Hotwire's New Travel Inspiration Indicator Offers Best Travel Deals for Spring 2016

SAN FRANCISCO, April 12, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Spring is here. A time of year when many get the travel bug: from the warm-blooded in search of sunshine to winter sports enthusiasts seeking a few more months of snowy enjoyment to students seeking the hottest party beaches. There are also spring festivals, graduations to attend, and families taking trips over spring break. The Hotwire® Travel Inspiration Indicator is a new quarterly guide designed to provide insights on the best deals, what's trending in travel, and how to make spontaneous travel moments attainable for everyone.

Embrace Your Inner Travel Geek

Consumers are spending more on travel than ever before, too. According to Statista, domestic travel was up 11 billion dollars in 2015 compared to 2014, with an estimated increase of 31 billion dollars in 2016. In fact, an American Express survey shows vacation planning is at a high, with 70 percent expecting to travel for leisure in 2016, up from 66 percent in 2015. Domestic travel continues to be the most popular form of vacationing at 55 percent versus 52 percent in 2015. That means more people are likely to travel in the U.S. this spring…and Hotwire wants to help them get the most out of their trip-taking dollar.

Best cities to travel to for under $250 a night in April, May, and June
For travelers looking to get the most bang for their buck, and who want to stay in top-notch hotels without paying top-dollar, we've crunched the numbers to find where the best deals are this season.

  • Overall best value for all travelers in Spring 2016
    • April: Dallas, Texas wins as the most affordable destination in April. With temperatures hovering around the 60s and 70s and tons of innovative dining experiences and memorable entertainment, it's an ideal getaway.
    • May: Travel to Phoenix, Arizona in May to experience a famous desert sunset and enjoy the warm weather.
    • June: Florida wins as most affordable sunny destination including Miami, Saint Augustine, and Key West – all least expensive in June.

Family Friendly
For families looking for some fun in the sun this spring, there are great deals to be found.

  • Anaheim is four percent cheaper in April than any other month in spring.
  • Myrtle Beach in May is almost 30 percent more affordable than in June, a peak travel month for the city.
  • Honolulu is most affordable in April, with four star rooms starting at $150 a night.
  • Orlando is unbeatable this time of year…except during Spring Break. Visit in May to avoid the spring break and summer crowds.

Travel with Friends
Hotwire found the best cities that won't break the bank for a girl's or guy's weekend getaway.   

  • If you can handle the heat, the best month to travel to Vegas during spring is in June, with prices almost 15 percent less than other spring months.
  • Phoenix can be less than $90 a night in the spring time. If you're feeling slightly adventurous and really enjoy the sunshine, travel in June for rooms as low as $65 a night.
  • Travel to Los Angeles in May for some big savings. Prices are almost ten percent cheaper.
  • Rooms in Austin, Texas may be available for less than $150 a night in the spring.

Off the beaten path
Travel to these smaller cities that have great food, art, festivals and culture.

  • If you're traveling to Portland, Oregon in the spring, hotel prices are lowest in April. Rooms can be under $150 a night.
  • Memphis is most affordable in April and June with rates (on average) under $100.
  • Stay in Nashville for under $150 all spring. Rooms in May are 13 percent lower than other spring months.
  • Long Beach, California is most affordable in April and May.
  • Traveling to the Carolinas? You'll have tons of affordable options. If you're traveling to Asheville in May, stay in a hotel for $150 a night on average. Both Raleigh and Charlotte are around $100 all spring, and Hilton Head prices can even be found for as low as $165.

Make the most of business travel
Hotwire encourages travelers to take a long weekend trip after that big sales conference.

  • Rooms in Atlanta, Georgia are (on average) 10 percent cheaper in May than other spring months.
  • April is the best month to travel to the "Windy City."
  • Travel to New Orleans in June for an extra savings of 20 percent compared to the most popular travel month, April.
  • Denver is reasonable in April, with rooms that can be as low as $100 on average.

Insights about U.S. travel this season

There's no shortage of advice when it comes to spring travel. We analyzed our data and looked around to some other experts in the travel industry to take notice of travel trends that will impact spring 2016.  

  • The time to rent that convertible is now. Gas prices continue to play a huge -role in the travel habits of U.S. consumers, with an increase in car rentals year over year from 2014 to 2015 and growing. (SOURCE: AutoRentalNews)
  • Long weekend trips are more common in the spring, with an increase in people taking a Friday or Monday off work to stay an extra day. (Spoiler alert: see below for our tip on Sunday night hotel bookings.)
  • The U.S. dollar gained against other currencies in 2015, and the strong dollar is expected to continue to impact travel decisions in 2016. (SOURCE: CNBC) Trip to Mexico, anyone?
  • In 2015, there was an increase in "bleisure" travel and we will likely continue to see the trend grow in 2016. With kids out of school for spring break and warm weather on the rise, business travelers will combine leisure and business by extending trips and bringing along friends and family.

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

Hot tips on Air

  • Consider finding a cheaper airfare and then driving to your destination to save money.  With car rental prices starting as low as $11.99 a day, 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.

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 in order 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.
  • With gas prices still so low, spring will be the ideal time to take a road trip. With prices starting to rise for the first time in months, take advantage of low prices now before it's too late. 

Hot tips on Hotel

  • Sundays are generally the least expensive day of the week. Include a Sunday as part of your stay and save on lodging costs.
  • Be flexible to wait and book a bit later, even the same day, to get the best rates. If you can be flexible with your travel dates, even better.
  • Expect to find great deals on lodging, plus less crowded tourist activities and landmarks before peak summer season spikes.

*All prices are based on 3 – 5 star Hot Rate Hotel rates found in 2015. Prices do not include taxes and fees. Hot Rates® are different from retail hotel rates. With Hot Rates® you enter the date, location and star rating – exact hotel shown only after booking. All bookings are final.

About Hotwire
Hotwire.com is a leading discount travel site with low rates on airline tickets, hotel rooms, rental cars and vacation packages. Launched in 2000, Hotwire, Inc. obtains deep discounts from its travel suppliers to help travelers book unsold airline seats, hotel rooms and rental cars. Hotwire.com is an award winning website and Hotwire, Inc. is an operating company within Expedia, Inc. For more information, visit http://www.hotwire.com. In addition to Hotwire.com, Hotwire, Inc. also operates www.carrentals.com.

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Contacts:
Ashley Short, Porter Novelli for Hotwire
Ashley.short@porternovelli.com
206-770-7083

Carrie Peters, Hotwire
carpeters@hotwire.com
425-679-7776

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SOURCE Hotwire.com