It looks like the days of booking travel arrangements months in advance are on the decline. Thanks to the ease of online booking and the rise of impulse travel, last-minute bookings are the latest trend. According to PeekPro, “44% of leisure travelers and 56% of business travelers in the United States book at the last minute.”
While last-minute travelers often won’t save on airfare, many hotels can offer significant discounts to last-minute bookers. We explain the nitty-gritty behind hotel pricing here, but the gist of it is that hotels are eager to sell as many rooms as they can. As a date approaches, hotels might offer lower and lower prices to try to fill more rooms. Spontaneous travelers can take advantage of this if they’re willing to keep their options open.
At Roomkey, we want to make it as easy as possible for you to squeeze in a last-minute trip to see your in-laws or finally book a room for your best friend’s wedding that you’ve known about for a year. Whether you need a hotel room tonight or five months from now, you’ll find that booking your next stay at roomkey.com is straightforward and convenient. Here are our best tips for how to snag last-minute hotel deals.
Create Price Alerts to Stay Current on the Best Rates
We offer price alerts to help you monitor hotel rates at your future destination so you’ll know when those late-minute deals start to kick in. First, you’ll need to create an account on roomkey.com so we know how to contact you. Then, simply click on the “Set Price Alert” button on our hotel pages. We’ll do the rest for you. We watch the rates, and if the hotel’s price drops for your specified dates, we’ll email you. Sign up for as many alerts as you want so you can be sure to snag the best deal for the city you’re traveling to.
Use the Map Feature to See Which Last-Minute Hotels Are Still Available
Maybe you’re not the plan-in-advance type and have taken off on an impromptu road trip. You let the road take you where it will, stopping when the urge hits. While it’s a fun way to travel—you never know what you’ll see or find—how do you find a hotel when you pull into a city late afternoon? Our map feature will come in handy here.
Simply search for your city and dates, and hotel listings will appear on the left with a map on the right. Zoom into the map to view the hotels in the area you’re looking to stay in, and then choose a hotel that has availability for the night. Available hotels will be marked with a purple dot while sold-out hotels will be shaded gray.
Other Tips for Making Last-Minute Travel Plans
In Travel & Leisure’s “50 Hacks for Smarter Last-Minute Travel Planning,” they recommend booking hotels directly, which is exactly what you’ll do when you use Roomkey to search hotels. Booking direct (rather than with a third-party travel site) ensures that your reservation won’t get lost before you get to your destination. Other tips from Travel & Leisure include visiting an area during its off-season and subscribing to travel deal newsletters.
If you too are a last-minute traveler, you’re not alone. The Travel Market Report says that 58% of those polled, and 73% of millennials, reported they were likely to take a last-minute vacation this year. If you’re looking for a last-minute getaway, you won’t have as many options, but you may find some last-minute savings, especially when you book your room through Roomkey.