Lonely Planet Writer

It’s less than a month until the US total solar eclipse but you can still make plans to see it

There’s good news for US eclipse-chasers who’ve procrastinated booking their accommodation, new data shows there are still hotel rooms left for as low as $141 per night.

Family looking at Solar Eclipse using solar glasses.
There’s still time left to find a place to stay during the solar eclipse. Image by LeoPatrizi/Getty Images

A total solar eclipse will be visible on a path that crosses the US from Oregon to South Carolina on 21 August. That has led to a rush on accommodation for travellers hoping to see the rare event. But, according to Hotels.com, interior states like Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Idaho and Kentucky have seen the greatest increase in hotel searches, when compared year over year.

Nebraska has seen a 325% increase in hotel searches at the time of the eclipse, while Kansas has seen a more than 200% increase. After that, hotel searches for Missouri have risen about 160%, Idaho roughly 135% and Kentucky more than 130%.

The sun shines over a Nebraska farm.
The sun shines over a Nebraska farm. Image by Ed Freeman/Getty Images

The company also has picked out hotels that still have rooms within a few hours’ drive to the path of the eclipse, including: Magnolia Hotel in Omaha, Nebraska; the Bluemont Hotel in Manhattan, Kansas; Stoney Creek Hotel & Conference Center Kansas in Independence, Missouri, and more. Or if you’re looking to book an Airbnb, the company has already released a list of spots with the most availability left, but prices are higher than usual.

Southwest Airlines has also announced that a number of its flights will provide customers with a chance to see the eclipse. Passengers on board these flights will receive special viewing glasses so they can have the chance to view the eclipse safely. According to the airline, the flights most likely to see the eclipse are: Southwest flight 1375, departing Seattle-Tacoma at 09:05am PDT for St. Louis; flight 1368, departing Portland at 09:05am PDT for St. Louis; flight 1577, departing Denver at 10:20am MDT for St. Louis; flight 301, departing Denver at 10:20am MDT for Nashville; and flight 1969, departing Denver at 09:50am MDT for Atlanta.

And if you’re lucky enough to find yourself on the path of totality, NASA is looking for people to get involved in a nationwide experiment by collecting cloud and air temperature data, and reporting it to the agency on their phones. “No matter where you are in North America, whether it’s cloudy, clear or rainy, NASA wants as many people as possible to help with this citizen science project,” said Kristen Weaver, deputy coordinator for the project, in a statement. “We want to inspire a million eclipse viewers to become eclipse scientists.” If you want to give it a shot, download the GLOBE Observer app and register to become a citizen scientist. The app will instruct you on how to make the observations.