DEAR HELOISE: My husband books our hotel rooms using a travel site online.
He likes the perks, but here’s the issue we encountered:
He booked a two-night stay in Austin, Texas. Upon checkout, we didn’t have to pay because we had paid for the room online. Out of curiosity, I asked the desk clerk how much the room would have been if we had booked directly. Through her response, I figured we’d paid 65 percent more each night by going through the Internet! Granted, there are “perks” accumulating, but if you’re on a tight budget, this might not be the best option.
Georgia in San Antonio
DEAR GEORGIA: It all depends. If he is booking online at a travel site, it may be cheaper to book elsewhere – because the site makes money, the service is not entirely free! Prices fluctuate, depending on the time of year and other factors: holiday season, summer, high rates in some areas, or a big convention or sports event at that time.
Call the hotel (or chain phone number) directly after seeing prices online. Many times, I’ve gotten a better deal and still gotten points!
DEAR HELOISE: I had some X-rays done, and while looking at them on the screen in the medical office, I took a cellphone photo. Since they were digital, there was no way for me to “take a copy,” as I used to ask for in the old days.
This helped two ways: I have a “photo” of the X-ray that I can show new docs (or family) at my appointment, even though the physician will get it via electronic means. Plus, I now have a record of it. Oh, when I compared it with the “real” X-ray I have from 20 years ago, yikes! My bones have aged.
K.E., via text
Send a money-saving hint to Heloise P.O. Box 795000 San Antonio, TX 78279-5000.