Europe is not the only destination for travelers looking to score a deal this summer. Hotel rates in major cities around the United States are expected to drop significantly as well. You can expect savings of up to 75 percent in some places, says Gabe Saglie of travel deals site TravelZoo.com.
A perfect storm of factors like the strength of the dollar, a boom in hotel inventory and the slowdown of business travel is responsible for the downward shift in prices.
"Americans are in luck if they are planning to stay stateside this summer," said Saglie. "With gas prices still low and hotels offering excellent deals, this could be one of the best summers in a decade to explore the nation's big cities."
Because the dollar is so strong, more Americans are headed abroad, eschewing trips to big cities right here at home. At the same time, fewer foreign visitors are likely to come to the U.S.
“The stronger dollar against a slew of foreign currencies will likely have a twofold effect on the U.S. hotel industry,” said Saglie. “With a weaker yen, for example, and a weaker euro, [the number of] foreign travelers to major West and East Coast cities is bound to soften this summer. The buying power of these currencies is not there the way it was in summers past.”
And at a time when hotel inventory is steadily increasing and home-stay options like Airbnb are proliferating, more and more rooms are going unused.
“An increase in supply leads to more deals,” said Saglie. “The greater availability of rooms will incentivize hotels to bring prices down, thereby offering especially good bargains for American travelers opting to travel domestically.”
Want to score some of those deals? Here’s how:
“The traveler who stays flexible is bound to find the best deal,” said Saglie. “If you travel to Los Angeles on a Tuesday instead of Saturday, you’re bound to save.” In most cities you’ll pay the most for weekend stays -- though there are exceptions to that rule.
Go when business travelers aren’t.
Business travel is slow in the summer and, of course, on weekends. That’s why “you’re bound to see lower rates and better packages” on weekend stays in business capitals like New York, said Saglie.
If you can, book hotels at the last minute.
Hotels would rather sell rooms at a cut rate than let them sit empty, which is why you can score incredible deals at the last minute. Apps like HotelTonight and sites like LastMinute.com can help you snap up those when they become available. If you want peace of mind, book your hotel stay in advance, but know the cancellation policy. Most hotels will let you cancel 24 hours in advance without paying a fee. Then, if you spot a better deal at another hotel at the eleventh hour, cancel your original stay.
Get refunded if the price drops.
Book your hotel at Tingo.com, and you can rest easy if the hotel rate changes after you book. You’ll pay for your rooms up front (not at the time of stay), but if the price drops, Tingo will automatically refund you the difference.