LEAVE NOW AND HOPE YOU CAN FIND A ROOM WHEN YOU GET TO OCEAN CITY, MARYLAND
The riskiest strategy would be to come right to Ocean City, MD without a reservation and hope you can find a room. Usually hotels offer walk in specials because they try to sell out for the evening. If you are traveling far and cannot turn around and go back home if you can’t find a room, I do not recommend this strategy.
WAIT AND BOOK ONLINE AT THE LAST MINUTE
Another technique is to wait until the last minute to book your reservation online. Deals can be found by either booking early or at the last minute. Last minute deals are usually better- rates can be cut by 10% – 25%. These can be found on websites as “specials” or “packages.” Here the risk is simple- will you be able to find a room for a good price? In most cases the answer is yes, but beware of events and other activities going on in Ocean City for thte dates you are traveling. For instance, every year there is a Hot Rod Car Show in May- the town almost always sells out. This would not be the ideal time to try the last minute technique.
USE THE PRICELINE TRAVEL MODEL AND BOOK A MYSTERY HOTEL FOR AN UNBELIEVABLY LOW RATE
If you are really feeling daring, you can book a hotel under a special program where you do not know where you are booking until your room is bought and paid for. Sounds scary doesn’t it? It is not so scary when you are sitting around the pool at your 3 star hotel sipping a drink from the pool bar knowing you paid 60% less than the other guests. Sure, there is a risk, you could end up in a dive, but if you reserve from a reputable site the chances of that are reduced. Remember, the site will only benefit if their customers are happy. At this point, I think the benefit of a cheaper reservation outweighs the fear I once had of booking one of these “mystery” properties.
OCEANCITY.COM’S NEW SAVE BIG FARES
OceanCity.com has just unrolled a program such as this one called “Save Big Fares.” Check it out and see how much less you could spend by booking through one of these channels. So, how much will you save? Will you take the big leap and book at a mystery property and SAVE BIG or will you play it safe and just find a good discount and be happy? If you play it safe, don’t forget to look around as you bask in the sun at your hotel pool. See that guest over there? The one sipping the drink from the pool bar with a smile on their face? I bet they saved big and booked a mystery room. Don’t you wish you had done the same?