With summer travel planning reaching a fever pitch, travelers pinched by higher gas prices, airfare and hotel rates are on the prowl for ways to save. Here are four new(ish) websites that promise to save travelers big bucks on the priciest and most important aspect of the summer vacation: the hotel stay.
Backbid.com turns bidding for travel on its head. Instead of the consumer bidding on a hotel room, Backbid takes a traveler's existing hotel reservation and then has other hotels in the intended destination see if they can beat the price. In effect, hotels are bidding for your business instead of the other way around.
If none of the bids you receive are appealing enough to make you switch hotels, simply keep your existing hotel reservation. If one does strike your fancy, cancel your existing reservation and rebook at the new hotel. Beware: While most hotels have very lenient cancellation policies, it's crucial to be sure you won't be penalized.
Everyone experiencing wanderlust has the same problem: an inbox filled, daily, with flash-sale travel offers from sites like JetSetter, LivingSocial, SniqueAway and more. At press time, the site showed 118 active sales -- that's a lot of email to keep on top of.
EveryLodge keeps track of the offers for you by aggregating all the deals available, sort of the way Kayak aggregates airfare. The site compiles offers from 14 flash-sale sites and users can sort by geographic destination or more specific aggregators, or narrow down the choices by plugging in desired travel dates. Try it. Your inbox will thank you.
Not a website but an app designed specifically with the last-minute traveler in mind. As the name suggests, HotelTonight focuses on same-day hotel bookings and claims savings of up to 70 percent off. It has an Apple App Store rating of 4.5.
And while it's ideal for last-minute travelers who fly by the seat of their pants, it's also a handy tool if you're stranded at an airport or need to make an unplanned overnight stop on the family road trip.
It's a common travel conundrum. You want to lock in a great hotel for your summer getaway before it books up, but you're worried the price will drop after you book. Valid concern, as prices do fluctuate at hotels, much as they do on airlines, according to supply and demand. Tingo, like Backbid, takes advantage of flexible of hotel's flexible cancellation policies by basically canceling and rebooking the room if and when the price drops.
Make your hotel reservation through Tingo, and you'll automatically get a refund if the price drops -- right to your credit card -- and Tingo rebooks you at the lower rate. The site claims the money will appear back on your credit card soon after checkout. The site differs from others with "price guarantees" because it doesn't require another traveler to make the same reservation at a lower price.