How Far in Advance You Should Book a Hotel Room

How far in advance you should book a hotel room

What is the most important part of the vacation planning process? For many travelers, it is choosing accommodation that should be, ideally, cozy, clean, and cheap. But sometimes it's hard to find low hotel rates. They depend on many things and can change very often. And if you can track these fluctuations, it will allow you to save up to 30% of the entire holiday cost. One of the crucial factors is the period when you book your hotel. The following tips will help you find the optimal time quickly and easily.

Consider the season and location

It's a well-known fact that high-season travel is often more expensive than visiting during the off-peak months. Typically, the period from April to September sees the highest demand among travelers. To ensure you get the most affordable rates, which can be up to 50% lower, it's advisable to book your hotel room 2-3 months in advance, as prices tend to rise closer to the travel date.

In the off-season, however, you can take more risks. Usually, the cheapest prices for hotels often appear just 15 days before your stay. So, booking at the last minute can be a good idea. According to a study that looked at over 2,500 hotel room prices from 2019 to mid-2021, on average, people saved about 13 percent by booking 15 days in advance compared to booking four months ahead. Keep in mind that this rule works best for big cities. But if you're planning a vacation to places like the Caribbean or Hawaii, it’s better to book far in advance.

Booking 1-3 days before your stay can yield savings of up to 10€ per night, as hotels often offer discounted rates. Note that this strategy might not apply in popular cities or during events with high booking rates, so plan accordingly.

New country – new rules

The best time to book your hotel room can vary by country. Even in neighboring European cities, slight differences exist. Here are some optimal booking times in select countries, based on data from the last two years:

🔹 Germany: from 3 to 4 weeks before the travel date.
🔹 Spain: from 4 to 7 weeks before the travel date.
🔹 Italy: from 3 to 6 weeks before the travel date.
🔹 Great Britain: from 4 to 5 weeks before the travel date.
🔹 France: from 2 to 5 weeks before the travel date.

Remember that these recommendations are subject to change, so it's essential to stay informed about current booking trends.

Timing is everything

When it comes to booking a hotel room, timing can be the key to unlocking substantial savings and a stress-free stay. Let's explore the three main questions that can help you make the most of your hotel booking experience.

What are the best days to search for lower prices?

If you're on the hunt for a great hotel deal, the timing of your search can have a notable impact on your budget. Analysts have found that hotel prices typically reach their highest point when you search for a room between Monday and Wednesday, regardless of whether you're booking domestically or internationally. However, as the weekend draws near, many websites start to lower their prices gradually, with the most budget-friendly rates being offered on Friday and Saturday. This savvy strategy can save you as much as 7€ per night, making it a noteworthy approach for budget-conscious travelers.

What are the cheapest days of the week to check into a hotel?

Are you wondering when to check in to get the best hotel deals? Avoiding the usual Friday and Saturday check-ins can not only save you money but also lead to a more serene and enjoyable stay. Sunday night to Monday morning emerges as the most cost-effective option, with rates averaging a remarkable 30% cheaper compared to weekend bookings, regardless of your destination. By shifting your weekend getaway from Friday-Sunday to Saturday-Monday, you not only dodge the weekend crowds at local attractions but also align with the "Saturday Night Rule" for flight bookings, maximizing your overall savings. It's worth noting, though, that in recent years, Tuesday has emerged as a new budget-friendly day for hotel check-ins, both domestically and internationally.

What are the best hours to book a last-minute deal?

If you're a spontaneous traveler seeking last-minute bargains, knowing the best time to book can be a game-changer. Typically, hotel prices take a noticeable plunge around 4 pm as establishments work to fill their vacant rooms and entice guests. For those feeling particularly adventurous and willing to wait until after 8 pm, there's a chance to secure additional savings of up to 10%.

Look for the best hotel prices on HotelFriend Marketplace

When it comes to finding the most favorable hotel rates, your loyalty to a specific hotel brand can often lead to lower prices when booking directly through the hotel. However, if you're not committed to a particular brand, exploring third-party booking platforms can be a more cost-effective choice.

Here are some scenarios where HotelFriend Marketplace may provide a more budget-friendly alternative:

🔹 Last-minute deals
🔹 Travel packages
🔹 Independent hotels and rental properties

Discover unique offers across over a million hotels worldwide and access more than just a place to stay. With HotelFriend, you embark on an exciting adventure at the best possible price!

Hotel special offers


In conclusion, it's essential to keep in mind some fundamental guidelines to secure the best hotel room rates. These include choosing a strategic day to make a reservation, exploring the option of last-minute bookings while having a backup plan with a flexible cancellation policy, considering off-peak travel periods, and steering clear of Friday check-ins. We hope that these tips will enhance your vacation experience by freeing up more funds for entertainment and enjoyment.

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