The Secrets to Successful Travel Bidding

How one couple never pays more than $100 per night at a hotel, even in major cities.

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While these sites can offer some very attractive deals to last-minute travelers (for instance, Antonioli says she's booked a room in Philadelphia for $55 a night bidding two days in advance), Banas says it's a bad idea to wait if you know you need to be at a wedding or a conference on a certain date, especially during peak travel periods. If inventory sells out, you could be out of luck with Priceline or Hotwire. However, for day-of hotel bookings, she suggests trying the HotelTonight app (available on iPhone or Android) or Tonight-Only, Priceline's new iPhone app.