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How Do People Afford Hotel Rooms?

June 20th, 2014 at 03:01 pm

I tried to pin down my brother on where to stay for my niece's upcoming wedding. The family has always made accommodations before -- sometimes on couches and aerobeds, but I've rarely had to get a hotel room. Well, this time, he hemmed and hawed, and I finally figured out that he didn't want to say "no" but he was saying no. I think he is overwhelmed with wedding stuff and he's planning a family dinner after the wedding, so the thought of guests in the house was too much. I wish he had come right out and said so. I don't mind, I just want to KNOW.

So, I reserved two rooms at a nearby hotel for two days. My kids and I will figure out how we will manage with two rooms -- obviously I'm going to have to crash one of them! But I am paying the bill. The total bill is $815, and even half of this is way too much for either of them. I don't want them to decide not to come to the wedding after all!

I am shocked at how high hotel costs have risen. I have stayed in the same hotel in the recent past for $60-70 a night. It's a decent hotel, but trust me, it ain't luxurious!

I think part of the problem is that I'm running into in-season rates. This is a beach town.

I got an offer from Amazon yesterday to buy a gift card for $50 and get a $10 credit. Since I needed another gift for DIL, I went for it. She will be happy to be able to pick something out herself. She's very particular!

Yesterday someone left an apple in the break room. (There is a spot where everyone leaves stuff they are giving away -- it wasn't part of anyone's lunch!) I sliced it this morning and nuked it with butter and brown sugar to make stewed apple for breakfast. Yummy!

I didn't pack a lunch because I just had so much to carry today. I'm going to use my $15 coupon for the cafeteria. I'll finally find out if I have to use it all at once! If I do, I guess I'll stock up on snack food!

I got some extra exercise yesterday. A late train forced me to take a train that didn't stop at my station. It added about 20 minutes to my walk home. At least the weather was nice. I thought I might find some extra coins, with all that added sidewalk to navigate, but I only found one penny!


9 Responses to “How Do People Afford Hotel Rooms?”

  1. Nika Says:
    1403273453

    I am pretty good at finding great rates for luxury hotels, but it requires starting to look very early, checking every few days. It is fun actually, like a game. Getting to know price fluctuations, spotting an awesome deal after a month or two, and than pouncing on it. So the best thing one can do for the guests is let them know as far in advance as possible, so they have a chance to look for great fares.

    To put things in perspective - it cost us more than $100 a day to just stay in our apartment, that makes definition of expensive a bit different.

  2. creditcardfree Says:
    1403274461

    So you are paying nearly $200 a night? Is there another option or are there very few hotels there? Would it be worth staying further away and drive in to the event?

  3. snafu Says:
    1403274717

    Did you use one of the on-line discounters like hoteldotcom or hotwiredotcom? Like Nika, we check daily for best price since reservations can be cancelled and re-set within 24 hours of booking.

  4. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:
    1403274756

    Oh my, that's a lot! Will you have to rent a car, too?
    I've had to decline a wedding invitation for August in a touristy beach town. I had not even thought of how much money the hotel might be!

  5. CB in the City Says:
    1403275894

    It is $200 a night when all the taxes and fees are added in. There are plenty of hotels, but the rooms are rapidly filling up -- my first try was Residence Inn, which was full, then Hampton, which was almost full and more expensive. This is a Country Inn (Carlson). Not sure what's going on in this town besides my niece's wedding!

    Anyway, I didn't want to take any chances on being shut out. This hotel is pretty close to my brother's house and will be convenient for all of us. There are hotels in a bigger city 30-40 minutes away, but with little children I just didn't want to go there. So I'm biting the bullet. There won't be another family wedding for a while, unless my footloose nephew finally settles down! The next set of kids are all younger than 13 so there will be a lull!

    I went through hotels.com. I think with rooms at a premium, real discounts are not being offered.

    I will not have to rent a car. We're trying to figure out how to keep my son from having to rent a car.

    Nika, as you said, we didn't have the time to look for a great deal, since I was counting on staying with family. Just a little perspective from my end -- I read about your (absolutely awesome) vacations plans, and the total cost is about what I bring home annually. Smile Paying $200 a night for a hotel room is really expensive for me.



  6. MonkeyMama Says:
    1403280892

    We rarely pay for hotel rooms, but when we do, planning ahead helps. Sometimes you luck into a gem (like the beachfront resort we always stay in at Pismo Beach that has Motel 6 prices if you buy directly from hotel but is otherwise some insane $400/night on all the travel sites??? It's a hotel we have been going to for decades, so that is how we know about it. I almost fell over when I saw the price on travelocity or whatever site). & then there is thinking outside the box, like AirBNB or vrbo.com. Of course, we generally only travel in the off season.

    I know we are blessed to have almost endless free hotel stays with my MIL's timeshare points. BUT, that doesn't make or break our vacations. We could also get free hotel stays with credit card rewards, etc. We usually find a reasonable backup in case MIL can't come through.

    Travel websites are sometimes a LOT more expensive than just booking directly with the hotel. As per my example above.

  7. Nika Says:
    1403286531

    CB, yes, your relative did not do you any favors by not communicating things to you clearly early on. If you knew you needed a hotel room when the wedding date was set, you would likely to have paid a lot less.

    From what you explained, I understand your frustration. I would not be happy paying 200$ a night to stay in a Country Inn, and I would think it is expensive. (I'm paying $165 for the Ritz in the best area in Shanghai).

    Btw, check out all hotels, not just cheap ones. Sometimes you can find a deal on a luxury brand that makes it cheaper than the economy one. Also, do any people in your party work for the government (state or federal)? They can book a hotel at the government rate if there is any availability. Sometimes, depending on hotel policy, they are allowed to book more than one room.

  8. LivingAlmostLarge Says:
    1403392000

    It's a weekend in a vacation area? I get it. We are going midweek next week for an overnight and go it dirt cheap for $45/night per room so $100 for two rooms overnight. It's a very high demand area.

  9. Kathleen Says:
    1546963237

    I think about the same things most of my time spend in hotel rooms also, but such hotels are places for homework help websites for college students. As college kids going to hotels, but I don't know or care why. The after homework parties are held there maybe.

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