Consider several city areas.
Since our rates can offer such deep hotel discounts, try searching city areas that you may have thought were too expensive to stay in. At Hotwire, you can look for a hotel reservation in up to three city areas per search. Modifying your search allows you to check even more areas.
Stay a Friday or Saturday night.
Weekend rates are often cheaper than Monday through Thursday hotel reservations, when the hotels primarily target business travelers and have higher rates.
If a higher quality hotel has a better rate than a lower one, book it -- it's not a mistake.
Large full-service hotels often have blocks of rooms reserved for a corporation or convention that cancels. It's tough for hotels to sell these rooms on short notice, so they'll offer them to Hotwire customers at deeply discounted rates.
Book off-peak days around the holidays or on the holiday itself.
Varying your check-in and check-out dates by even just a day can make a difference. For example, consider checking in on Thanksgiving Day or Christmas Day, rather than the peak weekend days before and after these holidays.
Stay during the off-peak season.
Travel destinations may also have especially high volume during particular seasons. Fall is a great time to plan a getaway to Chicago, Hawaii, Florida, California or Phoenix. Booking a hotel room during off-peak periods helps avoid crowds and can result in substantial savings.
Booking for a five- or seven-day period may result in a great "weekly rate."
Weekly rates can be much better than daily ones -- see the savings for yourself!
Booking for a weekend may result in a lower rate.
Rental car companies generally define weekend car rentals as those that are picked up late Thursday/Friday morning and dropped off late Sunday/Monday morning.
Be aware when you compare.
Some online travel sites only show you a base rate for their rental cars and then unpleasantly surprise you later with a total price that is much higher. Hotwire shows you the final price before you agree to any bookings. Plus, unlimited mileage is included with all car rentals.
Consider searching higher car classes for a better value.
Since our rates can be so great, try searching for rental cars that were previously too expensive to rent -- such as premium or luxury cars. At Hotwire, you can choose multiple rental car types during a search, so you've got nothing to lose by just checking the rates. (You may be surprised!)
Think through both your seating and cargo needs.
A smaller rental car may fit all of your passengers comfortably, but don't forget about the luggage, golf clubs, souvenirs, etc. Also, the distance you are driving may be a factor; five people in a mid-size rental car may be fine for a 20-minute drive, but not for a long road trip. Please be sure to read through the descriptions of the rental car types to ensure that you rent the appropriate size car.
Your car rental pick-up process can be a smooth and easy one if you know what to have on-hand. When you book through Hotwire, you'll need to present your credit card and driver's license at the rental car counter. The fact that you've prepaid on our site means less paperwork at the counter. You will not need to pay for any other expenses unless you request extras, such as mobile phones or luggage racks. Any additions to the rental car should be handled at the counter. Also, check ahead of time to see if your regular car insurance covers rental cars.
Return your rental car on time.
Car rental companies operate on a 24-hour billing cycle. Avoid unpleasant extra day and/or extra hour charges by returning your rental car on time. Any extra days are not guaranteed to be at the Hotwire car rental rate you received when booking the reservation, and may result in high charges you didn't expect to pay.
Search certain days of the week.
For better savings, consider departing on a Wednesday, Thursday or Saturday. Return on a Sunday, Tuesday or Wednesday. For international travel, the best deals can often be found by departing Monday through Thursday.
Weekend getaways for less.
If you're going away for a short weekend trip, flights leaving on Thursday and returning on Sunday are generally less expensive than itineraries leaving on Friday and returning on Monday.
Stay a Saturday night.
Spending the weekend at your destination will generally result in better airfares.
When comparing fares, take taxes into consideration.
The fare we show you is the final price for round-trip travel, including taxes and fees. Other sites may display one fare, and then add on taxes and fees that can increase your total price by as much as $25-50 per domestic ticket and $50-100 per international ticket. With Hotwire, you know what you're paying before you agree to book so there are no unpleasant surprises later. (Please note that we do not include any international airport departure taxes that may apply because they are based on your destination and are paid when you leave certain countries.)
Consider alternative airports.
When you search for fares, we always try to include nearby airports to find the best results. For example, if you're traveling to New York City, we'll check Newark, JFK and LaGuardia for our lowest available fares. When you get your search results, departure and arrival airports will be identified for each fare. You can also add new ones in the "Change Your Search" box to the left of your results.
Act quickly on a fare you like.
If you need to coordinate your air travel with other people or events, it's best to figure that all out before you search so you can act quickly when you see a good deal. Airline ticket prices frequently go up and down within minutes. Whether you're booking through Hotwire, a travel agent or any other source, the airfare you want could be snatched up before you complete your transaction. Don't rush into any decisions, but realize that someone else could also have their eye on the same low fare.
Fly on off-peak days around the holidays or on the holiday itself.
Varying your departure and arrival date by even just a day can make a difference. For example, consider flying on Thanksgiving Day or Christmas Day, rather than the peak weekend days before and after these holidays.
Fly during the off-peak season.
Travel destinations may also have especially high volume during particular seasons. For example, popular summer spots include Europe, Hawaii and Alaska. Spring is a peak travel season for Florida, New Orleans and Southern California. Flying during other periods can result in substantial savings.