First, make a quick check of hotels for the area you are looking for. I use a major site like Expedia or Trip Advisor. Get an idea of what the rates are and what kind of hotel you want. Even if you just need a place to sleep don’t get too cheap or simple on the ranking or star level. You can score a great hotel at a good price. Then go to the hotel site directly. Check the rates and feel free to lock in a hotel if it can be cancelled. Don’t forget to look for discounts such as AAA or military/government discount.
Second, hit a few of the last-minute booking options. Here are my favorite sites and apps:
- Hotel Tonight- App based. You can book a hotel for any date within 7 days of today. Similar to a hotwire except they tell you what hotel. Use code RFOJTIK to get $25 off first booking of $135 or more.
- Hotwire-I love hotwire. They tell you the general location, star level, amenities, and price. Once you book and pay, they tell you what hotel. You really can’t go wrong since you know everything but the name. I can also utilize various blogs to identify specifically what hotel I am getting or narrow it down to 2 or 3.
- Priceline- This is similar to hotwire, except they have different options. They have where you can “name your price” and bod on a hotel. You can choose area and star level, then put in what you want to pay. The blogs have some tips on how to do this. Usually once you miss out on a certain star level you have to wait again for another try at that level. They also have “express” deals where you can pay less but get to know what hotel it is. Expedia has something similar to this.