Let’s face it, we live in an “I want it now” society. We want on the go access with activities at our fingertips. And with only 20% of travelers booking in advance, according to venture beat, long gone are the days when reserving activities months in advance guaranteed the best deals.
During an interview with Digital Trends, Darren Huston, president and CEO of the Priceline Group, which owns Booking.com, said spontaneous booking is becoming the norm, especially with the millennial generation who are increasingly using mobile devices for online transactions. Interestingly, this generation has a different approach to travel—Although they may purchase their airfare in advance, they don’t book their hotels or schedule activities until they arrive at their destination.
So if you’re like most of us who rely on our mobile devices to make last minute bookings, check out three impromptu mobile apps below:
- Booking Now – A mobile app that uses your phone GPS system to locate a hotel in your vicinity that is accessible in minutes. Based on your preferred price range, booking now list the name, rating, and last minute special rates. Then you can quickly make a reservation, or save it if you are still searching. Booking now also incorporates user reviews, single page views to avoid scrolling through hundreds of hotel listings and fast check in options.
- Peek – An iOS app that uses the GPS location of your phone to recommend experiences and activities near you. Users can browse activities by category, such as “what to do with the kids” or “off the beaten path,” neighborhoods like “Brooklyn” or “Notting Hill, or points of interest like “Eiffel Tower” or “Chinatown.” Another unique feature of the app is the “personality quiz” to help you find activities relevant to your interests.
- Lucy – If you need another reason to love creative mastermind Richard Branson, download Lucy, the new Virgin Hotel mobile app that allows guests to integrate their device into their hotel experience. From ordering food from the hotel while you’re out on the town to helping you find local restaurants, in it’s simplest form, Lucy “makes things happen.” According to Virgin some of its functions includes:
- The ability to make room reservations and check-in
- Adjust room climate within the Chamber
- Watch TV or videos on demand
- Browse the menu while your out and order and come back to find a meal waiting for you
- Transform a guest’s smart phone into the TV remote
- Reach concierge, front desk or dining outlets
- Live chat with staff or other guests via the hotel’s chat room and message center
- Request in-room dining, housekeeping or additional pillows
- Make dining reservations at the hotels venue
Have you used any of these apps to book travel or activities on the fly? Leave me a comment below.