really does work!

  • Use to bid on hotel rooms
  • Use to buy a hotel room at a set price without knowing the name of the hotel

Keep in mind that when you use information from and you can often determine the specific hotel you get.


I have only been on one cruise (Royal Caribbean in the western Caribbean area) and it was actually more fun than I expected. It was also more expensive than I expected, with all the port charges, taxes, shore excursions and tips.

The cruise pricing model is tricky–the cruise line will not offer the lowest price directly because they do not want to undercut their distributors, so you will not find the lowest price on the cruise line web site.

I found the lowest prices are available from in their weekly newsletter. The cruise lines can unload unsold inventory in a controlled manner by offering it to just the newsletter subscribers.

Many of the other sites promising discounted cruises actually offered the same prices as the cruise line when I compared the same vessel, sail date, and cabin. For example promised discounts, but I did not find them when I looked at specific sailings, even through their newsletter.

July 2005 | Issue #001