Month: May 2013

Hacking Expedia’s Best Price Guarantee – Free $50/night certificates

Hacking Expedia’s Best Price Guarantee – Free $50/night certificates


I love Expedia’s Best Price Guarantee!  They have a great deal, if you find a room that you booked for a lower price, they will match that price and give you a $50 Expedia online voucher good for a future booking.  Expedia has pretty competitive prices, which makes it hard to take advantage of, but that’s only if Kayak.com didn’t exist.  


Two important things to note, you should always book a room with free cancellation and the booking conditions must be identical.  That means both Expedia and the site you are claiming that has a better price must offer the same things: Wi-Fi, cancellations, breakfast, room view.


Another thing to note, you are only allowed to receive 3 BPG vouchers each calendar month.

How to get a $50 Certificate:

1.  Go to Kayak.com and search for a room anywhere.  Maybe somewhere you plan on staying in the near/distant future.  The price doesn’t really matter.  As long as it is cheaper by at least $0.01, Expedia will give you the BPG voucher if you qualify.  There is no minimum price to the room you book.  You could book a $20 motel, find it for $19 on another site and Expedia will match that price along with a $50 BPG voucher.  
The example used here is just to show that there are many sites that beat Expedia for this hotel which makes it an easy target.



I find that it’s easier to find valid rates outside of the United States.  For this example I chose Tokyo, Japan.  You only need one valid booking site to have a better price than Expedia, but sometimes that find a reason to deny the Best Price Guarantee claim.  That’s why it’s good to have a backup booking site in case they deny the claim.  In this case, we have four sites that will beat Expedia.  

Before booking, always make sure there is FREE CANCELLATION.

2.  Select the Expedia link from Kayak as well as a site that will beat Expedia.  I will pick Booking.com.  The verify the conditions are the same.

Expedia.com

Booking.com 
Free Wi-Fi is also included in the details on Booking.com
You might notice that Kayak.com shows the Booking.com price at a lower rate.  Booking.com cleverly excludes taxes from the Kayak site somehow, so be aware.

3. Book the room on Expedia!  Book only one night.  There will be a charge to your credit card for the price of the room.  But don’t worry, the room has free cancellation and you will get that back several days after you cancel.

Remember, FREE CANCELLATION!

In the “Who’s traveling?” section, you can book a room for anyone.  Meaning that friends with BPG vouchers can book rooms for you.


4. Submit an Expedia BPG Claim

Go to: http://www.expedia.com/p/info-other/guarantees.htm

5. Wait for Expedia to get back you.  They claim that they’ll get back you with 48 hours, but in my experience it’s normally within a few hours of submitting the claim.  One time they got back to me in 20 minutes!

If they reject your claim, you still have a shot. Research why and check one of the other sites listing lower prices on Kayak to see if those would be valid.  Hopefully you will see:


6.  Once you have your BPG voucher in your Expedia account, you should see:

7.  Once you receive your coupon, you can cancel any bookings you have made (that had Free Cancellation).  If you received a BPG voucher for that booking, it will not be taken away upon cancelling the room and you should receive a refund to your credit card within a few days.


Lastly, when using the BPG vouchers, be sure that you will be staying at that hotel.  If you cancel any booking made with a BPG voucher, the voucher disappears and is not restored to your account.


8.  Using BPG Vouchers

Why is this so awesome?  The minimum room rate required to use the $50 BPG voucher is $25.  You can find a very nice hotel for $50 in most places around the world, essentially giving you a free night!  



The trick here is to book each night individually with each BPG voucher.  You are limited to use one BPG voucher per booking.  So, just have one booking per night.  When you get to the hotel, just tell them to combine it into one reservation so you don’t have to check out/check back in.  As long as you booked the same type of room each night, you should be okay.


Once you apply the BPG coupon, this room will come out to $5.55 for one night!

Need to stock up quickly on more than just 3 BPG vouchers per month?  Have a friend create an Expedia account and start gaining them for you.  When making the booking in their account, just be sure that the reservation is under the name of the person that will be staying at the hotel. As long as that is correct, anyone can book a room for you.

Good luck!

