Guest Post by Melissa Hasan
Last minute hotel deals are often some of the best you can find. While hotels may offer specific discounts ahead of time, the real deals are booked just before your stay, often within a week or two. These deals are perfect for the more spontaneous traveler. They could also be used to extend your vacation if you are having a blast and want to stick around to take advantage of a good bargain.
Why do these last minute hotel deals exist? Well, there are a few reasons that hotels may offer them.
It’s not uncommon for wedding parties, family reunions and convention groups to book a block of rooms for a specific date. If they later cancel, the hotel scrambles to fill the spaces, usually by offering a very drastic and last minute discount.
This can also occur when a large number of people cancel individually. This could be for no particular reason, just random coincidence, but it also tends to happen when people are scared off travel for a while, because of terrorist attacks, weather, or even airfare hikes. Whatever the reason, the cancellations are good news for you, the guest. They mean you get a great room for a fraction of the price.
Unexplained Lack of Bookings
Sometimes, even in the height of the tourist season, hotels can find themselves with a number of empty rooms. To prevent losses, they will often fill those at a much lower price, but you’ll need to move fast. These prices may come up just a few days before you want to travel, so you’ll also need to keep your eyes open.
While most of the time a special promo will be run ahead of time, in some cases, a hotel will decide to capitalize on a special date and offer last minute hotel deals to help boost visibility in the market. Look out for special deals that are set up for holidays and special events like the Super Bowl. They will usually only last for a couple of days, but may be valid for a while after the promotion ends.
With any last minute hotel deals, it’s imperative to make a decision fairly quickly. You also need to be flexible. If you find a great hotel deal that is out of the way of where you’d planned to stay, you might need to reevaluate your priorities and stay in the cheaper hotel, even if it is slightly less convenient. Most deals are available online, so you will want to do frequent searches and make sure to stay on top of any potential last minute hotel deals.
Melissa Hasan is a travel enthusiastic, marathon runner, and soon to be first time mom living in upstate New York with her husband Joe and dog Blue. Melissa also blogs at Best Travel Deals.