With MLK weekend just days away, Hotwire.com, a leading discount travel site, today revealed more results from its second annual American Travel Behavior Survey, conducted online on its behalf by Harris Interactive in October 2012 among over 2,000 U.S. adults. According to the survey, 71 percent of Americans believe booking a last-minute leisure trip costs more than booking one further in advance. However, the latest Hotwire pricing trends show the exact opposite; hotels, particularly those in big cities typically associated with high prices, are offering their deepest discounts on the day of check-in.
Large hotels in major cities like Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco adjust their prices on a daily, or sometimes hourly, basis. Oftentimes hotel demand doesn’t always materialise as much as expected and they discount heavily on the day of check-in as a last ditch attempt to fill empty rooms. That means that travelers shopping for a room to stay in that night can score a better rate than if they booked weeks, or even days, in advance. Hotwire works with these hotels to provide these 11th hour discounts to travelers through their website, mobile site and mobile app, where 75 percent of bookings are made on the day of check-in.
“Folks visiting major metropolises are typically wary of waiting until the last minute to book a hotel because they’re worried about being able to find an affordable room in a prime location,” said Clem Bason , president of the Hotwire Group. “But in reality, hoteliers are dropping prices right up until the day of check in to attract last-minute bookings, with more and more coming from mobile devices. That means it’s not too late to score a great deal for MLK weekend, which is right around the corner.”
While travelers can get bigger discounts than ever at the last minute, they should keep in mind that different seasons can result in better deals – for example, winter months are typically off-season for many destinations, which can lead to bigger savings before the busier spring and summer months hit.