You may be curious why a road trip could possibly need a negotiator. Too much time in an enclosed space? Differing interests? Disagreement over what to listen to? Not even close. Every trip needs a negotiator to help them get the best hotel rooms at an often amazing price.
Our first trip included much less technology. We both had the latest version of the trendy Razer flip phone and no laptop to accompany us on our journey. We usually drove until we felt like stopping and then searched for a hotel or else chose one based on the ads in a flyer we picked up at a rest stop. This was not always the most efficient way to find a hotel and left us in a few doozies that we did not care to revisit. (It did, however, provide hours of laughter.) Our second year found us with a laptop, an iPhone, and our travel buddy – The Negotiator!
The Negotiator has made a world of difference. It took us a few days to get acquainted with him but as we did we learned what we needed to do to score the best rooms possible. If you follow these simple tricks you can save money and stay in hotels where you are comfortable removing your shoes.
1) Wait until close to the time you want your room. This means the day before or day of travel, if possible.
2) Be picky!! If The Negotiator rejects your bid, merely upping your bid will not allow you the opportunity to rebid. You must add additional neighborhoods or decrease the number of stars you are willing to accept. Basically our rule of thumb is to choose one area, four stars, and bid low the first time.
3) If The Negotiator is being finicky, be prepared to meet him halfway. Add a neighborhood and lower the number of stars you will accept. Note we said to add A neighborhood – not multiple neighborhoods. Once you do this you may also increase your price if you’d like. Once you add a neighborhood and reduce your stars you should be allowed to bid again.
4) Repeat step 3 as often as The Negotiator will allow or until you find a great deal.
The Negotiator seems to prefer assisting in larger cities where there are multiple hotels to choose from. If you are looking at staying in a small town in rural Texas or Oklahoma he may not work for you, but it’s worth a try.
We have stayed at some wonderful hotels once we began traveling with our friend. We hope he treats you as kindly as he has treated us.