The Best Time to Book Hotels: Insider Tips for Saving Money


When it comes to booking hotels, the earlier you book, the better your chances are at getting the room you want at the lowest price possible. The best time to book hotels depends on where you’re traveling, which kind of traveler you are and what time of year you’re traveling, but this guide will tell you everything you need to know about when to book hotels no matter where or when you’re heading out of town. It includes insider tips for saving money, such as special rates that are only available by email invitation and how to find hidden promo codes online.

The Best Time to Book Hotels: Insider Tips for Saving Money

Know when people are most likely to travel

Some people believe that the best time to book a hotel is on the weekend. Others think it's during the week, in order to get a discount. In reality, the best time to book a hotel is Monday morning at 10 AM. That's when rates are most flexible, and you'll save money by booking early.

 The best time to book a hotel is generally between Monday and Thursday, anytime between 10 AM and 5 PM. That’s when most hotels offer their best rates. But even then, certain days of each month are better than others. According to one analysis by Freddie Mac, rates are lowest on Tuesdays in October through February; Wednesdays in July and August; Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays in April; Fridays in March; Mondays in June; Wednesdays or Thursdays from mid-May through June; and Fridays any other time of year.

 As you can see from that list, weekends are not necessarily a good time to book. But there's one day of each week when it might make sense to take advantage of those low-rates. That’s on Friday, when rates are just slightly higher than those of Tuesday and Wednesday. If you're hoping to save money by booking on a Friday, aim to do so between 10 AM and noon Eastern Standard Time—the two hours before and after that period tend to bring better deals.

Know how many people are traveling

Know how many people are traveling

When you're deciding when the best time is to book your hotel, think about the number of people who will be traveling with you. If it's just one or two people, then it may be worth paying a little more and booking in advance because there are typically fewer rooms available during that time. However, if it's a large group of people (seven or more), then booking as soon as possible may be your best bet. There are often deals and discounts available when you wait until the last minute!

 If you’re traveling with a large group of people, you may want to consider waiting until closer to your travel date before booking. Larger groups can be harder and more expensive to accommodate and hotels tend to offer better rates if they have less availability during that time. The downside is that last minute deals are likely to be limited and fill up quickly, so it can be hard figuring out how many rooms you need or which hotel will work best based off its reviews. That said, waiting until near your travel date also gives you time as a group so each person doesn’t end up paying for their own room—something you should take advantage of if possible!

 If you’re traveling with a small group or have just one or two people in your party, then booking early can be a great way to get better deals. This is especially true during slower travel times when fewer travelers are booking rooms at that time. The downside is that you may end up paying more than you would if you waited until closer to your travel date and only needed one or two rooms. Your best bet is finding out from other members of your group when they're planning on booking their rooms so you can all book together and split costs!

Know where you’re going

There are several factors that determine the best time to book a hotel, and they vary depending on where you’re traveling. Generally, it’s cheapest during the off season, but if you plan on traveling during the high season, then you should book as early as possible. Peak seasons in most major destinations include July and August, Christmas and New Year’s Eve. If you’re not sure about your travel plans yet, then it might be worth waiting until May or September because those months can have great deals too. 

That being said, there are many other ways to save money on your hotel stay without having to wait until late in the year.

 It’s also helpful if you know where you’re going. Some locations are busier than others, so rates will be higher during those months. For example, New York City is a major tourist destination year-round, so hotel rates are typically high. You’ll find better deals in March or April than during July and August. Meanwhile, Las Vegas doesn’t see nearly as many visitors during February and March as it does over Christmas and New Year's Eve, so you may get a better deal at that time of year.

Avoid booking last minute

Avoid booking last minute

Nowadays, it's hard to go anywhere without seeing a Groupon or Living Social offer. It can be tempting to book the room right when you see the deal because you know that you'll be able to get a cheaper rate if you book early. However, booking last minute often comes with its own set of risks and drawbacks. The first is that when you book last minute, there is no guarantee that there will still be vacancies at the hotel. This means that instead of getting an amazing deal on a discounted room, your credit card will end up paying more than it should have because the hotel was full and couldn't accommodate you.

