The Death of the Booking Window?

Violins ready? It turns out there’s no universal ‘best time to book a hotel room’ — as recent research from TripAdvisor shows.

The booking sweet spot varies between different regions, according to the research. For example: to get the best rates for US hotels, you’d need to book 2 months before. But if you’re traveling to Europe, you’d need to book between 3 and 5 months prior to departure to get a decent discount. Heading to Asia? You’ll need to book 3 months before to make significant savings.

It’s a similar story where cities are concerned:

  • For Berlin, book 2-5 months prior for 33% savings
  • For New York City, book 2-4 months for 25% savings
  • Singapore? Booking’s best between 2 weeks and 5 months beforehand for 26% savings

“Ok… so to get the best deal on hotel rooms I need months of advance notice? Cos that’s gonna happen(!)”

You’re a busy travel manager with multiple trips to book right through the year. Sure, there’s a need to get the best bang for your buck, but you don’t have the luxury of several months notice. Most business trips are decided just a few weeks — or even a few days — beforehand.

Unlike leisure or vacation travel which you can book months in advance, to get a good business travel deal with a few days notice you’d have to book a non-refundable package — which probably wouldn’t happen given the need for flexibility on business trips.

So here’s the thing… there is another way.

Using our price optimization algorithm and real-time automatic booking service, our mission is to make sure you always get the lowest possible price for the rooms you book. As room rates rise, your original price is locked in. But as prices decrease we’ll automatically re-book the rooms you’ve chosen to secure the saving. And if we find a cheaper room, we’ll refund the difference.

With technology like this in your travel toolbox, you can kiss booking windows goodbye. For ever.

All things considered, hotel room prices will continue to fluctuate — as supply and demand dictates. Hoteliers set their prices high for busy periods, low for quieter times, and can often change things around at the drop of a hat. And different parts of the world have different busy/quiet periods.

These factors shouldn’t affect business travelers; who rely on travel managers to minimize risk and ensure they get a seamless experience. So why waste your time chasing booking windows, when we’re ready to do the groundwork for you?