When it comes to booking hotels for your next vacation, things can get so tricky. Consider answering some important questions before you start booking a room.
When it comes to booking hotels for your next vacation, things can get tricky. All experienced travellers know that doing it at the last minute is a big no-no. It will be madly expensive. So, when is the best time to book a hotel room online? Keep reading to find out.
Narrow Down Your Searches
With all the exciting hotel booking websites, booking hotel rooms can get overwhelming. Before you start browsing around and finding helpful websites, narrow down your searches by answering these top three (3) questions:
1. Where do you really want to stay?
For example, if your holiday plan involves roaming around the central city, a hotel there is a more convenient choice. You do not have to travel far to enjoy tourist sites (which are usually in the central part of the city). Plus, in some cases, safety issues are considered.
Since the best hotel in the central city usually costs a fortune, you need to book in advance. Choose booking hotel sites that offer the best deals for the hotels of your choice. That way, you do not have to be kiasu about it.
2. Can you find the best holiday deals at the chosen location?
Online hotel bookings can help you to find the best holiday deals at the location of your preference. Of course, you need to search effectively by relying on the most efficient booking websites possible.
Besides finding hotels that are close to the central part of the city, some websites also offer alternatives—other hotels in the corner of the city, but still as good and convenient as the ones in the centre.
3. Does it have to be a really nice hotel or is anything decent possible?
Well, even if you wish to stay at a nice hotel, it does not mean you have to go broke for it. In fact, you can narrow your search down by matching it with your holiday plan. For example, a hotel with a swimming pool or a tennis court will do if you still want to work out during the holiday.
Once you get to answer all the questions above, you will be able to narrow down your searches.
Things to Consider Before Booking Hotels Online
So, when is the best time to book a hotel room online? The decision varies, depending on your holiday plan. For example, you can book three or four weeks in advance before your holiday schedule. That is how you can get the best prices.
Another thing to consider is pricing trends. Cheap hotel bookings online are always possible, as long as you strategize carefully. You can narrow your choices down to around 40 days before your flight. That will give you enough time to compare the prices of hotels before getting the best deal for you.
There are also other factors to consider:
1. Consider the possibilities in a week
In some cases, there are specific days when you can get certain prices on the hotel. For example, some hotel booking sites suggest Sunday as the best time to book hotels online. Other sites may consider different days, like Friday or Saturday. The weekends are usually the best times to do so, since most people prefer going offline.
Not only that, consider the cheapest times to check-in and check-out of the hotel. Sundays are the cheapest times to check-in, while Fridays are the cheapest to check-out.
In most cases, Tuesday is the most expensive day to book a hotel, while Friday is the most expensive day to check-in at a hotel. Sunday is also the most expensive day to check-out.
2. Do thorough research on the hotels of your choice
Have you already decided on the hotel—or at least several ones—of your choice? Your next step is to do thorough research on them. This is how you get important information, including hotel discounts.
There is another way to get yourself updated on this. Signing up for the hotel’s “email blasts” will get you alerted on special prices. That way, you get a heads-up on the latest discounts and other special offers. You can check directly through your hotel booking app.
Besides checking on the websites for booking hotels, you can also check on the hotels' official websites for comparison. For optimal discounts, you can also do that. There are many hotels that also offer special discounts on their anniversary, so try not to miss out on them.
3. Consider a variety of suggestions, but the final decision is still on you
If you have never been to the city of your holiday destination, you can consider a variety of suggestions. Each hotel has its own differences, although they follow almost the same principals regarding pricing. What you consider the best hotel may not be so to someone else.
Once you find the right hotel based on what you need, you are ready to find the one with the best price.
Other Strategies You Can Follow for Booking Hotel Rooms
Still related to time, here are other strategies you can also try when booking hotel rooms for your holiday:
1. Check out business hotels
Nobody says you cannot stay at business hotels during your holiday. This works out if you plan to travel around Europe. Since business can be slow during certain times (like summer break), business hotels are still open to regular travellers. Of course, that means they also offer lower prices per night.
2. Check-in close to the end of the day
At the end of the day, hotels have a better chance of occupancy. That is when there is a chance you might get an upgrade. Of course, it depends if there are still any available.
3. Call the hotel directly
Despite all the existing hotel booking websites, it is wise to call the hotel directly. These websites help you with a variety of options. However, the next step is still up to you. Calling the hotel directly will help you to get the complete information you need before you decide to chope a room.
4. Book a hotel room within the cancellation period
One of the common concerns most travellers have is not getting a room when one is needed. Actually, waiting patiently until the last minute can do yourself a favour. You get to snag a better price tag.
How does that work, though? Usually, a hotel’s cancellation can go between a day or two (24 to 48 hours). This is where the room prices drop.
If you have already signed up for free newsletters and “email blasts” on the hotel booking sites, you get notifications every time a hotel room price drops. No worries, this does not mean that these websites will flood your inbox. If they do, you will probably go “Alamak!” and can just stop the notifications.
5. Bundle two bookings at once: a hotel room and a flight ticket reservation
Doing these two altogether will help you to save time—and money. There are plenty of websites that can help you to do both. In fact, you can have the whole package altogether regarding certain events, like a public holiday.
6. Use referral benefits
Many hotels use this strategy to bring in new business. They often reward guests who recommend the hotels to their friends online. Some hotel booking apps even offer some cashback every time you refer a friend.
Not only that, if you accept a friend’s referral, you can also get a discount when you choose to stay at the same hotel as they have.
7. Always follow up if there are problems during your stay
As mentioned earlier, unless in case of some serious emergency, you do not wish to book a hotel right on the spot. That also means not having to move hotels.
Unfortunately, some things can still potentially ruin your holiday. For example, a noisy neighbour, a messy room, and a bad service. No need to fear about speaking up to the hotel management. The last thing any hotel management would ever want is to have their guests run off to competitors in distaste.
When you claim that there are problems during your stay, there is a chance that your room and services may be upgraded for the rest of your stay.
Book Hotels Online and Plan Your Holiday Now
Let’s be smart. Planning a last-minute holiday is not the wisest move. Unless you have a friend who can offer a place to stay for free, it is best to book everything in advance. It saves your wallet, time, and most importantly—your sanity. There are many factors to consider when it comes to the best times to book hotels online. Once you know your way around, booking hotels will not be much of a problem.