The Best Time to Book a Hotel for the December Holidays

Photo by Tyler Olson / Shutterstock.com

Now may be the time to book a hotel for the December holidays. But it all depends on where you will be spending them.

That’s according to a new analysis by TripAdvisor showing the least expensive times to book hotels for the last two weeks of December. Brooke Ferencsik, a spokesperson for the travel site, explains:

“Based on TripAdvisor booking data, we’ve seen that hotel prices can vary significantly from one week to the next depending on the destination, so it’s the well-informed traveler that is most likely to snag the best deals.”

For this analysis, TripAdvisor defined the best time to book as periods when hotel prices were less than the average for a given destination.

In the U.S. as a whole, the best time to book a hotel starts in November, when hotel rates start to fall, the analysis shows.

More specifically, travelers who book for the holidays during the week of Thanksgiving stand to save the greatest amount possible — 21 percent compared to peak pricing.

TripAdvisor’s analysis also covered four domestic cities that are popular travel destinations:

  • Chicago: Hotel rates for the December holidays start to fall below average in October, when travelers who book during the month can save 28 percent or more compared to peak prices.
  • New York City: Rates start to fall in mid-September and drop again in mid-November. Travelers who book at the last minute can save 25 percent off early year peak rates.
  • Orlando: Rates vary dramatically from one week to the next throughout the year, so travelers should shop carefully. The best time to book is early in the year, but average or slightly below-average rates can still be found in late October and late November.
  • San Francisco: Rates start to fall below average in mid-September. Rates also drop significantly during the week of Thanksgiving and again in December.

For a list of international cities and the best times to book hotels in each city, check out TripAdvisor’s analysis.

For more ways to save on lodging, check out “10 Ways to Save Up to 60 Percent on a Hotel Stay.”

How do you save on hotel rates? Share your thoughts below or on Facebook.

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