“Next year we’re not doing a Christmas tree or gifts at all! We’re all just going to go to Hawaii!”
Each year since my youth my mom has hollered this through a straitjacket of stringed lights as if it was a threat. Meanwhile, my siblings and I kept waiting with bated breath for her to make good on delivering this punishment in paradise. After almost three decades, I’m still waiting – but you don’t have to.
You don’t have to wait for another year to go by either.
In fact, if that holiday malaise is setting in as you sip your Starbucks and stroke the screen of your smartphone, keep in mind that holiday travel deals are still in progress – and just a tap away thanks to innovations introduced by online travel businesses. A few CEOs of the top OTAs (online travel agencies) sat down with USA recently and explained how staying ahead of their competition means simultaneously simplifying your booking process and saving you money:
We’ve got a real nice deal right here, right under the mistletoe. What are you waiting for? http://t.co/360anWtzHd
— Priceline.com (@priceline) December 24, 2013
CEO of Priceline.com North America, Christopher Soder said, “Mobile has grown very fast. One example for using your phone will allow you to search for hotels near you. A lot of our mobile bookers book for check-in that night within a mile of their location. On our iPad app you can define the neighborhood by just drawing on the map and saying, ‘Show me hotels in this area.’”
Dara Khosrowshahi (CEO of Expedia) also spoke about applications, “An interesting new feature on the Expedia app is itinerary sharing. If I share my itinerary with you, it will show up on your Expedia app, and you will get updates on gate changes, arrival time, etc. It is updated live.”
Regarding travel deals, he added, “We negotiate with hoteliers for same-day and last-minute bookings on the mobile app. They're sometimes 50% off.”
— Expedia (@Expedia) December 25, 2013
Barney Hartford (CEO of Orbitz Worldwide) agreed, “The use of mobile for same-day bookings is huge,” adding, “Orbitz Inside Deals has killer deals on properties that are only available for 72 hours, and we will send some of our members a heads-up about them before they go on the website. We also have destinations where we offer a promo code that is good just for 24 or 48 hours.”
Between ease of access and discounts, travel agencies are making a getaway sound awfully alluring. So, if a holiday at home is falling short of earth shattering this year - why not salvage what's left of your leave, hop on a plane (or cruise ship), and go Instagram some island memories?
After all, nobody’s dreaming of a trite Christmas.
Image via Youtube