Posted in Budget Friendly Travel

Do You Have a Magic Number When Making Travel Reservations?

As I am making reservations when planning a trip, I always have a “magic number” in mind of what a good price is.  Whether it is for airfare, a car rental or a hotel room, I have some idea what I want to pay.  Sometimes I am able to hit the target or even come in below it and other times I have to reassess what I thought was a reasonable price.

Earlier this year I was booking a car rental for Portland Oregon.  The target number in my mind was $100 (which I knew was very low).  Rates were running around $160-$180 at all the regular sites, so I decided to try out to Autoslash.  I was super surprised when they came back with a $75 rate at Alamo for a 4 day rental with unlimited miles.  I thought that was an amazing deal and it came in significantly under that number in my head.  They really impressed me.

On the other hand, when looking for 3 nights lodging in Oahu for October, my target was $1000.  After doing a lot of price checking over the course of a month, I ended up adjusting that number up to $1200.  Shortly afterward I was able to find a fall sale that got us 3 nights at the Turtle Bay Resort for $1197. Not too bad for a really nice hotel on Oahu.  It even came with a $100 Resort Credit which adds extra value to the reservation.

For our upcoming 3 day car rental in Oahu, I had a $150 goal.  Again with the help of Autoslash, I was able to secure a car for $126.  I actually could have got it for $85, but I wanted to use Alamo and my husband wanted a compact car so we chose not to take the very cheapest rate and still came in under my target number.  I am falling in love with Autoslash!

Whenever I am booking airfare to Texas to visit our son, I try to keep it around $200 per person.  I was able to secure round trip airfare for our trip in September for $232.  Since I am using my Southwest Companion Pass for my husband, that total is for both of us which brings us in way under my target number.

We also need a car for that trip to Texas.  I had my standard $150 number in my head while doing rate searches.  I looked on the Southwest Rapid Rewards website….over $200.  I checked the Alamo website….over $200.  I checked Priceline…over $200.  I ran searches every few days on Autoslash (because the rates change often) and never found rates less than $173.  I finally booked it at that rate, even though it was over my target number.  1) because I was tired of checking rates and feeling a bit defeated and 2) because Autoslash has a feature to track my reservation.  When you opt for them to track your reservation, they send you an alert if at any time before your trip the rate drops.  This allows you the opportunity to rebook at the lower rate.  It has been a couple of weeks now and I haven’t had any alerts yet, but I am still hopeful that we might get one that drops our rate to $150 or less.  Fingers Crossed.


Am I the only one who has a “magic number” in the back of their mind when making travel arrangements?  I’d love to hear your comments on this!