At the last minute, after realizing my mom and sister weren’t going to make it to Sacramento for a visit, I decided to book a flight using my latest obsession: the Priceline Negotiator. I love the Express Deals through this site, and sometimes I’ll dream up vacations to see how great the deals are.

So, I tried it for the first time for flights. I found last-minute flights to the Palm Springs airport were more affordable than flights to Ontario, CA. However, I would have to fly from Sacramento to Phoenix for a minute and then to the desert. As I arrived in the desert, I would have recommended this flight to anyone interested in visiting the Coachella Valley. It was quite lovely. However, the “return” flight was another deal altogether.

I took off from Palm Springs, landed smoothly in Phoenix and should have put two and two together as soon as I saw I did not have a seat assignment from Phoenix to Sacramento. The flight was oversold; I had two choices, wait seven hour in the Phoenix airport or fly to Oakland. Oakland it was.

Before this trip, I also would have advised anyone listening to be daring and try out the Express Deals on Priceline, the ones where you don’t know what hotel you’re bidding for — just the general location, guest ratings, amenities, and the number of stars. My new rule is to pick three stars and up. The place I stayed was quite literally on the other side of the tracks, the pool (the reason I rented a room in the first place) was the greenest and most disappointing thing in the desert, and Daniel, the night auditor, was grouchy from sleep deprivation.

Despite these little details, it was a fun trip filled with family and a few hours in a nicer pool.




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