So Hotwire is more or less a direct competitor to Priceline — you book hotels, airfare, etc. at discount rates. I’d never used it before, but on the recommendation of a few friends, I used it to book a room for next month’s Macworld Expo, and scored a great room at a crazy low rate.

The only catch with Hotwire is that you don’t find out exactly which hotel you’re booking until after you pay, but they do offer star ratings and tell you the hotel’s distance from an arbitrary starting point. Right now, if you enter the Moscone Center (“747 Howard St, San Francisco, CA 94103”), there are two “4-star” hotels at $109/night and a “4.5-star” at $169, all within easy walking distance.

This is, I believe, the first frugal traveler tip ever to appear on Daring Fireball.

Friday, 5 December 2008