New TripAdvisor research shows hotel prices tend to reach a low a few months before departure, rather than at the last minute.
The planning and booking site’s ‘Best Time to Book’ report details the best value time for travellers to book their June, July and August trips, based on hotel booking and meta click data.
The firm claims the idea that booking last minute always delivers the best value does not always stand, after surveying 2,000 British holidaymakers.
“One of the biggest questions for travellers researching trips is when to book in order to get the best price,” said TripAdvisor’s James Kay.
“What is interesting is that those who book either very early or very last minute are rarely getting the best deals.
“For many destinations, hotel prices actually tend to reach a low a few months in advance of the trip.”
A total of 24% thought that booking a hotel more than six months in advance would give the best rates.
In fact, of the 25 major destinations included in the research, this was true of only three – Beijing, Moscow and Barcelona – and even then travellers would still benefit from savings in those destinations even if they waited until four months prior to the trip to make the hotel booking.
The research also showed that there was no hard and fast rule for when the most savings could be made across all of the major global destinations.
For British travellers planning a summer holiday in Europe, the best time to book their hotel was found to be between three to five months out, when they can save 23% compared to peak prices.
For Brits heading to Asian destinations, however, booking this far in advance was shown to sometimes be counter-productive – the top five places with the shortest lead-time needed to secure the best rates are all in Asia with one in the Middle East.
TripAdvisor said Dubai has the shortest lead-time with the biggest savings to be made by booking within two months of the trip, followed by Jakarta, Mumbai, Bangkok and Hanoi respectively.
TripAdvisor also found destinations in Asia and the Middle East offer the biggest savings potential on average, at 23% and 24% respectively.
The research shows that of the 25 major destinations included in the research, travellers to Moscow stand to gain the most from booking at the right time – with a potential saving of 55% if booking four to seven months out.
Dubai follows at 40% when booking within two months of the trip and Jakarta comes closely behind at 39% when booking within three months.
The best time to book was defined in the research as periods when hotel prices were less than the average for the destination.