Warriors star forward Draymond Green is no stranger to last-minute travel. In fact, he prefers it. That may be because he was groomed for it, first with college basketball at Michigan State and then with the pros in the NBA. Living in the Bay Area, he’s also exposed to a lot of tech, so it makes sense that one of his off-court interests is the tech industry.
Green got a better look at where those two industries intersect at HotelTonight, the last-minute hotel-booking app based in San Francisco. The app was born out of a simple truth, says CEO Sam Shank: People are booking their travel more spontaneously than ever before. The travel data company Sojern estimates that half of all U.S. hotel bookings are made within only three days of arrival.
That’s especially true during sports finals like March Madness, when HotelTonight sees a particularly high spike in usage. It makes sense: You don’t know whether your team will end up moving forward, and you don’t want to be stuck with a hotel reservation if they don’t, so you wait until the last minute to book your stay. Similarly, athletes’ families find apps like HotelTonight especially useful.
Green is an expert last-minute traveler, as well as a big fan of HotelTonight. Here, he talks packing for the road, spontaneous travel, and why his mom is one of HotelTonight’s best customers.
When did you first use HotelTonight?
Green: “I first used the app four and a half years ago. I was a rookie. It was 1:30 a.m. and I didn’t feel like going back across the bridge to get home to Oakland, and the friend I was with suggested I try HotelTonight. I ended up staying at the Parc 55, which was great.”
When did you most recently use the app?
Green: “I use it during the season for my mom. My mom likes to take these last-minute trips to come see the game. She’ll call me the day of. But HotelTonight has saved me quite a few times. I’m kind of last minute on a lot of things, so it saves me all the time. A few weeks ago it was my birthday, and my mom called me the day before and told me she wanted to come to the game in Chicago. That’s the most recent time I’ve used HotelTonight.
“During off-season, I am a last-minute traveler. I’ll decide the day of that I want to go somewhere, and it makes it a lot easier and more cost efficient to find hotels on HotelTonight. Last off-season I went to Miami the day of. I was supposed to be there for a day and then it turned into two and then it turned into three and then it turned into four.”
What do you pack in your suitcase?
Green: “The only thing that’s standard about how I pack is that I’m going to over-pack. You can bet on that. And it’s usually a bigger suitcase. I could be going somewhere for a day, and I’ll probably take clothes for about three. Because like I said, I go to Miami and I’m supposed to be there for a day and I end up there four, so if I just packed for that day I’m screwed. I don’t want to run out of clothes. I think I know myself pretty well.
“I also have to pack big suitcases because of my shoes—I wear a 15, so packing shoes isn’t the easiest thing to do. But I love shoes, so I always pack a different pair for each day. I’ll put outfits together and I won’t know which shoes I want to wear them with, so sometimes I’ll take two shoes for one outfit, too. It’s definitely not the most efficient thing to do.”
What is a deal-breaker in a hotel room?
Green: “The first thing I do when I get to a hotel is check the bathroom. I like my bathroom to be nice. And then I check the robes. I’m a big robe type of guy, so I need comfortable robes. That’s big for me in a hotel room—I need a good robe. I’m very particular about where I stay. It happened to me not too long ago that I left a hotel because it didn’t have the great bathroom and the great robe.”
What’s your dream hotel room look like?
Green: “A huge bathroom—I like the bathrooms that have the showers where the water comes out of the ceiling and the walls and also has the showerhead. Extra, I know, very extra. But that’s definitely a part of it.”
How do you stay fresh on the road?
Green: “Actually use the hotel amenities—those are the things that refresh you. Lots of times people don’t take advantage of the amenities that are there to refresh them. The spa is incredible. I like to get pedicures. I feel like my feet take care of me, so I have to take care of them.”
What’s one thing you always travel with?
Green: “I travel with this big junk bag—that’s literally what I call it. It’s literally a bag of junk. It’s a duffle bag with chargers, toothpaste, deodorant, soap. I feel like every time I leave it, I need something in it, so I just take it everywhere.”
What’s the first thing you do in a new city?
Green: “Finding a great restaurant in every city is a big thing for me. Some guys just stay in their rooms, but I like to get out. Except in OKC.”