We’re gleefully facing down a long weekend coming up, and many of us have travel plans already in place. But for those of us who are more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants mindset, the travel jones could take us almost anywhere. Need inspiration? Check out some of our guides to cities like San Diego, D.C., or Asheville, NC–all in 2,000 calories and 10,000 steps.
Or, if you’re looking to book somewhere on your own, we talked to Cheryl Rosner, CEO of Stayful and former President at Hotels.com to gather her best tips to score great deals.
1. Wait it out. If you’re thinking of hitting the road last minute, wait 24-48 hours out to book. “A lot of people will hold rooms up until the cancellation policy takes effect, so new inventory comes available at a better rate,” Rosner says.
2. Reconsider the staycation. It doesn’t necessarily mean you stay in your pjs glued to the couch. Think about another way to experience your own city, or a favorite destination. Opt for a different neighborhood, a beachside stay if you live in the city, or even just take a food tour in your own town.
3. Think opposites. Rosner cites New York City as an example: “If you’re needing to be there midweek, stay in a more leisurely part of town, like Times Square. Or, on the weekends, opt for the Financial District or Midtown to get better rates.”
Rosner’s Stayful is a great place to search for deals for upcoming travel. “We help people negotiate a better rate in real time,” she says. “Imagine if you were to call a hotel and ask for a better deal. We do that for you with our technology.” The service is similar to sites like Priceline, except you get to know which hotel and rate is yours before confirming. “We’re averaging about 22% off the best available rate you can find online right now,” Rosner says. Stayful is currently available for booking boutique and independent hotels up to 30 days out in 38 cities.
While we had Rosner on the line, we asked for her specific Memorial Day recommendations, and here’s what she shared: