TB Community: Reid

Ready for a challenge? A fun one that is. This travel hack is for those with an adventurous spirit, so if a little spontaneity gives you anxiety, you may want to sit this one out.

TravelBank cofounder and CTO, Reid Williams, recently visited Washington, DC on a business trip. He enjoyed a comfortable flight, picked up a rental car at the airport so he could conveniently travel between meetings, oh and he drifted between hotels each night as the last-minute deals of HotelTonight allowed. You read that right, he landed in the city with 3 days of client meetings and no hotel reservation.

How did you come up with the idea to use HotelTonight?

I have used it before in Vegas for a personal trip and had a positive experience. The inventory is usually really good and the overflow is interesting. Sometimes you can get a full suite for a decent price.

I knew I was going to be all over the place for this trip, so I thought using HotelTonight would be a good experiment. I knew it would be a little risky but it has always worked for me.

And did it work well for you this time?

Yes, for me the best part about using HotelTonight was I knew I had clients within a big distance of each other, so each night I drove to the place where my meeting was the next morning and selected a hotel in that vicinity. It was really nice not having to fight rush hour traffic in the morning.

What did your meetings schedule look like?

I flew into DC Sunday and I had a Monday morning meeting in Reston. Then Tuesday morning I met with a coworker in Maryland before heading to Georgetown for a meeting, followed by a happy hour in Arlington. That was a long day and I didn’t book my hotel until 11:30 pm after finishing all the stuff I had to do that day. Wednesday I was back in Centerville, towards Dulles.

Did saving on your hotel allow you to splurge in other areas?

Absolutely. I took an economy flight to DC and was able to pay for extra leg room. And I also rented a mid-size sedan and upgraded the return leg of my flight, all while staying under budget.

So were the rooms actually steals? Were you getting awesome rooms at unbelievable rates?

I typically selected mid-range deals like the Hyatt Place near Dulles and the Hyatt House Gaithersburg.

The important thing is I didn’t have to scrape the bottom of the barrel to beat my budget. Every room I booked was a suite and they were all in great condition. Had I stayed in DC proper, the hotel rooms would have cost a little more but it was nice to stay out of the city limits and use my rental car to drive in.

Would you recommend this travel hack to a friend? A coworker?

Yes. I really liked the flexibility of using HotelTonight. There was no stress about researching and finding a hotel, it was just: put in the address of where I’m going to be tomorrow, pick a hotel, plug in GPS, drive there and I was done!

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