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Priceline.com’s Travel Ekspert Offers Money-Saving Travel Tips For Summer 2009

Dépèche transmise le 8 juin 2009 par Business Wire

NORWALK, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Here it is – a treasure trove of money-saving summer travel tips from priceline.com’s (Nasdaq: PCLN) in-house Travel Ekspert, Brian Ek. Some tips are new for summer 2009, while others are tried-and-true tricks for bringing the cost of a summer vacation way down.

“Considering all the sales out there, 2009 is a great year to travel from the leisure traveler’s point of view,” said Ek. “Finding bargains this summer should be easy. But to make your bargain hunting even easier, I’ve pulled together some of my absolute favorite ways to reduce your travel costs.”

From more travel advice from the Travel Ekspert, visit his blog at http://www.priceline.com/travelblog/ or follow him on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/travelekspert.

Summer 2009 Money-Saving Travel Tips From The Travel Ekspert

  • Keep an eye on Mexico. At one point during the H1N1 flu outbreak, Mexican hotel occupancy was down 50% to 80%. With travel restrictions lifted, watch for the Mexico tourism industry to respond with some incredible deals for the summer and fall. Priceline Vacations has packages available for $100 or less per person per night – and that includes roundtrip airfare and your hotel.
  • Visit business convention cities. Cities like Las Vegas, Chicago, Orlando and New York that host conventions were hit hard by the business travel cutback. The cities are looking to leisure travelers to help make up the revenue shortfall and the deals are especially good. Travelers using priceline.com’s Name Your Own Price® hotel service are successfully bidding as little as $50 a night for 3-star hotels in Orlando’s Universal Studios/Sea World area, and $79 a night for 3-star hotels on Chicago’s North Michigan Avenue.
  • Visit Las Vegas mid-week. Las Vegas hotel rooms are often at a premium on weekends. Visit mid-week and you can get a 4- or 5-star hotel for what you’d pay for a 3-star hotel on the weekend. For example, as of June 3rd, a room at the 5-star The Venetian is listed at $229 a night for the weekend of July 17-19. Come a little earlier and stay Tuesday-Thursday, July 14-16, and the rate drops to $139 a night.
  • Make this your year to visit Europe. Yes, the euro and pound have gotten stronger of late, but airfares to Europe and hotels are still at bargain prices compared to a year ago. As of June 3, July round-trip flights from New York to London could be found for as little as $612. A search of priceline.com’s enhanced Winning Bids feature found that recent Name Your Own Price® customers were getting 4-star hotels in London’s Kensington/Knightsbridge area with bids as low as $89 a night, and 3-star hotels in Paris’ Latin Quarter/St. Germaine neighborhood for as little as $105 a night. A 6-night vacation package from New York to Paris, with round-trip airfare and accommodations at the 4-star Hilton Paris La Defense, could be found on priceline.com for as little as $1,211 per person, including all taxes and fees.
  • Name Your Own Price®. Customers who use priceline.com’s Name Your Own Price® service can save up to 50% on hotel rooms, 40% on airline tickets and 30% on rental cars compared to published prices found online. Here’s how it works. For airline tickets, you pick the travel dates, airports and price you want to pay. For hotel rooms, you pick the dates, city, neighborhood, hotel star level and price you want to pay. For rental cars, you pick the dates, times, city, car type and price you want to pay. After receiving your offer, priceline.com works to find an airline, hotel or rental car company willing to accept your price. Details of your itinerary are provided after your offer is accepted.
  • For the cheapest published-price airline tickets, be flexible in your scheduling. Leaving a day or two early, or staying longer can put bucks back in your pocket. For July 4th, the fare on a 7/3-7/5 Boston to Chicago flight is $219. Stay an extra day and return on the 6th and the fare drops to $179. Other tricks – look for flights that go outside peak business travel times, such as early in the morning, mid-day and late evening. The fare should be cheaper. Priceline’s Inside Track www.priceline.com/insidetrack/ feature lets you explore different itinerary options to get the fare that’s right for you. One more tip – savings with priceline.com’s Name Your Own Price® airline ticketing service will be bigger if you travel mid-week.
  • Pack light, air traveler. These days, it’s not uncommon for an airline to charge up to $20 for your first checked bag and $30 for the second, once for the outbound trip and again on the return. Travelers who pay the fee online can save up to $5 per bag. Pack everything in a carry-on bag and save all that money.
  • Take a cruise or stay at an all-inclusive resort. Two great ways to cut your vacation spend, because meals and entertainment are included in the up-front price. Priceline Cruises has cruises starting as low as $40 per person per day. All-inclusive resorts are another way to go. They typically include lodging, meals, beverages, entertainment and even free use of some sports equipment.
  • Travel during shoulder seasons. Most destinations have peak and off-peak seasons that correspond to weather and/or visitor traffic. Accomplished off-peak travelers will pick dates that are just before, or just after peak seasons. That way, the weather should still be great and the savings will be even better. Try Orlando in October, Bermuda in late March, or ski the Rockies in April.
  • Pick destinations with free attractions. Some destinations will devour a travel budget with attraction entry fees. For a more affordable alternative, consider a trip to a place like Washington, DC, where the monuments, museums and public buildings are all free and can take days to see them all. Or vacation in a national park, where entry is either free or very affordable.
  • Join e-mail lists to receive special travel deal information. Travel services, including priceline.com, usually give their registered customers a heads-up on special travel deals. Some of them (like priceline.com) even give these customers special perks, like coupons for future travel discounts.
  • Buy multi-day passes at theme parks. A big money saver. Priceline’s Tours & Attractions service has 2-park, unlimited admission ticket for 7 days at Universal Orlando for $106.49. A 1-day, 2-park pass is $84.99. So stay longer and save.
  • Book your vacation as a package. Booking airline tickets and hotel rooms as part of a package can save up to $325 over the cost of booking them separately, according to internal travel studies conducted by priceline.com. For maximum Priceline Vacation Package savings, choose the exact hotel you want, but let priceline.com pick your flight.
  • Leave the gas guzzler at home and rent a car. Unless you need the extra space for passengers or cargo, why drive the 15 mpg family SUV on vacation when you can rent a compact car that gets 30 mpg or better? Recently, customers using priceline.com’s Name Your Own Price rental car reservation service were able to book compact cars in Philadelphia for as little as $14 a day, not including taxes and fees. So save at the gas pump and avoid the wear and tear on your car.