 Another reason why it’s best to book hotels early is that you get locked into a rate. This means that if you choose a hotel, find out you don’t like it, and want to cancel your reservation, there are no refunds available. While many hotels will allow you to change your reservation without penalty if you book within 24 hours of your check-in date, anything later than that can often result in a non-refundable charge even with advance notice. The final disadvantage of booking last minute is that there’s no opportunity to secure perks or amenities by doing so.

 If you book early, you can negotiate a better rate. This doesn’t mean that you’re going to be getting a steal of a deal or anything like that because most hotels are pretty adamant about their price point. However, there is usually room for negotiation when it comes to free amenities, room upgrades and cancellation penalties. Another perk of booking early is that if your plans change and you need to cancel your reservation after all, it's easier—and often less expensive—to do so when you're working with a smaller deposit instead of an entire payment. The bottom line is that while booking last minute may seem like an easy way out at first glance, it actually entails more risk than staying on top of your reservations and getting them booked as soon as possible.

Visit top destinations around holidays

Visit top destinations around holidays

Depending on where you're going, what time of year you're traveling, and whether or not you have kids, there are a lot of variables that go into when it's best to book your hotel. But let's break it down. 

If you're traveling in the winter months (December-February), booking early is probably your best bet if you don't want to be faced with high prices during the holidays. 

If you're traveling in spring or summer, it may be better to wait until closer to when your trip begins as hotels usually offer steep discounts around this time.

 If you're traveling with kids, you'll probably want to plan your trip so that you can stay in hotels that offer free breakfasts and possibly have an indoor pool. You might also consider going during off-peak season if possible or staying at a hostel instead of a hotel—although make sure they have what you need before booking.

Bringing kids? If so, pack stuff other than toys: Since most people will be going on holiday without their children around Christmastime and January, bringing some toys is a great idea as it will help keep your little one entertained during down time. But here are two things that don’t really work well:

Consider your needs first, such as pet friendliness, parking and pool availability.

When booking your next hotel stay, don't just look at the price. Think about what's important to you and do some research. You can save a lot of money by choosing a hotel that meets all your needs. 

Here are some questions you should ask yourself before booking a hotel: · Am I traveling with a pet? If so, is there an extra fee? · Does the hotel have parking or will I need to pay for parking elsewhere? · Does the property have a pool? Is it heated? · Are there nearby attractions and activities, such as parks or shopping centers?

 Keep in mind that some of these features may cost extra. For example, if you have a pet, you'll likely pay a fee for it to stay with you at a hotel. But that fee might be cheaper than paying for an extra night at another hotel where your pet is welcome. It's also important to ask whether amenities like parking or pool access cost extra. These things can add up quickly. And while they might not be deal-breakers when booking your room, they can certainly make your trip more expensive than it needs to be—and they can even turn what should have been a positive experience into one that's stressful and disappointing.

 Here's a quick checklist of important questions to ask before booking a hotel: · Do you have a pet? If so, is it allowed? · Is there parking? How much does it cost? · Are there any nearby attractions or activities I should know about? · Does your property have free Wi-Fi and if not, is it available for an additional fee? If so, how much does it cost per night, per hour or per MB of data used.

Check in advance

When booking a hotel, we recommend checking in advance (especially if you're looking at traveling during peak season). Doing so will allow you to find the cheapest rates, and it'll also give you an opportunity to search for hotels with amenities that are important to you. 

To save even more money on your stay, try packing toiletries like soap, shampoo and toothpaste. This can help cut down on the cost of buying these items from the hotel's front desk or vending machine. 

If you're really trying to save as much money as possible on your stay, consider staying off-season or going outside of major metropolitan areas like New York City. You might have less access to things like restaurants and attractions while in a smaller town, but saving money is worth it!


There are a few ways you can save money on your hotel stay. The first is the obvious one: book early. This will give you more time to search for deals and choose the best price/location. Another option is to compare prices across different sites like Expedia, Kayak, Priceline, etc. Some hotels offer lower prices if you book through their website rather than third-party sites like Expedia or Travelocity. If all else fails, see if there are any last minute deals available by looking at sites like Lastminute or Tingo.

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