Keep an eye on the competition: prices from online travel agencies (OTAs) dropped 7 percent in August versus July, according to new data by global payments company Worldpay.
According to the report, the decrease was driven by travelers waiting until the last minute to book summer getaways. August is the busiest month of the year for online travel agencies in the United States, with bookings a third (33 percent) higher than average for the year. The data also showed that web sales peak during the first week of the month, when the number of bookings is 18 percent higher than the last week of July.
The report comes even after a busy Fourth of July travel weekend, which saw 44.2 million Americans travel 50 or more miles from home, according to the latest AAA forecast. At 1.25 million more travelers than last year, that made 2017 the most traveled Fourth of July holiday weekend ever. While the vast majority of travelers drove to their destination, air travel was also up 4.6 percent.
The Worldpay report also showed signs that travelers like to shop around to research the best deal, but prioritize convenience when it comes to booking, Worldpay said. Bookings through OTAs are increasing 4 percent year-over-year, exceeding total hotel website bookings in the U.S. for the first time in 2016.