Hotwire Claims August Is The Best Time To Travel This Summer

travel hotwireAccording to Hot Rate® Hotel data from Hotwire®, summer travel will be most affordable during the last two weeks of August this year. The middle of September offers big savings on hotels in most major U.S. cities as well, a perfect option for those who prefer a late summer getaway.

These are just two 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.

Taking Back Summer

According to Project: Time Off, more than half of American workers had unused paid leave at the end of 2015, resulting in up to 658 million wasted vacation days.

At Hotwire, we refuse to let summer vacations become a thing of the past… but we might need to redefine what they look like.

More weekend getaways. More short trips to see family and friends. And more spontaneous travel moments. That's the ticket for summer travel 2016. Here's how to make the most of it.

The list below represents the best weekends to travel during the summer months for big savings, starting with the most affordable weekend first. See PDF link below for access to the complete graph.

  • Weekend of August 30
  • Weekend of September 13
  • Weekend of August 23
  • Weekend of September 20
  • Weekend of September 27
  • Weekend of September 06
  • Weekend of August 16
  • Weekend of July 12
  • Weekend of July 5
  • Weekend of July 19
  • Weekend of August 2
  • Weekend of August 9
  • Weekend of July 26

Most popular destinations from $67** a night in July, August, and September

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, Houston, Atlanta, Orlando, Dallas, San Diego, Minneapolis, New Orleans, San Antonio, and Saint Louis

Traveling by car? Check out these 10 cities for the best deals on rentals.

Gas prices are still low, so why not rent a car? Last year, travelers could start a summer road trip from $13 per day*** for these cities.

-   Minneapolis, Chicago, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Orlando, Dallas, Seattle, Fort Lauderdale, San Jose and San Diego

Top spontaneous travel destinations for summer

Perhaps it's time to rethink Las Vegas as the iconic destination for spontaneous travel. According to Hotwire data, these five U.S. cities actually see the most hotel bookings within two days of arrival in July, August, and September.

  • Houston, Texas
  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • Dallas, Texas
  • Los Angeles, California
  • Austin, Texas  

Family Friendly

From beach days and BBQs to touring national monuments, we recommend these four U.S. cities for families. All four have especially low prices in the summer months.

  • Oakland, California
  • Washington D.C.
  • Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • San Diego, California

Travel with Friends

When it comes to great places for a getaway with friends, these five cities boast bars, sports, and a bustling city life… as well as lower-than-usual prices on hotels during the summer months.  

  • New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Miami, Florida
  • Seattle, Washington
  • Boston, Massachusetts

Off the beaten path

Travelers who want to avoid the crowds during summer 2016 should check out these three cities, which traditionally offer low hotel rates during the summer months as well as great food, art, festivals, and culture.

  • St. Petersburg, Florida
  • Naples, Florida
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota 

Make the most of business travel

Hotwire encourages travelers to stay through the weekend and explore a new city after a sales conference or business trip. Convention-friendly cities with great summer deals include the following.

  • Oakland, California
  • Houston, Texas
  • Tampa, Florida
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Baltimore, Maryland

Best cities to travel to during Labor Day Weekend

Take advantage of the last official weekend of summer. These U.S. cities offered three to five star rooms from $70 a night** during Labor Day Weekend 2015.

  • Phoenix, Arizona  
  • Orlando, Florida
  • Dallas, Texas
  • Charlotte, North Carolina
  • New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Tampa, Florida

Tips and tricks from Hotwire on how consumers can get the most value for their travel dollars

Hot tips on Car

  • Check out off-airport rental locations. Airport fees and taxes in some locations can drive up the final price of your car rental, so it's best to shop both on and off-airport locations to see where the low prices really are when you total up the costs.
  • Pick up on a Friday or Saturday and return Sunday or Monday.

Hot tips on Hotel

  • In the summer, business travel slows and leisure travelers head away from the city to enjoy outdoor trips. This drives big city hotels to offer extra savings if you're looking to plan a staycation.
  • If you can handle the heat, expect to find great deals on lodging in warm locations like Las Vegas, Phoenix and Dallas. Warm weather markets generally have the best deals during the summer months.
  • Sundays are typically the least expensive day of the week. Include a Sunday as part of your stay and save on lodging costs.

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.
  • If you're booking airfare, check prices on Monday evening and Tuesday morning for the lowest prices.
  • When traveling cross country, try to book red-eye flights to enjoy big savings. Not only is the flight cheaper, but you will be able to add another day of exploring.

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