SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 4, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- According to Hot Rate® Hotel data from Hotwire®, there are great deals to be found on fall and winter travel this year, with the last six weeks of 2016 likely to offer the most affordable options for travel. For those who are conflicted about holiday travel, the week of Thanksgiving is more affordable than the week of Christmas. Whether the final destination is somewhere warm or a snowy locale, big savings can be found on hotels in most major U.S. cities as well, and when coupled with seasonal sales and special offers from Hotwire, travel this season will be an affordable option.
These are just a few of the insights in this issue of the Hotwire® Travel Inspiration Indicator, a quarterly guide for media that includes travel trends, deals, and inspiration for "slightly adventurous" trip takers.
Fall: An Underrated Travel Season
Last quarter, Hotwire warned of the 658 million wasted vacation days that were lost at the close of 2015, and that according to Project: Time Off, more than half of American workers didn't use all their PTO. At Hotwire, we believe that needs to change. As we enter into the final months of 2016, we want to make sure travelers plan ahead and make use of all that PTO before they lose it.
The end of the year for many people means scrambling; a mad dash to complete shopping on time, planning for holiday travel, and checking work "to-do's" off the list. If that all sounds stressful, take a deep breath...we're here to help.
Fall is one of the most underrated travel seasons of the year. The weather is still great, the crowds are lighter, and there are amazing deals to be scored. Travel for your favorite football team. Or your favorite band. Go on a long weekend adventure. This is the year to take advantage of fall travel like never before.
Best time to travel this fall*
Here are the best weekends to travel during the next three months for big savings, starting with the most affordable first. See PDF link below for access to the complete graph.
- Weekend of December 20
- Weekend of November 29
- Weekend of December 13
- Weekend of November 22
- Weekend of December 6
- Weekend of December 27
- Weekend of November 1
- Weekend of November 15
- Weekend of November 8
- Weekend of October 25
- Weekend of October 4
- Weekend of October 18
Most popular destinations from $67** a night in October, November and December
For travelers looking to get the most bang for their buck without skimping on quality, we've crunched last year's numbers to find the best rates on three to five star rooms. These 10 cities offered rooms from $67 a night:
- Las Vegas, Toronto, Orlando, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Chicago, New Orleans, Vancouver, Austin
Traveling by car? Check out these 10 cities for the best deals on rentals.
We know you'll be traveling a lot this fall, so make it easy on yourself and rent a car. Last year, travelers could grab a car and jumpstart their adventures from $13 per day*** in these cities.
- Fort Lauderdale, Chicago, Los Angeles, Orlando, Baltimore, Charlotte, Raleigh, Dallas, San Francisco, New Orleans
Embrace the season
For travelers looking to journey to the country's best cold weather destinations, we recommend these four U.S. cities. All four have especially low prices in the fall months, as well as their share of winter weather activities and snowfall.
- Salt Lake City
If you like pina coladas...
Holding onto summer and searching for warmth? We don't blame you. Hotwire rounded up the best warm-weather destinations to visit this fall where you can still enjoy big savings. Pack a swim suit and some sunglasses because you won't need your fall boots in these cities!
- Los Angeles
- Honolulu, Oahu
- San Juan, Puerto Rico
Spooky Halloween celebrations
Hotwire encourages travelers to find every reason to travel and Halloween is as good an excuse as any to visit a new US destination. These cities have some of the best and most unique Halloween celebrations in the country. For extra incentive, Hotwire is having two sales during the month of October. From October 18th through the 21st, Hotwire is celebrating our Sweet Sixteen birthday and passing savings to customers with a coupon for $16 off $160 Hot Rate® Hotels. On October 28th, customers can take advantage of a 24-hour Halloween sale, offering extra savings on Hot Rate® Hotels. You really have no excuse not to book!
- Irving, Texas: Be sure to stop by the Stranging Brothers Haunted Circus for an extra "freaky" encounter.
- New York City: There is something for everyone in the Big Apple. From the annual Village Halloween Parade to Blood Manor, you're sure to find something spooky enough for the whole group.
- Miami, Florida: In Miami, you're sure to enjoy Halloween like never before. Whether you're pumpkin carving with kids or looking for an all-night celebration, head to this town for the best "spooky" adventures.
Maybe you can't be with family this Thanksgiving or perhaps you just want another excuse to eat Turkey dinner...both are totally valid. Either way, we ran the numbers and found some of the best places to celebrate "Friendsgiving" this year.
- Las Vegas
- San Diego
- Miami Beach
- New Orleans
Thanksgiving or Christmas? Best time to travel home if you have to choose one
We know that for most people, it's tough to get enough time off for both Thanksgiving and Christmas, and tickets can be extra pricey during the holidays. If you're faced with choosing one or the other, we took a look at the numbers from last year to help you make a decision.
