November 20, 2017

Three iPhone Apps to Help You Save on Last-Minute Hotel Rooms

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

I don’t need to tell you that hotel rooms are expensive. I also don’t need to tell you that hotel rooms in New York City are very expensive. This past weekend I took my girls to New York and of course I waited until the last minute to book a room to try to get the best price. When that room was less than acceptable (primarily due to a hotel renovation), we checked out of the hotel and needed to find a room quickly.

Thanks goodness for my trusty iPhone. I turned to several free hotel apps and we had a new room in minutes without a lot of chaos with two kids in tow. While the thought of going to a city with kids without a hotel reservation can seem scary (though in our case unplanned), I would definitely do it again. It’s a great way to get a great deal, and the kids barely even noticed.

Here are three hotel booking smartphone apps that are ideal for booking last-minute hotel rooms.

Hotel Tonight: If you can wait until noon the day you plan to check in and have some flexibility, try the free Hotel Tonight app for the iPhone. Each day, three new hotel deals pop up for more than 20 locations nationwide. If you have time, check back throughout the day because I’ve seen new deals go up and prices go down (I’ve also seen deals sell out).

You can get $25 in credits when you sign up for the app and use invite code egifford. I was particular about what part of town I wanted to stay, so unfortunately this option did not work out for me since none of the three Hotel Tonight deals were near Penn Station. Deals end at midnight local time.

Expedia Hotels: A life-saver for me, I downloaded the free Expedia Hotels app on the fly when the original room I booked (which received four out of five stars on TripAdvisor, by the way) was not very nice at all. I needed a new room for me and my kids and Expedia quickly found rooms near my location, showing me prices, photos, reviews and amenities. Nice.

However, I already had a hotel in mind. It was the Hampton Inn on 35th that I’d stayed at the year before. I noticed a price of $189 for that night on the Expedia app, but instead of booking through the app I called the front desk of the hotel. I let them know about the price I saw on Expedia hoping they would at least honor it, and they said their price was actually $139 for the night. I just saved $50 in less than five minutes (more if you factor in the price I was going to pay for the first hotel room).

HotelPal: This app, available for both iPhone and Android, also lets you locate rooms near you using your phone’s GPS capabilities. The free HotelPal app quickly mapped a hotel on top of a Google map, listing both the price and the distance from me. Just tap the red pushpins to get details on various area hotels. A quick click and I was able to view photos and prices for several room options for each hotel.

Quick note that if you arrive in a city after 11 p.m., maybe due to a flight delay, you will not be able to search for and book hotels for that night. However, you can still search and then place a quick call to a hotel that looks good to check availability. It’s also easy to search for hotels by address or even by zip code alone.

Have you tried any of these apps yourself? I’d love to get your feedback, especially if you frequently wait until the last-minute to make your hotel arrangements.

Leave a Comment

*