TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS a night for a hotel room with one king-size bed in Nantucket. More than $4,000 a night for a “Desert View Suite” in Utah. Travelers itching to get back on the road are getting an unwelcome surprise: hotel sticker shock. According to a recent survey from travel booking app Hopper, lodging prices in the U.S. are up 42% from earlier this year, and are likely to rise even more by the winter holidays. “We’ve seen crazy high levels at some leisure destinations,” said Hopper economist Adit Damodaran. Why the spike? “Demand for hotels just skyrocketed overnight” around Memorial Day, explained Andrea Stokes, hospitality practice lead at research firm J.D. Power. Plus, many guests chose to stay stateside this year instead of going abroad. The good news: You can still ferret out bargains or wrangle a discount. We asked a few travel industry insiders for their best booking tips:
Time it right
Hopper advises booking at least 30 days in advance for a hotel in a resort area. But for city center hotels, try the opposite tack: Book less than two weeks from arrival to get last-minute deals when inventory opens up. And look for midweek specials.