When to book your hotel room for the best rates

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It turns out that there is a great place to book cheap hotels. Contrary to what one might think, a recent study by Nerdwallet concludes that it is cheaper to book a hotel 15 days before your stay, and not months before, as is conventional wisdom. However, there are tradeoffs to consider, including ensuring that the hotel room will always be available when trying to book..

Rooms booked 15 days in advance are around 13% cheaper

Nerdwallet studied hotel rates around the world between 2019 and 2021 and found that the average rate when the room was booked four months in advance was $ 233. This was higher than the average rate of $ 203 when the room was booked 15 days in advance, a difference of 13%.

The study also looked at other variables. In terms of luxury, the average savings were much higher for upscale hotels, as rooms were 21.6% cheaper when booked 15 days in advance. However, this effect was mitigated for mid-to-low-end hotels, as they were only 9.4% and 5.5% cheaper, respectively (which makes sense, as they have less frills in them. to offer).

When it comes to international hotels versus domestic hotels, there was not much difference between properties in North America (12.7% savings) compared to all other countries (13.5% savings).

Do you have to book all your hotels 15 days in advance?

Not necessarily. You could get a cheaper rate by booking 15 days later, but with that comes an increased risk that a hotel will not be available when you need it, especially during a peak period (for example, hotels can fill up quickly when there is a convention in operation. city). In addition, youYou’ll likely have other reservations to change or cancel if your hotel isn’t working, such as airline tickets, car rentals, and vacation days. And given all the planning and unknowns that come with international travel, you might be happy to pay for a room that’s been booked well in advance.

On the other hand, if you have maximum flexibility regarding when you are traveling, so booking 15 days in advance to get a cheaper price makes more sense. As Nerdwallet points out, many hotels also offer free cancellations, up to 48 or 72 hours in advance, meaning you can book in advance, cancel with 15 days remaining (if the posted rate is actually lower), then book this hotel again. (although, again, there is a slight risk that the hotel room will not be available), especially for luxury hotels. That said, the 13% discount is an average, so the actual savings will likely vary and may not be worth it.

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