I still think Orange County is, generally, NOT a good market to bid more than a few weeks in advance for. If you read the boards, you can see that MANY people get 3 star properties for $55 or less, but usually just a few weeks out. Whether summer or the extended nature of your stay will prevent you from snagging one of these deals is hard to know, but my strong hunch is that it will all work out for you IF YOU ARE PATIENT. It's possible that you might have to move once, but I think that it would probably be worth it to save the money. Instead of making a backup reservation, I would look at your dates on Hotwire. If there's a 3 or 3 1/2 star property at a rate of $75 or less, you're sitting pretty -- THAT'S your backup (sure, it might go up, but the odds are low). If there are no such properties, you might want to make a conventional reservation as a backup. It does seem like Priceline's inventory is a little better than Hotwire's in Orange County.