Lonely Planet Writer

The best time to book a hotel room is not when you think

Booking a hotel online is easier than ever, but it can still be difficult to figure out how to get the best deal on room rates. However, it turns out there’s one day that’s better than the rest to book your accommodation, and its good news for people who like to spend their Sundays dreaming of their next trip.

Couple relaxing in swimming pool on hotel rooftop.
Couple relaxing in swimming pool on hotel rooftop. Image by Getty Images

Research from booking site Expedia has revealed that Sundays are the best days to get deals on hotel rooms, particularly if you are booking same-day travel. Trips that begin on Sundays or include a Sunday night tend to be less expensive than trips beginning on other days of the week. But, Sundays are not a fool-proof hotel-booking day. If you’re booking travel on a Sunday for the following Saturday, you are actually likely to end up paying the highest average daily rate, as prices for the popular Saturday spots will be at their highest.

But that problem can be solved by booking in advance, as the Expedia study on hotels found that the time to get the best rate is by booking about three to four weeks ahead of your travel time. It can also help to choose what month you travel, with the lowest average daily rates found in November and January, and the highest are in July, August and March. And while booking ahead may work for some, the study actually found that travellers in North America are more likely to book a last-minute hotel deal than people in Europe and the Middle East, who tend to book further in advance.