How to Bid on Priceline

Travel Hack 101: How to Bid on the Priceline of Your Dream Holiday

With the popularity of the Internet, online shopping has evolved in a big way. Shopping online can get you some great deals, and in this article, we tell you how to shop on Priceline, one of the premier sites for vacation shopping.
Those of you who want a holiday but aren't willing to shell out the big bucks that a holiday demands, can make the most of Priceline, a website that allows you to bid for airfare, hotel rooms, car rentals, and full-fledged vacation packages at a price of your choice. In effect, if you are looking for budget travel options, Priceline is the one stop shop for you. However, there are some rules and tips to getting the best deals on Priceline. Knowing how to bid can be of great help to you, and help you save money on a hotel stay to use it for something better. You can strike deals that are up to 50% lower than the actual price of a room at a hotel. Here's how.

Step 1: Start with Research
The first step is to conduct thorough research to find out the prevailing fight rates and rates of rooms at the hotel you want to stay in. Several websites offer discounted prices too, which you should be aware of when you bid. What is important is, doing so the same day. You have to ensure that you have access to the latest rates to be able to make an appropriate bid on that day. It is also important to look at prices of various flights and hotels that have all the amenities you are looking for, so that you can make a proper comparison and decide on the package you want to bid on. Finally, scout through Priceline itself to find out what others are bidding for, and put up a competitive rate.

Step 2: Consider When You are Going
In some cases, greater discounts are available for vacation packages during the holiday season, in order to attract more visitors to the town. On the other hand, in some cities it is likely that during the peak season rates are hiked. There may also be events during the time that draw a large crowd making the rates higher. Further, during weekends, at some places the rates may be higher or lower than those during the weekdays. As such, the best time to bid for all these packages can be determined only after you conduct the first step thoroughly.

Step 3: Place Your Bid
After conducting your research and considering all the factors that will affect your bid (time of the year, current rates, winning bids, etc.), you are now ready to place your bid. Knowing when to bid is very important. As mentioned earlier, you need to bid on the same day you have found the lowest prevailing prices, so that you can get the best out of your bid. Place the lowest bid possible. You may go as low as 20% of the current price, or hover around at 30% to 50%. If you have found that a lot of flights, hotels, or rentals are offering the same rates while providing similar quality, you can bid as low as you want. Bids can be increased later.

Step 4: If Priceline Rejects Your Bid
It is very likely that your bid may get rejected. If it does, you have to wait for at least 24 hours before you can rebid, if you don't want to change the star rating of the hotel, or the dates you are traveling, or the zone of the hotel. However, seasoned bidders have found their way around this system, and have offered tips to be able to change the bid within 24 hours, without affecting the quality of your deal. To understand how you can bid again within 24 hours, take a look at these steps.
  • Every travel destination is divided into zones based on the star rating of a hotel. For instance, a particular city may have four 4-star hotel zones and seven 3-star hotel zones.
  • Always place your bid on a zone that has the maximum star rating.
  • If your bid is rejected by Priceline, change your zone to one that does not have any 4-star hotels. Do not change the price yet, only the zone to a one where the highest hotel rating is lower than the one you have already bid for; in your case, a 3-star hotel.
  • The next step is to increase your bid by only US $1. This bid is also likely to get rejected. However, you have successfully rebid without having to wait for 24 hours, along with the guarantee that you do not have to stay at the lower rating hotel you bid for.
  • By going back a few windows on your browser, you can rebid without having to use the rebid option Priceline offers. Go back a few windows and keep changing the zones, remembering to keep them lower than the hotel rating you are looking for, and increasing the bid by US $1. These bids may also get rejected.
  • After about 8-10 attempts, your bid rate should have increased by the same amount. Finally, you are likely to get rockbottom prices on the hotel you were interested in.
Step 5: Make the Payment
After you have made your bid and come to a final price you are willing to pay for your travel reservations, Priceline will offer you a price that includes taxes. This is likely to increase the total amount you were looking to spend. If that happens, you can rebid up to an amount you are comfortable paying. You may use your credit card to make the purchase.

Bidding on Priceline can really help you save a big amount of money, and get you the best deals on your dream holiday. Use it wisely and you will have a peaceful vacation without having to worry about your budget.
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