Travel Planning: Check Prices Or Just Go?

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Check Prices Or Just Go is part of the ANA, Take Me ‘Round the World Trip Report.


I hate on hotel booking website commercials for good reason (see Badda Book, Badda Boom? Who Does Your Marketing?). However, after this trip to Sardinia I am rethinking my trip planning strategy and may actually visit Trivago before recklessly booking trips to places that are above 99 percent of people’s pay grade.

As I was taking off from Munich to Olbia, I thought it was a good time to search for a hotel room since I would be landing in an hour. Sticker shock does not describe the prices for hotels in Porto Cervo. $3000 was for one night at a Marriott Luxury Collection hotel. Suspect AirBnb rooms, not apartments, were $300 a night. I began to worry about where I would lay my head. I recognize August in the Mediterranean is high season but had no clue that it was millionaires only season.

As is usually the case, my lack of preparation did not backfire (see How to Book Trinidad’s Carnival Last Second for Free*). I found a room at the Hotel Cervo for 60k Bonvoy points and avoided the $800/night rate. That only solved my problem for one night. The next day I was on booking.com/booking.yeah (Which Ad Do You Hate Most? ‘Badda Book’, ‘Dates Deals Done’, ‘Hotel? Trivago’), and all the alternatives looking for a place to stay for the final two nights. First, I couldn’t rationalize another 20k SPG points since I have no solid way of reupping my Bonvoy balance. Second, even if I were a points millionaire, the hotel was only available for the third night.

While I ended up booking a solid non-brand hotel for $500 for two nights, I wonder if I would have come here knowing in advance how much rooms cost. Looking back, I’m glad I didn’t check prices because I don’t think I could have rationalized how much I spend and may have skipped the trip altogether. That would have been a shame since Porto Cervo is great, even if you’re not yacht worthy (see My Yacht Is Bigger). But while it was happening, I told myself that I would not do this again. Being homeless is stressful and takes away from the travel experience (see Travel Anxiety Sucks). At the same time. If I only want to go where I can enjoy luxurious amenities, I may never leave Puerto Rico again!

That’s my boat

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