Checking In On The Cheap
Travelers cash in on travel site "flash sales".
Staying at a first-class hotel doesn't have to cost a fortune if you know where to click.
Some travelers are cashing in on deep discounts before they even check in thanks to a growing number of "flash sale" travel sites.
"The main difference between flash sale travel sites and normal online travel agencies is simply the deep discounts that flash sale travel provides," explains Jennifer Gaines, a Spire senior travel editor.
Flash-sale site Spire promises at least 30 percent off the lowest available rate at selected four- and five-star hotels in the United States and around the world.
"Flash sales are a great way to get discounts on hotels that you normally cannot afford," Gaines said.
Other flash sale travel sites include Jetsetter, Sniqueaway and Vacationist.
All offer deep discounts at world-class hotels.
"This seems to be a here-to-stay, recession-fueled trend," Gaines said. "Hoteliers are utilizing these flash sale travel sites to fill rooms that normally would sit empty."
Most flash sales only last about a week, so be ready to book when you spot a deal you like, but don't forget the cost of getting there.
"That's definitely a consideration that travelers need to take when they're booking their trip -- check that airfare to make sure that's in their budget as well," Gaines said "But oftentimes, the hotel discount is so deep that even paying a little bit more for your airfare may be worth it."