We’ve booked our fair share of hotels over the years and always have to decide if we want to reserve the advance purchase rate or the best refundable rate. Hotels offer a lower price if you’re willing to pay for the entire stay upfront but is it worth the savings to pay for your stay in advance?
Unlike having to pay for your train, plane or cruise ship ticket ahead of time, you’re able to pay for other travel expenses, like a hotel room, when you’re finished with your stay. It didn’t take long for hotel companies to figure out that people weren’t showing up for their reservations so hotels now give an incentive to pay ahead of time for your room, in the form of a lower price.
Let’s look at an example and see if it’s worth the cost savings to pre-pay for a hotel room…
Sharon and I go to Texas a couple of time per year to visit Schlitterbahn water park in New Braunfels. As the Austin/San Antonio area has been growing significantly, prices of airfares and rental cars have also been increasing. Because of this, I’ll try to lock in a rental car as soon as I remember to. I do have a list of ways to book a cheap rental car, I’m now only doing one of those steps.
AAA. It’s a name synonymous with travel. Most people associate them with the roadside assistance they provide when you have car trouble. But they also provide many other services, some travel-related and others that seem to have nothing to do with automobiles.
For me, my first knowledge of AAA was their TripTik® maps. When we were going on a road trip, we’d tell AAA where we were going and they’d give us a road map with a route highlighted. For an obsessive planner, this was heaven. I remember looking at these things way before I could drive.
Fuel Rewards is a program that provides discounts at Shell gas stations. It’s free to sign up and everyone who joins automatically gets some type of savings. You can save more by taking certain actions (i.e. using a shopping portal or dining program) or by having a card belonging to one of their partners.
Let’s first talk about signing up for Fuel Rewards.
If you’re not already a member, you can get 25 cents off per gallon on your first fill up after joining. We have a referral link where we’ll also get a credit for for new signups. You want to support YMMV, don’t you?
Once a member, you have automatic gold status for 6 months. The ongoing membership process is a little more difficult to follow:
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