Budget

When to Book for Business Trips and Holiday Getaways

It is hard to predict on a granular basis when exactly you should book a hotel, so we have no insight into which day of the week is best. That said, there are a few rules you really ought to know. Hotel rates change often and city core pricing practices are different from holiday destinations where demand is easier to predict. 

When is it Best to Book Business Trips?

Business hotel rates usually drop a few weeks (13-15) days before check-in. These are downtown city hotels catering to business travellers, not resorts. There are a few business centers such as Miami, that behave more like resorts than business centers, but on the whole, city-center hotels will continue to drop their prices in the last few weeks before your check-in date. Therefore, book as far in advance as you can, avoiding advanced cancellation dates. Then check prices daily before your cancellation date to take advantage of price drops, paying the most attention to the last two weeks prior to your cancellation date. 

Online Travel Agency (OTA) rates are often slightly discounted. Still, these rates are rarely recognized by the hotel loyalty programs (for more, see our blog on booking hotels online) or are eligible for price match programs or have similar Terms & Conditions (T&Cs).

Another catch to watch for is the cancellation date. Often cheaper rates come with advanced cancellation dates, making it difficult to take advantage of price drops. Further, these rates will not qualify for hotel price match guarantees because all aspects of the hotel booking T&Cs, (room type and layout, cancellation date etc.) must be exactly the same to take advantage of a hotel price match guarantee. 

When is it Best to Book Holiday Getaways?

The opposite rule applies here. Holiday rates generally increase closer to check-in. Still, book as far in advance as you can. The best resort booking window is two to three months before check-in. Only refundable bookings if you have adequate cancellation insurance. Check your travel insurance program to see what the daily compensable limit is. Expensive stays may exceed your insurance coverage. Check your credit card policy, and be sure to use the card to make your reservation or pre-pay your hotel. 

Again, check prices frequently up to the day of cancellation to take advantage of price drops. Better yet, use our personalized Hotel Concierge service; we will check for you. Be wary of third-party online hotel price freeze programs. Check the T&Cs - we have yet to see one we would recommend. 

Conclusion

The timing of hotel bookings can significantly impact the rates you pay and the overall experience of your stay. Whether you're travelling for business or embarking on a holiday getaway, understanding the nuances of hotel pricing practices is key to unlocking the best deals. For business travellers, keep an eye on city center hotels' rates in the weeks leading up to your check-in date, and be mindful of advanced cancellation dates when making reservations. For holiday travellers, aim to book two to three months in advance and monitor prices for potential drops. Frequent price checking and leveraging hotel loyalty programs can lead to valuable savings regardless of your travel purpose.

If you prefer a hassle-free approach, consider using personalized services like BNW Travel’s Hotel Concierge to manage your hotel bookings. With these expert tips in mind, you'll be equipped to make savvy hotel booking decisions, giving you more time and resources to enjoy your travels to the fullest. 

Please see our other hotel blogs for further tips. 

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