Ever since I’ve started my solo trips and planning out my own holidays, I realize that while I like to think of myself as some sort of go-with-the-flow chillax person, in reality, I actually need a little certainty when it comes to aspects of my holiday:
- Flights are the first thing I book – with my limited leave, they determine my entire trip, so unless I have a flight booked, nothing is confirmed.
- Accommodation is the next big expense that I need to book – I like to know that I have somewhere to sleep at night in a foreign land (see here for some tips on booking accom!)
- Itinerary is pretty easy going – i generally do some research so I know what the major sights are, and then usually sort out where I’m gonna go on the actual day itself. Sometimes I plan a little bit, especially if I’m intending to move around, but I’m quite happy to figure things out when I’m in the country itself.
So when the folk from IN2NITE approached me to check out their app for last-minute booking of hotel rooms, I have to say I was a little bit apprehensive. The thought of going on a trip without any firm accommodation, of possibly being stranded in a country without a place to sleep for the night… that wasn’t appealing at all! And that really isn’t my usual style of travel.
But then again life can throw you some surprises when you least expect it – Maybe your flight gets cancelled out of nowhere, or you suddenly decide to change your route along the way. Or your hotel booking is for naught because the wing you’re supposed to stay in burns down (heard that story from another traveller over the weekend, that is a honest-to-goodness wtf situation). So let’s face it, as much as I can prepare for it, there are going to be some situations where I just may be stuck without a room.
IN2NITE works on a pretty simple premise – you can book your room for the night on that very day at a heavily discounted rate. New hotel bookings are available from 12pm onwards all the way to 2am. So far it covers a range of popular cities in Asian countries: Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. You pick the country/region that you’re in and a listing of available hotels should pop up.
I checked out Singapore’s options and the hotel choices look pretty decent – the offer range available when I checked included Goodwood Park Hotel, Gallery Hotel, Naumi Liora, Pan Pacific Orchard, Hotel Royal just to name a few, a good mix of cheaper 3 star joints to the classy 5-star ones. I also checked the option for other places I’ve visited, like Bali, Penang and Bangkok to see what the selection was like, and saw a number of names pop up that I had been considering on my trips.
Prices are also quite decent, ranging anywhere from 30% – 70% off rack rates on average. Payment via credit card is quite straight forward, in a mobile responsive design that’s easy to navigate. When it comes to the app design, besides a nice large picture, important details like the price and discount you’re getting as well as the number of stars are easily visible. You can choose to order your listings by proximity or price and book up to 4 nights of accommodation at once. Also, there’s a sharing button via sms, email or facebook which might be useful to tell your friends about.
It’s an easy enough app to use, but some limitations I found:
- Each booking is only for one room, the understanding being that it’s usually for 2 people. if you’re in a group, more than one person needs to do the booking, and you have to play a luck game to see whether the hotel you want has more than one room available. So this app might be more suited for solo travellers or couples.
- Which room exactly you’re booking for isn’t apparent up front, and only assigned at the check-in counter. Well it is a last minute room after all so it really depends on availability, but it would be nice to know what you’re getting into.
- Also take note that prices are in USD, so you need to take that into account in your calculations
So if you’re interested to try out IN2NITE for yourself, head on over to your Apple, Google or Blackberry app store and download it today. Use my referral code inv-52b01026017e0 to get yourself (and me!) US$10 credits when you sign up!
This post was sponsored by IN2NITE. I reviewed the app but have yet to actually make a booking… yet!