New research from hotel comparison site trivago.co.uk shows that in general, hotels should be booked approximately one month in advance in order to find the lowest prices. Contrary to popular believe, booking further in advance is generally more expensive. Although prices increase closer to the travel date, they generally do not reach the same rate as 2-3 months in advance.
General Price Evolution: Average Savings against Days until Departure
As the graph shows, approximately one month in advance is the cheapest time to book, when average savings are at their highest. There is little difference between booking two months in advance and booking on the day of departure, making last minute travel a cost effective option. Planning in advance rarely pays off, with prices at their highest and average savings at their lowest over two months in advance.
Country Breakdown: UK, France, Spain, Italy and Germany Comparison
Although in general, approximately one month in advance is the best time to book, there are discrepancies according to the country of travel. When travelling within the UK, hotels should be booked 4-5 weeks in advance for the cheapest rates.
Hotels in Spain should be booked the furthest in advance (4-7 weeks), followed by Italy (3-6 weeks), Germany (3-4 weeks) and finally France (2-5 weeks), where hotels can be booked just a fortnight in advance for the best prices.
When booked within these parameters, prices are generally below the monthly average, irrespective of the month of travel. This means that these guidelines can be applied for summer and winter travel alike.
All data is based on travel months from January to December and price data from the past two years. Country platforms UK, Spain, Italy, France and Germany were considered.
Denise Bartlett, UK Public Relations: "Although many people assume that hotel prices will be at their highest the day before travel, this is actually not the case. There is no significant difference between booking two months or one day in advance, and it is considerably more expensive to book three months in advance. This information really opens the door to last minute decisions and spontaneous trips.
It is also interesting to note the country differences, with UK travellers frequently visiting France, Spain, Italy and Germany. Whereas holidays in Spain are best planned at least 4 weeks in advance, a trip to France could be booked just 2 weeks in advance for the best price. This takes the pressure off holidaymakers feeling they have to book their summer holidays months in advance."
trivago is a leading global hotel search platform focused on reshaping the way travelers search for and compare hotels and alternative accommodations. Incorporated in 2005 in Düsseldorf, Germany, the platform allows travelers to make informed decisions by personalizing their hotel search and providing them access to a deep supply of hotel information and prices. trivago enables its advertisers to grow their businesses by providing access to a broad audience of travelers via its websites and apps. As of September 30, 2021, trivago has established 54 localized platforms connected to over 5.0 million hotels and alternative accommodations, in over 190 countries.