LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — When it comes to travel, waiting until the last-minute can not only cost you availability, it can also cost you cash.
But now, there is an app promising to get travelers that spur-of-the-moment booking deal without the hefty price-tag.
“It’s like Uber for sleep, basically,” said Asher Hunt, who is the chief executive officer and founder of Overnight, a travel lodging app designed for speed and spontaneity.
“The way that overnight works is you pull out an app right where you are. Right now, you’re going to see listings that are available tonight,” said Hunt. “You find one that you’d like to book, then you can hit ‘Book.’ ” He explains that there is a 10-minute window in which the person offering the accommodation may respond.
Right now, Overnight is live in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Austin, and New York.
Asher says — unlike Airbnb or other short-term rental services — with Overnight, travelers don’t have to book in advance.
“It’s very opportunistic,” he said. “If you’re able to host somebody that night, you host somebody. If you’re not, you can just mute it.”
Marie Thomas is an Overnight host in Los Angeles. She says, in addition to the flexibility, she loves how easy the app is to use.
“Suddenly you’ll just get a text and it’ll say, ‘So and so would like to stay in your place. Is your place available? Yes or no?’ ” she said. “A guest has the option to pick you from the other people that have said yes.”
Overnight offers a wide scope of pricing and accommodations, ranging from someone’s couch for $10 a night, to booking an entire house for $350 per night.
“For me, it’s all about the spontaneity,” said Kate Edwards, who runs a start-up in Santa Monica. She has had to travel to the Bay Area at the last-minute.
“Hotels in San Francisco can be $300 or $400 and for a start-up budget, it’s just not OK,” she said. “I want to stay somewhere that is nice and not just crash on someone’s couch, but it has to be affordable.”
There is no word yet on when Overnight plans on expanding to more cities.