Cheapest time to book hotels for ‘substantially lower’ room rates

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Hotel rooms often soar in price during peak seasons, so it can be even harder to find affordable accommodation for a holiday.

And as millions of people look for ways to save on their summer getaways, finance experts have shared some valuable information about bookings.

They explained that when it comes to browsing the internet to look for a room, the time of day really does matter.

While it’s a well-known tip that holding out until the day before the room is needed may give guests the chance to get rock-bottom prices, there are other tricks that don’t include gambling on a last-minute booking.

Travel data has suggested that both the day of the week and hours spent looking are pivotal to prices.

According to an expert at Travel Wanderlust, people who plan on “taking the plunge” and book on the day the room is needed will benefit from a cheaper rate past 4pm.

They said: “Prices usually plummet around 4pm as hotels work to entice customers to their empty rooms.

“If you’re bold enough to wait until after 8pm, you’ll find prices probably reduce by another five to 10 percent again.”

This is often done by hotel businesses to avoid losing money on a completely empty room.

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When it comes to the cheapest day to book a hotel, the expert revealed that avoiding Fridays and Saturdays can “substantially lower prices”.

This also comes with the added benefit of easier access to local attractions and amenities, as the weekend crowds are less likely to be around.

The travel expert added: “Sunday nights could be a third cheaper than the Friday and Saturday night prices for exactly the same room and services!”

For holidaymakers who don’t want to bank on a completely last-minute booking, prices also tend to drop in the two to three days before travelling – particularly when booking directly through the hotel’s website.

Of course, another tip for travellers working on a budget is to visit hotspots out of season.

As well as the day, the time of year is part of the simple formula that determines the cost of accommodation.

The Travel Wanderlust expert suggested: “Save yourself money here and stay when nobody else is. Avoid big holidays when everyone is travelling and choose the low or shoulder seasons if your biggest goal is to save some cash.”

And for those concerned about banking on last-minute bookings, it is worth making a cancellable reservation in advance that can be refunded in the event of finding a cheaper offer close to the departure date.

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