Although advertising would have us believe that securing bargain accommodation just before we need it is possible, it can seem as though the same hotels repeatedly feature in search results, without discounted prices.
Hipmunk, a US travel search provider, now offers a metasearch facility on the same day that accommodation is required. Hipmunk is used via smartphone apps for iPhone and Android and metasearch enables deals from a range of providers to be searched simultaneously.
Essentially, Hipmunk works by taking information from numerous mobile-specific and general deal listings to find the best rates available for the night. The best point of difference between Hipmunk and other apps is that the same-day hotel bookings offered that are not restricted to specially negotiated rates.
In Australia, such an offering is not yet available. Here, the smartphone apps of the largest online travel booking providers reflect the content of their main websites, rather than providing offers that are available through specific booking apps. This also means that very little variation in price is found.
Some travel experts believe that when using smartphone technology for travel bookings, it is best to choose one or two booking sites and download their apps available at no cost. With these apps installed, it is possible to use them and compare prices while on the run.