Expedia BPG (Best Price Guarantee) is also known as Expedia BRG (Best Rate Guarantee)
Europe 2013 – Part 2 What to do in Copenhagen

Europe 2013 – Part 2 What to do in Copenhagen

I decided not to go to this.
I didn’t really plan my trip with a full agenda of scheduled events and sights I wanted to see.  I just wanted to go and plan things when I got there.  I just need a map and a compass.

We stopped by Christanshaven (AKA Christiania), which turned out to be the “Green Light” (Marijuana) district of Copenhagen, also there was art.  The selling of Marijuana is still illegal in Denmark (Signs notified us of this before we entered), but people were cool with it in Christanshaven.  It seemed the city was saying “It’s illegal…but we’re cool with it in this area.  Just don’t take any pictures!”  I tried taking pictures.  People politely told me that wasn’t okay (while speaking in Danish – they switched to English when I didn’t understand).

Authentic European winter trash can fire

March 2013 – Finding a Blockbuster Video is like finding a unicorn

Copenhagen Red Light District?  Nope.  Just a place for Chinese food.

This was weird advertising.  I’m not sure why she is smelling a pill.
Europe 2013 – Part 1 Getting to Copenhagen, Denmark

Europe 2013 – Part 1 Getting to Copenhagen, Denmark


On Christmas Day, there was a one-day sale from Air Berlin: Los Angeles to Dusseldorf for $430 Round Trip.  I booked this immediately and went on an interesting adventure for a week.  I ended up only staying for 3 nights in Dusseldorf, and purchased another flight from Dusseldorf to Amsterdam (direct for $200) and ended up staying for there for 3 nights.


I arrived at LAX a little early.  So, after checking into my flight, I decided to spend some time in an airport lounge.  I went to the Korean Airlines lounge with my Priority Pass membership.  I only have this membership since I got the American Express Platinum card 🙂






As you can see, they had an awesome in-flight entertainment line up. (Blogger.com doesn’t have any sarcastic smileys)


Dusseldorf, Germany – Airport Parking



It’s a giraffe!








I’m not sure how you’re supposed to ride the metro in Germany, 
but I’m definitely not going to ride it that way!


More lounge access!




I picked this up on the way home.  It was okay, but too overpriced for my taste.


Airport vending machine


Smoking lounge


Copenhagen Airport





Yes, still at the airport.





They even have an H&M.  This place is more mall than airport.




From the airport, we took the train (metro) to the hostel.  Purchasing the tickets was confusing since I didn’t know what zone our stop was.  Tickets are sold according to zones.  Also, tickets could only be purchased with either cash or credit cards.  The problem with the credit cards is that they have to be the “chip-and-pin” credit cards.  Basically, they have to be a credit card with a special chip (visible on the front of the card) and can only be used with a pin code.  I did not have this.  Luckily, you can go to the ticket counter at the airport to purchase tickets with an American credit card.  Watch out for those foreign transaction fees!


Generator Hostel!
Someone messed up this frame…or their trying to be hip.








This was a really cool hostel.  Hotels are pretty damn expensive in Denmark.  Actually, everything is expensive.  This is the most expensive place I’ve even been.  The average cost of beer at a bar is $11USD.  No joke.  I drank a lot too.  I was a little concerned about the prices, but after a few beers I decided to worry about it later.


Anyway, I decided to stay at Generator Hostel while I was at Denmark.  It had amazing reviews and looked very clean.  I booked a 2bd private room with one of my friends.

Tip:
Slickdeals.net had a coupon code for 20% off ANY booking at Hotels.com.  Look for deals before you book!  Luckily, Generator Hostel was available through there!



Why I like Hostels
Hostels are normally pretty fun.  Many like minded travelers gathering to explore the same city as you.  These places are normally a great source for information for the city.  You can find out from  people what to do, where to eat, and the best places to go for drinks in town.  It’s great place to start a trip.  When booking, I mainly look for the highest rated places.  From there I look for their services.  I really like airport shuttle service if they give you a good deal.  As far as the facility amenities go, my two must haves are a bar and a pool table.  I just like drinking and playing pool, no matter where I am in the world.