Early this year, a lot of major hotel company CEOs reported on investor calls that commanding higher rates helped the industry recover from the COVID-19 pandemic at a faster pace than expected.
That’s why hotel deals are hard to come by nowadays.
Despite that, there is lots of news about travelers trying everything—from booking hotels at specific times of day to certain days in the week—just to score the lowest rate. Should travelers book as early as possible, or wait until the last minute? What about those Friday specials some websites claim are always available?
While there is data to suggest more ideal times to book a hotel stay, it’s also important to know that nowadays, hotel owners are advised to change rates practically every day to help them bring in more revenue.
But this doesn’t mean you should easily give up on looking for the best hotel deals. It’s still possible to form a strategy and find a better time to make your next reservation.
Getting the cheapest airfare and knowing the best time to buy flights is just one part of planning a getaway. Equally important for a successful trip is finding a great and affordable place to stay. That’s why finding the most competitive deals on accommodations and knowing the best time to book a hotel is a critical part of travel planning.
Check out these tips if you want to get the biggest bang for your buck:
Several factors affect the price of a hotel room, including a busy holiday season and increased demand due to a major festival or sporting event. With that said, here are some basic guidance on when to book the best hotel deals.
The best day of the week to book your hotel at the lowest rate is Monday for domestic travel and Tuesday for international travel. Research shows that the lowest average daily rate (ADR) for domestic accommodations tends to occur on Mondays, when travelers can save more than 15% compared with booking and staying on the most expensive day, Friday.
If you’re planning to leave the country for a vacation or a business trip, book your hotel stay on a Tuesday. You’ll save 10% compared with booking on a Thursday, research says.
Bargain hunters often say hotel prices go down at night. And they may be right.
According to Yannis Moati, CEO of HotelsByDay, “Hotels often greatly discount their overnight rates a few hours prior to check-in to get the occupancy rate up and an extra ‘head in a bed.’ The caveat is that you cannot be choosy with the specific hotel choice, as that first choice may be gone on a last-minute basis.”
So, if you think you can be flexible with your lodging, this hotel-booking secret can get you great deals!
Booking at the last minute can help you save money. If you’re flexible with where you stay, you can save as much as 25% by booking the day before or the day of your stay. However, keep in mind that you will need to be flexible with hotel quality and amenities to get the best price at the last minute. This is because hotels typically lower prices on remaining inventory in the month prior to the check-in date.
Another thing to take note of: Hotels go down in price closer to the date only when there is inventory available. If you’re headed to a popular event or sold-out show, you likely won’t find last-minute availability. In that case, the best time to book a hotel is around 21 days before check-in, according to experts.
Also, if you’re looking to plan a getaway vacation over a several-night stay, you should plan to book at least three weeks in advance. This is because vacation destinations typically do not discount remaining inventory to the same degree that hotels in cities do.
In general, weekdays are the best bet for your next vacation. Remember: Monday check-ins led to the lowest prices for domestic travel, and Tuesday check-ins were cheapest for international travel. Data from travel site Kayak also suggests checking in on Tuesday and checking out on Thursday tend to offer more bargains in terms of hotel rates.
This mostly pertains to leisure travel. For hotels that specialize in business travel, mid-week tends to be the busiest and the most expensive time to check in and out.
The cheapest month to stay at a hotel depends on the location. Traveling during your destination’s off-season, whatever time of year that may be, can help you save on your trip.
Hotels lower prices on remaining inventory in the month prior to the check-in date, so one of the worst times to book is just before this one-month cut-off date. Also, avoid checking in on Black Friday, say the experts. Prices for Black Friday check-ins are higher than Thanksgiving itself, making you pay an additional USD 50 (or more) for a post-Thanksgiving weekend getaway.
If you’re traveling within the U.S., book and stay on a Monday for the best deals. Meanwhile, if you’re heading out of the country, book and stay on a Tuesday for the ultimate savings. By booking at the right time, and possibly even waiting until the last minute, you may see significant savings on your hotel getaway.
Keep in mind, though, that the cost of a hotel room depends on a lot of factors beyond the day and time you book. Knowing the best time to book a hotel is just as important as knowing when you’re traveling, where you’re going, and whether or not any major events are happening during your stay.
Choose where you are going from and to by selecting the respective zones. There are two ways to choose your origin and destination - you can either select the zones they fall into on the map or by clicking on the bars above the map and entering the city name or airport code into the search fields.
Note! Your email might be added to future newsletter!