Thursday, June 28, 2012

Caveat Traveller

I was musing on the difficulty of making definitive statements about budget travel today. I began by looking at a Website ( that was brought to my attention as offering some good deals on travel. I checked out their offerings for Montreal and was disappointed to find that not only did they not list any hostels, they also did not mention places like the YM-YWCA residences, or, for summer visitors, the residences of McGill University. These non-commercial places offer considerably lower rates than most hotels.
Then I decided to check into New York City to see what was available in that notoriously expensive place in terms of monastery accommodation. It does exist, but it is not always a bargain. For example, I checked two random dates in October at the Desmond Tutu Centre Hote l( in Chelsea, which is operated by the Episcopal Church. I found an average single room rate of $329, hardly inexpensive. But at the House of the Redeemer, on the Upper East Side, single rooms are offered for as little as $100 per night, and this place too is an Episcopal property. Leo House, a Catholic guest house in Chelsea does not post rates, but refers to modest lodging, so prices should be relatively low. At the Union Theological Seminary in Morningside Heights near Columbia University, single rooms with breakfast go for $135 per night.
So it is hard to generalize about ways to save money on lodging. In most cases non-commercial is the way to go, but not always. And it is also difficult to predict what the cost will be an any particular hotel because most hotels practice yield management that can make their prices almost as unpredictable as airline rates.
The only solution seems to be to determine a maximum price you will pay, and book accordingly, even if it is not the absolute best deal. Otherwise, you can go crazy and spend far too much time trying to save a few bucks.

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Blogger Bruce Louis Dodson said...

This is so true!

12:46 pm


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