The Best Time to Book a Hotel Room

Tips & Tricks

One of the most expensive parts of a vacation can often be your hotel. And no matter where you’re traveling, you want a hotel offering the best price and amenities. But how do you get an amazing deal for your hotel reservation? One way to score comfortable but affordable lodging is to book your room at the right time. Reserving your hotel for a specific check-in day or booking a room at a specific time of year can save you money. And booking rooms in advance or at the last minute can help your wallet too. Read on for a few tips on how to book your room for the best deal.

General Tips

Book Ahead of Time

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Want to save some of your hard-earned cash when you reserve a hotel? Book in advance. Try making a reservation at least one month in advance. That way you won’t end up spending more because of last-minute price hikes. It will also help you avoid searching for a hotel room when you’re exhausted after a long flight or cross-country drive. Often, if you begin looking far enough ahead of time, you'll be able to spot great deals and sales as they arise, and can jump on them to save some cash.

Try Last-Minute Hotel Reservations

Sometimes, waiting until the eleventh hour is another clever tactic to conserve your coins. Hotels lose money on unsold rooms, so they often decrease the price so they can fill the hotel with paying guests. Kayak.com mentions that when you reserve a U.S. hotel room one to three days in advance, you can save between $15 to $20 each night. International travelers can book a hotel room about six days in advance and end up saving about $6 a night. But be careful. Waiting for last minute deals is a gamble, and shouldn’t be your first strategy to save money on hotel reservations. This is especially true if it’s a popular vacation destination. If you're more flexible with your plans, however, this could be the move for you.

Check in on a Sunday

Book your first hotel stay for a Friday or Saturday and be prepared to pay more of your money. That’s because everyone wants to start their vacay on the weekend. But you can save some moolah by booking your hotel for a Sunday. It’s cheaper. So if you have a flexible schedule, consider a Sunday check-in date. Your bank account will thank you later, and you’ll be enormously pleased with your financial savviness.

A Hotel for the Holidays

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Hotels are notorious for raising prices during the holidays. It doesn’t matter if it’s Christmas, the Fourth of July or any holiday in between. Hotels know you need somewhere to stay while you're celebrating with family and friends, so they hike the prices to make as much money as they possibly can. Fortunately, you can still score some relatively good deals. If you're looking to book over the winter holidays, November is the best month to make your reservation. For other holidays, consider booking at the end of the holiday, when people are checking out of the hotel. Why not make your reservation for the fifth of July? Or December 27th? You might save some cash if you're checking in when everyone else is heading out.

But the best time to make hotel reservations also depends on the region you plan on visiting. And a hotel’s rates may still vary from week to week. Good news is, hotels will often offer deals around holiday time, so be on the watch for flash sales or holiday discounts.

Vacations in Europe

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Longing to take a dream trip to Europe? Can you see yourself eating in a Parisian outdoor cafe, lifting your face to the French sunshine? Maybe you dream of an Italian getaway, strolling down the streets of Rome wearing a cute little sundress reminiscent of Audrey Hepburn’s chic style.  That’s all fine and dandy, but you may want to rethink that summer holiday. If you book hotels during the summer months, you’ll have lots of company. Too much company. That’s because the summer months are the most popular months to embark on a whirlwind tour of Europe. And that means more money you’ll have to shell out to hotels.

Instead, book your hotel for a winter vacation. Budgettravel.com reports that if you travel between the months of January and March, you’ll enjoy a 10 percent decrease in hotel rates. So go ahead and stroll down the streets of Rome. But you’ll need to trade the sundress for a sensible sweater and pair of comfy jeans. Just sayin’.

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