New Travel Booking App Is Bringing Sexy Back

There’s a hot, new player in the travel industry in town who’s aiming to sex up your booking experience. The mobile-only app HotelTonight just officially launched in Australia after huge success as one of the most downloaded travel apps in the US with 13 million users worldwide.

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The Silicon Valley-born app is striving to outdo its competitors by offering the best, last-minute deals on handpicked hotels, unique stays and boutique properties. In fact, it’s chiefly designed to bring spontaneity back to travel.

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Said to be the first of its kind in Australia, the app utilises geo-tagging to identify the user’s location before presenting a curated list of 15,000 hotels in more than 500 destinations across the globe. You can book that night or seven days in advance. In addition, HotelTonight is also one of the first apps to be built into the Apple Watch.

So, how much can you save on a last-minute hotel deal while using it? Up to 50 per cent, says HotelTonight Asia Pacific regional director Stefan Cordiner. In fact, Stefan (pictured) says young, savvy travellers are so enamoured with his app, they can’t live without its “plan less, live more” mantra and range of Hip, Luxe, Solid and Basic classified hotels.

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“We are really excited to be leading the mobile revolution in the global and Australian hotel booking industry, a revolution that is not simply a part of our business, it is our business,” he says. “We like to shake things up for people and make travelling a little more spontaneous and fun and we think Australia is more than ready for our brand of spontaneity.

“The app curates Australian properties, with a spotlight on unique stays, and has a rate track feature that alerts you to when hotel prices in your area have dropped. I think this is what people become hooked on once they start using it.”

A free app, available for download from the iPhone App Store, it is suitable for iOS and Android devices. So, how well do young Aussie travellers rate the app? Charlotte Bridgeman, 27 (pictured), a personal style, fashion and lifestyle blogger and marketer based in both Melbourne and Sydney, loves it.

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The gorgeous, young blogger, who has some 32,000 followers on her @winstonandwillow Instagram account, regularly recommends the app to friends looking for a weekend getaway or who are planning a “staycation” close by.

“The HT app is easy-to-use, very eye-catching and shows the best, last-minute deals at beautiful handpicked hotels,” Charlotte says.

“Most rooms booked on the same day are around $150 per night which is an amazing deal, especially for how expensive Sydney usually is! I’m travelling to New York in September and am planning on getting some great, last-minute deals using the app for when I’m there. Who would have thought you would ever be able to get an amazing 4-5 star hotel in New York City for under $200!”

“My first experience using the app was when I stayed at Blue Sydney in Woolloomooloo, Sydney. I downloaded the app, made an account, booked the hotel in less than 10 minutes and as I booked the same day as I was staying there, I managed to get a really great rate on the room that is normally four times the price.

Meanwhile, avid Sydney-based traveller Annette Widitz (pictured), an industrial officer with 33,000 plus followers on her @dawa_lhamo Instagram account, also really rates the HotelTonight app.

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“It’s so simple,” she says, “I used it to book a luxe hotel to celebrate my husband’s birthday. It took less than a minute to book!

“I don’t like to plan too much when I travel, so to be able to book a beautiful hotel with a huge discount at the last minute is fantastic! The HotelTonight mobile app runs very smoothly and has lots of gorgeous pictures so you can get a clear idea of what your room will look like.  It’s also very quick to use, no waiting for a picture or page to load. I was just looking through the app yesterday, dreaming of where I will stay on my next trip.”

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Globetrotting Girls!

“I always travel on my own and my only 2 tips are one, pre-book the first night you arrive in some weird country fresh off the plane so you know where you’re going. And two, scope out a nice bar during the day to hang at in the evening while you lurk for unsuspecting English-speakers!” Jenny.”Only take clothes you really know you will wear. Be ruthless. Nothing is more exhausting than lugging around bags full of things you wish you’d left at home! Limit yourself to what you can carry by yourself: a suitcase (preferably a wheely type), a shoulder bag or backpack, and some kind of money belt.” Caroline.

“Safety for the solo woman traveler is an important issue. It’s really important to be aware of everything that’s going on around you – and I don’t mean just taking in the sights! Try to walk with a purpose and be sure to keep an eye on your surrounds as you go. If you look like you know what you’re doing and where you’re going, you’re less likely to be targeted as a victim.” Julia.

“We’ve all seen the news headlines about girls who have stuff planted in their luggage only to become unwitting ‘mules’ for drug couriers and other scumbags. Keep an eye on your bags at all times and don’t leave your luggage unattended, especially not with the nice young man who just befriended you in the departure lounge!” Christine.

“Travelling solo can lead to some great moments of introspection and reflection. Try keeping a travel journal of your trip, recording not only the sights, sounds and smells of your travels, but also your inner thoughts. Solitude can conjure up all sorts of surprising revelations and a journal is a great memory aid for future years!” Sally.

“Emailing family and friends throughout your journey is a great way of keeping your family and friends up to date with your travel plans. Before you head off, set up a free web based email address that you will use just for your travel emails. You’ll find internet cafes almost everywhere and they are a relatively cheap was to stay in touch (and a lots more reliable than some phone services!) You can research the location of internet cafes around the world at www.cybercafe.com .” Jess.

“Don’t stress about having to write individual emails to all your mates. No one will expect you to write personalised emails every time. It’s a good idea to set up a group email address of friends and maybe a separate one for family so you can send a single email to each group – a no-holds-barred account for your friends and a g-rated version for your folks!” Melonie.

“With no one else to consider, travelling solo means that you can indulge in any daggy activity you desire. Immerse yourself in the culture of your destination by attending at least one event whether it’s a ballet, football, opera, bullfight or sumo wrestling match – whatever! If you can, find out what the locals do for fun, get yourself a ticket and enjoy!” Helen.

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