Last minute hotel deals? Try these five apps



Hotel tonight

If you want something fancy or fancy, try HotelTonight. The list of properties is small – think of it as a curated list of the best available – and broken down into different categories: Trendy, Charming, Luxurious, Solid, and Basic, the latter two being reserved for more common stays (think DoubleTree). A search the same day April 3 revealed the Broadview Hotel, a Toronto hot spot, for $ 272, compared to $ 361 if booked direct.

Hot wire

Ready to take a little risk? Hotwire shows you a list of properties, with the star rating, amenities, and neighborhood for each. The catch is, you don’t know exactly where to book until you make a non-refundable payment. Hotwire offers more clues now – pick a property and it often tells you which one the last person got – and if you book a night, you can usually add more after the reveal. What was likely, the Broadview was listed for $ 281.

Price line

Priceline is best known for its “Name Your Own Price” gadget, which allows travelers to blind bid on properties. Unlike Hotwire, you don’t have a list to choose from – you just pick your criteria and price and hope for the best. That option still exists – and comes with some great deals – but Priceline now promotes Express Deals, which save up to 60% on unnamed hotels. It’s similar to Hotwire, but the variety isn’t as good. The Broadview did not appear.

Booking.com

The beauty of Booking.com is that it offers a wide variety of accommodations. Often times – especially in Europe – there will appear independent guesthouses and BnBs that do not appear on other online travel agencies. In small communities, it can work when all hope is lost. By signing up for the free Genius loyalty program, you get discounts after only two stays in two years; the Broadview hotel came in at $ 36 cheaper with the members’ price (for $ 327).

Hotels.com

Hotels.com makes the difference because it sometimes displays the availability of properties that are listed as sold out elsewhere, even on their own websites. So if you have your heart set on a particular place, check here before you give up, even though you might not get the best deal. (The Broadview arrived at $ 326.) The loyalty program is also good: after 10 bookings, you get a free night at qualifying properties (value up to the average price of your previous bookings).

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