About Priceline.com® Incorporated

Priceline.com Incorporated (Nasdaq: PCLN) www.priceline.com provides online travel services in 28 languages in over 78 countries in Europe, North America, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Included in the priceline.com family of companies is Booking.com, a leading international online hotel reservation service, priceline.com, a leading U.S. online travel service for value-conscious leisure travelers, and Agoda.com, an Asian online hotel reservation service. Priceline.com believes that Booking.com is Europe’s largest and fastest growing hotel reservation service, with a network of affiliated Web sites. Booking.com operates in over 70 countries in 22 languages and offers its customers access to over 66,000 participating hotels worldwide.

In the U.S., priceline.com gives customers more ways to save on their airline tickets, hotel rooms, rental cars, vacation packages and cruises than any other Internet travel service. In addition to getting great published prices, leisure travelers can narrow their searches using priceline.com’s TripFilter advanced search technology, customize their search activity through priceline.com’s Inside Track features, create packages to save even more money, and take advantage of priceline.com’s famous Name Your Own Price® service, which can deliver the lowest prices available.

Priceline.com also operates the following travel websites: Travelweb.com, Lowestfare.com, RentalCars.com and BreezeNet.com. Priceline.com also has a personal finance service that offers home mortgages, refinancing and home equity loans through an independent licensee. Priceline.com licenses its business model to independent licensees, including priceline mortgage and certain international licensees.

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