Is there a best, or most advantageous time to save cash when booking a hotel for your next holiday? There are several schools of thought on this matter, but a lot of it comes down to your personal circumstances.
Travelling With Family
If you're taking a family holiday with your partner and kids in tow, you might not be inclined to wait. You might not be looking at hotel accommodation either, and a property large enough to accommodate the lot of you is a better bet. Although you'll want to save money where possible, availability is perhaps more important—so you'll have more options to choose from the sooner you book.
What about if you're not travelling with your family or another large group? Solo travellers, couples, or those going somewhere with a friend might be more inclined to try their luck to pick up a hotel bargain. But are such bargains easy to come by? This really depends.
Sometimes the first rate is the best rate. Check a variety of different travel websites, along with the hotel's own website. When you've found the lowest possible price, compare this with the hotel's standard rates to see if you're getting much of a bargain. Perhaps no discount is available, and these standard rates might be the best rate on offer at the time of booking.
Guarantee of Accommodation
Of course, the standard rate isn't a discounted rate. But booking at this rate at least guarantees your accommodation, and this guarantee can be important if you want to stay at a specific hotel, or in a particular part of town. Before booking anything, you should check the cancellation policy for the hotel or travel website.
Some cancellation policies can be beneficially flexible, allowing full cancellation right up until check-in. This varies significantly, so be sure to read the full policy. A flexible cancellation policy can be very convenient if the same property offers a better rate after you've made your booking.
If such a discounted rate becomes available, and the hotel's cancellation policy allows it, you can cancel without penalty and then rebook at the discounted rate. The hotel still gets your business, and you're never in a position where you'll be left without anywhere to stay. The drawback is that there's no guarantee that a discounted rate will be offered, so you may end up paying the original rate.
A discounted hotel room rate is within reach, as long as you're willing to do a small amount of homework. Reach out to different accommodations in your desired location to learn more.