Cost aside, the ideal time to book a hotel room depends on your own travel plans and the hotel’s busyness. If other arrangements depend on your booking, then you’ll want considerable distance between the day you reserve a room and the day you arrive. Likewise, group travel is hard to coordinate (and accommodate), so you may need to initiate the booking process earlier, giving the hotel greater notice to prepare a block.
If you’re travelling solo or in a small group off-the-cuff, then it matters less when you book. In such cases, you should pay greater attention to hotel trends to steal the best deal.
Trivago.co.uk Researches Oversea Booking Trends
Trivago.co.uk recently investigated the correlation between calendar distance and reservation cost for hotels in the UK and Europe. Although these countries experience different peak times compared to North American destinations, the study may still lend insights to domestic travellers here in Canada.
After an extensive market review, the company found that the cheapest time to book a hotel is four to five weeks before the reservation date. Contrarily, the most expensive time landed two to three months before arrival. These findings continue to surprise travellers, especially those who bargain hunt at the last minute. Trivago.co.uk reported no significant cost reductions between last-day bookings and those made two months early.
Hotel Review Periods Are Never the Same
One factor affecting booking cost is the hotel’s review period. Some hotels look at their bookings every two weeks and adjust their pricing based on the vacancies. Others postpone this review until the end of every month or quarter, making the differences in price minimal week-after-week.
For franchises, these periods might be easier to predict if you’ve stayed there before. Otherwise, you may need to reflect upon the hotel’s booking volume and where said bookings come from. For instance, some third-party websites occupy blocks of rooms between certain dates. If some rooms do not get rented, then the company releases them back to the hotel, at which point the hotel may adjust the pricing.