As the summer vacation season approaches, travelers should prepare to pay more than they did last year for lodging.

That’s according to Jan Freitag, a senior executive at hotel industry tracker STR, who gives Hotel Check-In readers the scoop on hotel rates once a quarter. Freitag in his own words:

Consumers should brace themselves to spend more for hotel rooms in popular destinations this summer. San Francisco and New Orleans lead the pack in terms of room rate growth. Hotels in both cities report double-digit increases (see chart below) for transient travelers.

San Francisco is such a hot leisure and meetings market that its group room rates increased by nearly 10%. Rates are increasing so much that travelers are looking across the Bay Bridge to Oakland and south, to San Jose, for more affordable accommodations. Rates in those areas have been rising, too.

New Orleans, a perennial favorite of meeting planners, is continuing to rebound after Hurricane…