Travel enthusiast Lora Bowler found herself spending more than anticipated on her vacations in 2023, prompting her to reevaluate her expenses. With an eye on the bottom line, Bowler turned to travel hacks and benefits to cut costs. She joined a growing cohort of travelers who have shifted towards utilizing hotel day passes as a more budget-friendly alternative for enjoying luxury amenities without the hefty price tag.

Hotel and resort day passes offer guests the opportunity to access various facilities and services without the need to book a room overnight. Bowler shared her experiences of booking daybeds, poolside services, and even coming across a pass that included a private room for her husband to work remotely. The availability of day passes has increased, thanks to collaborations between hotels, resorts, and third-party partners, catering to individuals seeking luxurious experiences without the accompanying high costs.

According to data from CoStar, the average cost of a luxury hotel room in the U.S. ranged around $400 per night in the first few months of 2023, showing a slight increase from the previous year. Additionally, projections indicate that luxury hotel rates in July are expected to be significantly higher compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2019, creating a financial barrier for many individuals. As people begin to prioritize their travel budgets over other consumer expenses, the appeal of day passes as a more affordable option has grown substantially.

A survey conducted by Booking.com in July 2023 highlighted that a significant percentage of respondents consider their cost of living when planning future travels. A majority expressed interest in paying for accommodation upgrades, while many U.S. travelers were open to purchasing day passes that provide access to five-star hotel amenities without an overnight stay. This consumer shift towards valuing experiences over material possessions aligns with the broader trend of ‘revenge travel’ observed after the pandemic, where travelers indulged in luxury escapades before adapting to tighter budgets.

Hotel establishments like the Virgin Hotels New York City have recognized the demand for day passes and have adapted their offerings to cater to day guests. By opening up their rooftop pool to visitors on a daily basis, the hotel provides a picturesque setting with views of the city skyline and exclusive amenities for day pass users. Partnering with ResortPass, a platform specializing in day-pass access to luxury venues, hotels like Virgin Hotels enable customers to enjoy premium experiences at reduced rates, enhancing the overall appeal of day passes as a viable alternative to traditional travel.

ResortPass, in collaboration with various luxury hotels nationwide, grants customers the opportunity to access sophisticated amenities such as pools, spas, and lounges for a fraction of the cost of an overnight stay. With a focus on providing a local getaway experience, ResortPass aims to complement traditional travel by offering day-pass options that cater to diverse preferences and budgets. The company’s upcoming membership program signifies a strategic initiative to cultivate a loyal customer base that values convenience and affordability without compromise.

The emergence of day passes as a popular choice for modern travelers reflects a shifting landscape in the tourism industry. As individuals seek to balance their desire for luxury experiences with financial constraints, day passes offer a compelling solution that bridges the gap between aspirational travel and practical spending. With continued innovation and collaboration among hoteliers and travel partners, the accessibility and appeal of day passes are expected to grow, catering to a new generation of travelers looking for affordable ways to enjoy the finer things in life.


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