Way back in November, I challenged myself to get to the bottom of hotel prices, to find out for you, our beloved dealchecker readers, how to get the cheapest hotel prices. And I succeeded! You can thank me now.
I looked at mid-range well-located hotels in New York, Dubai and Paris for a week on their cheapest board basis using some of your most popular online hotel websites. When I started, the booking date was just over three months away, so is it really cheapest to book that far ahead?
Image by Jeda Villa Bali
Booking Three Months Before Travel
The prices remained fairly constant throughout the month, there was just a few pounds increase, with the earliest booking cheaper by a tiny little bit. Still, not quite what I had been hoping for!
Booking Two Months Before Travel
Again, the prices were very steady throughout this month, with only slight variations from week to week. I was starting to wonder if the prices were going to change at all! Surely they would….
Image by UggBoyUggGirl
Booking One Month Before Travel
This was when it started to get interesting. On the one month before mark, all the prices fell somewhat, with some decreasing more than others, but then, three weeks before the hotel booking date, all the prices went down, some quite considerably. The week after that they were back up to their prior rates!
Booking One Week Before Travel
Definitely expensive – and some of the rooms I’d been looking at all along were sold out as well. There are specialised last minute booking websites though that can have great rates so all is not lost if you want a getaway without the months of planning!
Image by Bryn Pinzgauer
So, it seems like if you can hold your nerve and book around the three-weeks-before-travel mark then you can get the best deal on your hotel room! It may still be worth picking your hotel in advance though and checking in it from time to time to see if rooms are still availabile. Lots of the online hotel websites now tell you how many rooms there are left so it’s easy to keep on top of things.
Fancy finding a hotel for your own holiday? Use our hotel search to find some great deals!