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So I noticed after the colossal disaster that was Marriott booking this year, I suddenly have a lot more journal friends.  Hi there, new friends!

I'm the cheap hotel Klingon.  I do cheap Dragoncon postings about things other than hotel deals, but when I realized the initials of Dragon's cheap hotel Klingon were DCHK (or D-chick as I would say in my head) where as the initials for Dragoncon's Cheap Klingon were DCK (you know what it was in my head :) )  I thought I 'd keep the word "hotel" in the name.

Quick word of personal happy - I got the Marriott Fri/Sat reservations that I needed to complete the booking that I started with the LMT bookend nights.  Hooray!  I know however, that it was almost entirely sheer luck that got me the rooms.  That and a husband staying on hold for over half an hour while simultaneous trying to book online.  Here's hoping there's a better system next year, this was almost like a lottery as it was.

Hotel Forecast for 2011:

This is primarily for new readers.  People have been asking what to expect in terms of deals.  Well, each year is unpredictable.  Still, based on previous years' patterns, here's what I expect to happen:  The Westin and the Hyatt will be available multiple times and cheaper than con rate.  The Westin's available now at cheaper than con rate (LMT) so I know I'm right about that one.  When they put up the airport overflows, they will be cheaper than con rate most places (they often are).  Several overflows will be under $100 at various points throughout the year.  Some deals won't show up until March or later.  The Westin was available at $79/night as late as July/August last year!  I will try my best to find deals and post about them.  I look forward to finding you some cool deals!  For all of you who didn't get Marriott rooms, while I won't necessarily find you a host hotel, I hope that I can still find you something nice :).

Should I twitter cheap hotel deals?

I am thinking of creating a twitter account for my journal, so I can give people a heads up when I post deals.  If this sounds like a good idea, I'd be happy to do it, but I'd be curious to hear reader opinion on it.

Dragoncon rooms open up on Hotwire next Sunday!  Here's hoping we see some good deals :).

Q: Why do you have to pay up front at Last Minute Travel (LMT), GTA Hotels, Priceline, Hotwire etc?

Answer:
These sites are known as voucher sites.  They buy hotel rooms in bulk from hotels.  They pay the hotel right then when they buy the bunch of rooms (and they tend to buy a new block of rooms every month or so).  The hotel is happy because it knows that whether or not anyone actually stays in those rooms, they are already paid for.  We are happy because we get discounted rooms.  Since the voucher site already paid for the rooms, they want their money right then.  I have personally booked, and been happy with the experience, at all 4 booking agencies listed in the question and believe them to be trustworthy.  In particular, I've used LMT for 6 different bookings, and every one has worked out great.   The hotel won't know your name until a few weeks before you check in.  Why?  Because the hotel doesn't care about our names, it just wants to know the room is paid for, and it already was.

You want me to find you rooms for Wrestlemania? another con? tell you when I find a hotel that meets your criteria? do your booking for you?

Answer: Yes, people ask me these things, and I can help you.  But here's the thing: I don't currently get paid for doing this.  I like spending a few hours of my time throughout the week looking for D*C hotels.  However, I do it because I love Dragoncon and want to make sure I and my friends find good affordable rates at nearby hotels.  If you want me to look for rooms and deals for something else I don't attend- like PAX, or yes, even Wrestlemania, then we can talk about it... but it would probably involve me getting paid a finder's fee.  If you want me to book your hotel for you then you'd have to trust me with your credit card, and while I am trustworthy, I understand if you're hesitant to do so.  Also it would, again, involve a fee.  I'm so glad to help people find hotel rooms (and to know that people got good deals), but there's only so much I'll do for free- and this journal is pretty much it.  However seeing as I am a penny-pinching cost-concious individual I am most certainly open to people paying me for extra help.

About me:

I need to edit my "about me" section again, so here's a new version.  I'm a mom of 3 and an avid DragonCon attendee.  My first con was in '96 and my most interesting cons were '08 when I won the Miss Klingon Empire pageant and in '09 where I conceived my youngest daughter Nicola Tesla (yes that's really her name :) ).  My eldest likes to make her own costumes and enters contests (always in the Friday night costume contest, Cosplay contest, and the Masquerade).  Anybody see an Appa stroller this year?  That was Nicola's stroller and I made the costume.

I'm someone who hates paying full price for things.  I spend *hours* planning grocery store and drugstore coupon & sale match-ups, and organizing coupons.  My battles mainly involve fighting high prices.  I started posting about hotel deals because I wanted them.  I kept looking for a better hotel deal even when I already had a good one.  This led to me telling my friends about them, which eventually led to me posting about them.  I like doing it, and love getting thanked about it.

I am going to plan some sort of meetup so I can meet my readers, because I *love* meeting people and hearing compliments or thanks in person.  It'll probably be either on Thursday or Monday.  If anyone wants to buy me a drink, I like milkshakes, pina coladas, and daquiris and, presuming I've got a babysitter, will happily meet you at a hotel bar or party for a free one :).  Bonus points if there's nudity at the party :).

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
kumori_tatsu
Oct. 3rd, 2010 07:32 pm (UTC)
I was looking at booking through LastMinuteTravel for another con and wondered if the key phrase for the Westin would be the same across the board?
johnnynva
Oct. 4th, 2010 09:17 am (UTC)
Here's a little secret on finding out what hotel is the 'Undercover' hotel listed on Last Minute Travel.

When you pull up a listing on LMT the URL looks like this:
http://www.lastminutetravel.com/PageHotelDetail.aspx?hotelId=19307&provider=localTgsProvider&SearchResults=1&pg=1

The hotel's ID is a number code, in this case 19307.

Pull up their parent site TouricoHolidays with this URL, but replace the hotel ID with the one you got from LMT.

http://www.touricoholidays.com/en/PageHotelDetail.aspx?hotelId=19307&provider=localTgsProvider

Tada! Now you know what hotel is the Undercover one.
xiandesi
Oct. 4th, 2010 01:17 pm (UTC)
That is pretty cool Johnny. It's a neat trick I'll have to mention later. Thanks!

To also answer the previous question, the description stays the same no matter what dates you're searching.
metroflatsdcon
Oct. 8th, 2010 03:04 pm (UTC)
This is a good post, thanks for sharing this! BTW, if you want an alternative to hotels, you should check out http://www.metroflats.com
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )