That’s the current countdown until I fly to Cincinnati for two games at Great American Ballpark. Yesterday, I spent an hour online and on the phone, trying to find the cheapest and closest hotel to the ballpark. (All these new stadiums are built downtown. Hotels in the heart of any city are always fancy. I don’t need fancy. All I need is a bed, a shower, a door that locks, and an Internet connection.) So I shopped and compared and did a little math in my head. Travelodge, for example, costs just $49 per night, but it’s a 15-minute drive to the ballpark; the Millennium Hotel, meanwhile, is only four blocks away but costs $99.
I’m not going to have a car, and I refuse to rely on Cincinnati’s public transportation. That means taxis. How much will two 15-minute cab rides cost? More than the fifty-dollar difference between rooms? Probably not. But taxies are a hassle. In places like Cincinnati, you have to call ahead. You can’t just walk outside and flag one down. Even at the ballpark, there’s no guarantee. It almost makes more sense to go for the nicer hotel that’s within walking distance.
That brings me to the Ramada. They say they’re a five-minute drive or a 20-minute walk away, and the room is $81.08 including tax. That’s the best deal by far, but of course their “system” has been down for two days now, so I can’t book the room. What irks me is that when I called yesterday, they said it’d be up and running in an hour. Anyway, this is what I go through when I plan a baseball trip.
In 29 days, I’ll be arriving in Houston, and I’m all set for the Holiday Inn Express…kinda pricey at $120 per night, but it’s right next to the ballpark.
And in 29 minutes (or so), I’ll be leaving for Shea Stadium…