- The week of Thanksgiving is more affordable than the week of Christmas. Pro-tip: The week before Christmas is even cheaper, so try adjusting your travel dates and extending your holiday celebrations.
Tips and tricks from Hotwire on how consumers can get the most value for their travel dollars
Hot tips on Car
- Lock in a lower price by booking a prepaid option; Hotwire offers compelling discounts to customers who pay when booking.
- Renting a car for a weekend trip instead of taking a taxi or ride-sharing service from the airport can be a more cost-effective means of exploring a new city.
- As Florida and other Southern states start to cool down before the holidays, lock in great deals on Hot Rate® car rentals.
Hot tips on Hotel
- Sundays are typically the least expensive day of the week. Include a Sunday as part of your stay and save on lodging costs.
- Fall is peak convention season where mid-week rates can be higher near city centers, but rates tend to drop in November and December as business travel slows.
- Get great deals in top destinations with cooler winter weather in places like Chicago, Boston, Atlanta, Seattle, and Minneapolis.
- Have a white Christmas! Take advantage of lower rates in November and December and travel to fun holiday destinations such as NYC, Denver, Vancouver, and Washington DC.
- The later you wait to book your hotel before your trip, the better deals you can get.
Hot tips on Air
- Consider booking a cheaper flight to a smaller airport and then driving to your final destination. Based on historical data, you can rent cars from $13 a day*** in many cities. This can be a great money saver.
- Our research suggests that Tuesday is the best day to buy an airline ticket for your fall travel needs. Weekends provide an opportunity to find great deals on leisure travel****.
- Buy your plane ticket first - this unlocks super car and hotel deals. Hotwire will give you superb hotel deals (up to 60% off) when you book a flight first.
- When traveling cross country, try to book red-eye flights to enjoy big savings. Not only is the flight cheaper, but you'll get another day to explore.
More insights about U.S. travel this season
Here are some additional trends that will impact travel this fall:
- According to the Farmers' Almanac, while winter officially starts on Dec. 21, 2016 predictions point to some snow and cold conditions in mid-November in the Northeast, Great Lakes, and Midwest. However, the good news is that the frigidly cold temperatures really won't take hold until much later in the season. In contrast, milder-than-normal temperatures will prevail over the Western States.
- According to AAA, demand for gasoline will be on the decline following the conclusion of the busy summer driving season, and refineries are about ready for the transition to cheaper winter-blend gasoline, thus keeping gas prices falling even lower for the remainder of 2016.
- A 20-year study conducted by Dr. Thomas Gilovich, a psychology professor at Cornell University, concluded that people who spent money on experiences rather than material items were happier and felt the money was better spent. This holiday season, consumers who focus their energy on meaningful experiences, be it an epic adventure of a lifetime or a quick trip with family or friend, will find joy that can stand the test of time, much more so that the newest gadget.
Hotwire.com inspires spontaneous travel through Hot Rate® deals. Launched in 2000, Hotwire, Inc. obtains deep discounts from its travel suppliers to help travelers book unsold airline seats, hotel rooms and rental cars. Hotwire.com is an award winning website and Hotwire, Inc. is an operating company within Expedia, Inc. For more information, visit http://www.hotwire.com.
©2016 Hotwire, Inc. All rights reserved. Hotwire, Hotwire.com, Hot Rate, Hotwire Travel Inspiration Indicator and the Hotwire logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Hotwire, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. CST # 2053390-40.
Anita Lavine, Porter Novelli for Hotwire
Carrie Peters, Hotwire
* Prices based on a one to three night stay at a 3 – 5 star Hot Rate® Hotel. Heat map above reflects average prices from October 1, 2015 to December 31, 2015. Prices do not include taxes and fees. Hot Rate® Hotels are different from retail hotel rates. With Hot Rate® Hotels you enter the date, location and star rating – exact hotel shown only after booking. All bookings are final.
**Prices are based on 3 – 5 star Hot Rate® Hotel rates found during October 1, 2015 to December 31, 2015. Prices do not include taxes and fees. Hot Rate® Hotel rates are different from retail hotel rates. With Hot Rate® Hotels you enter the date, location and star rating – exact hotel shown only after booking. All bookings are final. Prices are dynamic and subject to change.
***Prices based on Hot Rate® car rental rates found during October 1, 2015 to December 31, 2015. Prices do not include taxes and fees. Hot Rate® Car Rental rates are different from retail car rental rates. With Hot Rate® Car Rentals you enter the dates and location – exact Car Rental shown only after booking. All bookings are final. Prices vary based on car class, location, and availability and are subject to change.
****Research performed in collaboration with Expedia and ARC. Expedia is the parent company of Hotwire Inc.