Travel: Using Hotwire.com to Book Hotel Rooms for Team Trips
Travel: Using Hotwire.com to Book Hotel Rooms for Team Trips

Travel: Using Hotwire.com to Book Hotel Rooms for Team Trips

Dixie Iverson

If you do a lot of overnight travelling with your team, you can save money by using the online reservation service, Hotwire.com.

In many cases, rooms with two beds that house four athletes can be purchased for $60 or less. Five-star hotels with extras like concierge services, gourmet restaurants and bed turndown service can sometimes be reserved for the price of budget accommodations.

How to Book With Hotwire
Booking with Hotwire is easy. Go to the website, and select the "Hotels" link. Choose the date of travel, the number of rooms, and the total number of occupants. Then click "Find a Hotel." If you're booking in a larger city, several options will appear that allow you to narrow down your location according to neighborhood. You can sort the hotels by price, value or star rating.

Check the "Trip Summary" box on the left to determine your total costs for the hotel -- that total will include taxes and Hotwire's fee. If you are from a country other than the U.S. remember that you'll have to add your currency exchange to the total.

Then click "Continue" and follow the instructions. You'll pay by credit card, and once you pay, you'll find out which hotel you have booked.

Please note, the star rating goes from two to five stars, but all hotels are from reputable chains. For example, two-star hotels might include Comfort Inns or Day's Inns and many of the hotels include a free breakfast.

You can book hotels in Canada, Mexico and Europe, but the price will be in American dollars.

Using Hotwire to Book Rooms for Teams

Travel: Using Hotwire.com to Book Hotel Rooms for Team Trips
The Hotwire service has been expanded so that you can now book as many as six rooms at the same time and each room can house up to four people. So that's a group of 24 if you go four per room - enough capacity to handle many teams.

Here's a tip. If you want a room with two beds, list the total number of occupants as "four." If you list only two occupants, you may end up with just one bed for two people. Therefore, if booking four rooms, make sure the total number of adults and/or children you list is 16. That way you'll be sure of receiving two beds in all four rooms.

Hotwire states that it books only non-smoking rooms, however you can call the hotel after you have booked to confirm such arrangements.

Disadvantages
While Hotwire can save you a lot of money, it does present some disadvantages.

  • You won't know the specific hotel you're reserving until after you pay. However, you can sometimes figure out which facility you're perusing based on the amenities that are listed and its distance from the airport. Keeping the hotels anonymous is the key to Hotwire. Most hotels can provide low prices on excess rooms, but they don't want to advertise them because of the potential for upsetting patrons who are paying regular price.
  • Also, when signing in, Hotwire states that it requires at least one adult occupant per room. So, if you sign up for six rooms, you have to indicate that you have six adults attending. You might be taking a chance in booking with fewer than one adult per room, but in reality, most hotels don't mind if you have one or two adult supervisors for several rooms of students -- they do it all the time for group bookings. So if you show up with fewer adults than you signed in with, few hotels will even know the difference.
  • Another drawback to the service is that you must pay in advance and aren't allowed to cancel a room. Even though there is cancellation insurance available in case of bad weather, we're not sure how easy it is to actually receive a refund.
  • You are also unable to add rooms after your initial booking and be sure that they are in the same hotel as the first ones you booked.

General Experiences
The editor and several members of the PE Update.com discussion group have tried Hotwire and have found that it is easy to use and delivers what is promised. Rooms for teams and individual rooms in upscale hotels have been booked without a problem...and with large money savings.

While flights, cruises and travel packages can also be booked; none of our forum contributors had tried reserving such services through Hotwire.


Reference: PE Update.com Forums, March, 2009


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