California Savings!

November 8, 2010|By David Lester

I’ve just arrived in LA for the winter to support my US version of I Heart Money.  It’s available at in hardcopy and in Kindle format!  Shameless self promotion, I know.  I’ll be writing more frequently to talk about my adventures here and how I’m saving and re-distributing my profits to invest in my life.  Keep reading to find out how I racked up tons of savings while driving down route 66 from Chicago to LA.  From travel tips, exchange rates, credit cards to house hunting and buying fuel.  My fist contribution will be about how I saved over $500 on hotels over my trip.  Read on.

When traveling, never accept the posted rates for the hotel.  First check the web for deals on, or whatever your favourite site is.  If it is off peak travel time you could save even more money if you just roll into the hotel same day after searching for the rates online at a local Starbucks with free wi-fi.  In Chicago I searched for cool boutique hotels, found the one that was in the best location for the best price and I searched for the best price in their lobby using their wi-fi!  I then went to the front desk and asked if they could beat the deal.  I had found it for $138 – an amazing rate on it’s own for Chicago and they beat it at $79!  Now that is a Highway 8 deal and I got to stay in a boutique hotel in a cool hood of Chicago.  Win win!

My next tip for hotels is to find  similar hotel prices, take the cheapest rate, and then get the cooler hotel to match the price.  If they don’t go for it you try the same thing at the next cheapest hotel.  In Tulsa, I rolled up to the Holiday Inn, which is quite nice in Tulsa, and then showed a much cheaper price for a similar hotel in the same area on  I got the price down from $99 to &79, waved the $7 parking, got a bigger suite and because I had signed up for the Priority Club Rewards before I checked in I got free appies in the hotel restaurant.  Sweet savings equal a sweet life.

In Vegas I went one  block away from the strip and charmed my way (I can’t understate how important it is to be charming to all of the hotel staff) and I got the rate down from $120 to $71.  They’ll ask if you have AAA and you say “no, but I could – what is your best rate for me?” with a wink.  This got me the extra discount plus more at almost every hotel.  The cheapest hotel on the strip was $150 at the Flamingo.  That is more than a 50% location and the walk was an extra 5 mins.  A walk I needed after being in the car for 4k kms.

Keep loving your money and checking in for my next blog on my travels to California on route 66!

David Lester
About David Lester

David Lester is a best selling author and professional Financial Coach, helping people be better with their money. David has written a personal finance book that breaks with traditional attitudes towards finance and describes his own philosophy to money that he has gained through his personal and professional experiences. His philosophy on money applies to many areas of everyday life, including banking, investing, goal setting, shopping and entertainment.