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Travel Tip: Last-Minute Booking Apps

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Normally I’m a big fan of planning in advance, but once in a while you need to find a hotel at the last minute—and if you use the right resource, you can even save some money.

Priceline has a last-minute booking option called Tonight-Only Deals in its Negotiator app. Starting at 11 am, it shows discounted hotels that you can book on the same day.

They recently increased the number of hotels available to 150 cities in the U.S.  They claim you can save more than 40 percent—but keep in mind, that’s off published rates, so the discounts actually vary.

Before this one, there was the launch of the Hotel Tonight app in early 2011. This one mostly focuses on trendy or boutique hotels, with deep discounts starting at noon the day of the booking.

And then Expedia has its own resource called Last Minute Deals. This one is on the web, not an app, and it lists hotels available that night, the coming weekend, or the following weekend. But what really sets this one apart is that the prices are based on deals found by other travelers.

Bottom line: competition means more options out there, and I’m always a fan of that.

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