Originally, I was going to stay in Maine over the weekend so I could bum around the coast and see cool stuff. But then I consulted my calendar only to be reminded that my 30th High School Class Reunion was happening, so I flew back last night. I had thought that I'd just drive the 2-1/2 hours back home when I landed at midnight, but that would have been impossible after 26 hours of work.
So the solution was easy, right? Grab a hotel at SeaTac International Airport and head home this morning.
Except hotels in Seattle have been escalating in price at a jaw-dropping rate. Every time I try to get a decent room at a decent price, I fail miserably. Just two years ago I was able to Priceline an airport hotel for $89. Last year it was tough, but hotels could be found for $119. This year?
Yes. You are seeing that right... $533 (AT DISCOUNT!) for a
Going with my AAA discount, my best bet for a 3-Diamond property was the Crowne Plaza for $309...
Horrified at the thought of paying $309 for a three-star property, I decided to wait until the last minute in the hopes that something would open up on Hotwire or Priceline.
When I landed for my layover in Atlanta, I lucked out... The Courtyard Marriott dropped their AAA rate to $218. Yes, it was $100 more than I was paying for a superior three-star hotel last year, but it's the best I could do.
I know I've written about this before, but the cost of traveling is quickly becoming unaffordable for the average traveler. Sure, special events in Seattle (like Seafair) are going to drive up prices... but there seem to be "special events" going on all the time. Or it's cruise ship season. Or there's show opening. Or there's a conference in town. Unless you're incredibly flexible on timing and able to spend a huge amount of time searching for calendar pricing, it's a game you can't win.