RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - You see an airfare on a travel site and decide to jump on it - only to watch the price plummet weeks later. Or worse, you've sat on it, only to see it leap beyond your budget.
Don't you hate it when that happens? Bad timing often leads to paying more for plane tickets or hotel rooms... but that might be a thing of the past, thanks to a new feature on booking websites called price predictors.
The name is exactly how it sounds: a new tool that promises to give you a heads up on ticket price changes so you can find the sweet spot for your wallet.
For example, a hotel booking website "The Suitest" has added this price forecasting. It uses a tool that pours over the data and analyzes more than 10,000 different pricing models to predict whether the current price of a room is likely to rise or fall.
Then it distills all that information down to one number to you - the percent likelihood that the price you are getting quoted now will fall or increase if you wait to purchase.
This is all, of course, so that you can make an informed decision if the price is right for you - at that moment - to purchase your room.
This isn't the first site to jump on the trend either. In January, Kayak added this option to its website, letting guests use it to predict whether an airfare will stay put or change - basically crowdsourcing the answer.
Experts say all of this is very similar to what they do in the finance industry - processing large amounts of information into something that can help you make a split second decision whether to invest, or in this case, pull the plug on your holiday bookings.
If you're unsure about a certain prediction, cross check it.
Bing travel operates the same way, plus it lets you filter the search results to only see fares according to your preferences.