This Is the Best Day to Book a Hotel Room

Travel experts say that if you're looking for deals on hotels, you're much more likely to save on this day of the week.

You’re planning a trip and you want to get the best deals possible. Turns out that if you want to save money, the timing of when you book your hotel room is key.

So, when is the best day to book a hotel room?

Lucky for us, two recent studies looked at this very question. The 2019 Travel Pricing Outlook from Airlines Reporting Corporation and Expedia compared the average daily rates across 900,000 properties. The report found that travelers generally got the lowest rates on Friday nights. Flying to your destination? Here’s how far in advance you should book your flight.

“If you think about it in terms of supply and demand, it makes a lot of sense,” says Christie Hudson, senior PR manager for Expedia North America. “Not a lot of business travelers are going to be booking on a Friday night. And business travelers drive the demand pricing for travel.”

The travel site Kayak also crunched the numbers and had similar findings. “Our data shows that hotel prices are at their peak Monday through Wednesday, for both domestic and international destinations. As you approach the weekend, we see these prices start to decrease. Your best bet then is to book on Fridays and Saturdays.”

Hotel prices are higher at the beginning of the week because that’s typically when people start planning their trips, says Kathleen Chamberlain, PhD, a hospitality and hotel management instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education. Toward the end of the week is when travelers are more likely to actually be taking those trips, so that’s something you should take into consideration when you’re thinking about when to book your hotel room.

“If you’re a budget-minded person who is looking for a room, definitely Fridays,” Chamberlain says. “Most people aren’t necessarily looking on Friday or Saturday, because that’s when they’re typically checking in.” The same dynamic would come into play when booking rentals on Airbnb, she says. Use these tips to get the best airfare possible.

Are there any exceptions?

That said, if you’re loyal to a specific hotel brand, you’re not necessarily going to find cheaper deals on a Friday.

“If you’re going somewhere because you want to stay at a luxury property, you’re going there because of what they offer, not so much because they’re offering you a specific price,” Chamberlain says.

When it comes to booking vacation rentals, the situation is a little different. VRBO has found that in general, they’re much more consistent in their pricing, Hudson says. That’s because owners don’t want fancy algorithms that change pricing based on capacity or demand. That said, VRBO does still have some recommendations on the best time to book vacation rentals.

Now that you know the best day to book, find out some more ways to save money on hotel rooms.

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Jen McCaffery
Jen McCaffery is an associate editor for Reader’s Digest. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Prevention, Rhode Island Monthly, and other publications and websites. When she’s not writing or editing, she’s growing veggies or trying to figure out the way home from assorted trails.