A special guest post from trivago, Premium Supporter of the Social Travel Summit
It’s a question we’ve all asked ourselves: when should I book to make sure I get the best deal? Flight prices are notoriously volatile, with the cost of tickets varying on almost a day-to-day basis – but hotel prices and room rates have also been known to change.
So how to get the best rate? There are plenty of myths, rumours and hacks but we’ve done the research to dispel common beliefs and bring you the facts.
“It’s cheapest to book as far in advance as possible.”
False. As shown in the price evolution graph above, users can actually expect to make the highest average savings around 30 days before their hotel stay. Contrary to popular belief, in many cases booking as far in advance as possible actually results in below-average savings.
According to our research, booking 100 days in advance of travel resulted in the lowest amount of savings for users.
“Hotel rooms are the most expensive the day before travel.”
False. Wrong again – according to our general price evolution, we can see that users booking one day before arrival can expect to make savings in line with the average. However, this saving is the lowest in the 30-day period before arrival, suggesting users could still expect to save more by booking a bit earlier.
On the plus side, this does mean that last-minute travel is possibly a more viable option than many users believe.
“It’s the same everywhere.”
False. Although in general, around a month in advance is the best time to book, there are discrepancies according to the country of travel. When travelling within the UK, hotels should be booked 4-5 weeks in advance for the cheapest rates.
Hotels in Spain should be booked the furthest in advance (4-7 weeks), followed by Italy (3-6 weeks), Germany (3-4 weeks) and finally France (2-5 weeks), where hotels can be booked just a fortnight in advance for the best prices.
When booked within these parameters, prices are generally below the monthly average, irrespective of the month of travel. This means that these guidelines can be applied for summer and winter travel alike.
For more advice on when and where to book, head to Room5, the online magazine from trivago.