On our last trip to LA (last summer), someone thought it’d be a good idea to play the game “lets be brutally honest with each other”. The game is simple. Everyone goes around the circle and says one or two things about each other that we probably didn’t see in ourselves (oh yeah, there was booze involved of course). What was my friend-assisted revelation?

I am cheap. I disagreed, which led to my 2nd offense – I am defensive. Screw it. I am cheap. And I’ll help you be cheap too.

I am not so much stringy as I am just a person who likes to find a good deal. Nothing wrong with that, right? Let’s start with possible the biggest travel fund offense – the hotel room.

Sample Task: Find the a good deal on a decent hotel room in San Francisco.

Kayak is basically a hotel search engine of search engines. It’s unbiased wizardry searches through multiple travel sites (orbitz, expedia, hotwire), and gives you a quick glance of where the best deals are. It will take some hunting to find a location and star-level to meet your level of travel maintenance. For myself, I found a 3 star, downtown for an average for $52 a night as Kayak was able to look at the deals and find one where the 4th night was free.

As you probably have noticed, about 95% of the time you order anything online there is a space to enter a ‘coupon code’ or ‘promotional code’. Retail me not, is a god-damn-wicked site that lets people submit coupon codes, rate them, mark them as expired, and lets you search through the 1000’s of codes. As Kayak pointed me towards Orbitz, I did a search for Orbitz. After a few expired coupons were attempted, I found a nice little deal that knocked $40 off the third night.

Final Result: 4 nights in a downtown San Francisco 3 star hotel for $150 + tax. Stayed tuned for the eventual hotel review to see if this deal hunting will turn out to bite me in the rear.