Just spent almost 3 hours online and on phone trying to book trip back east to visit Amherst and Columbia. Here's my travel tip. Book early. I waited too long and ended up paying $1,500 for a trip that would have cost $800 a week ago on Expedia. At least I think so.
Here is another Expedia travel tip. Watch out when you call the Expedia "Same Great Rates - Expert Advice" (1800-551-2534) hotline. My $1,463.23 trip to New York suddenly became $200 more expensive on the phone, and I was trying to remove 1 night of Manhatten hotel. Does it make sense to anyone that removing a night of hotel makes the price go up? I don't know where the difference was exactly, but I hurried up and clicked the "book now" button while I was on the phone, because I figured if I had to pay more for less, then I might as well pay less for more.
Now I am locked into this trip. No refunds. I hate flying, and isn't it really cold back east right now? I have no hotel in Amherst either - my reservation is for NYC - but she (Expedia lady) wanted to stick me at a Howard Johnsons and for $140/night. I saw a cute list of B&Bs that started at $75 so I figure I will just wing it. Or maybe I'll dress like a punk-kid and try to pass myself off as a freshman college newcomer and bunk with my daughter.
My daughter isn't the easiest person to travel with, though, - she is kind of bossy. I have a feeling she thinks she is smarter than I am because she got accepted to better colleges. I seem to remember thinking I was smarter than my mother at some point - but she does crossword puzzles and has a really insane amount of fact trivia stored in her head, so I gave up comparisons because I have almost no fact trivia stored in my head.
I remember one time we stopped to eat at a Howard Johnson's on the way home from visiting my grandparents. I think I was 6 years old at the time because my mother wasn't there and the only time she wasn't there was when she flew home early to have my sister. Anyway, I ordered a hamburger like I always did and it must have taken a long time because my father told the waitress he could have built a house in the time it took them to make the hamburger. I was very embarrassed by this - which is probably why I still remember it.
My brain is fried from 3 hours of trip booking.