Most people like to make travel plans and book hotels in advance for the holiday season. But some make last-minute plans. So, are hotels more expensive to book on Christmas, or should you book them early?
Hotels can be more expensive to book on Christmas, depending on the place and time of booking. The rates can increase earlier in December and decrease as you get closer to Christmas. You can even find cheap hotel deals if you book one week before the big day.
You can look for an authentic travel website or talk to the hotel’s front desk to get cheaper deals when booking on Christmas. This article explains the best time to book a hotel on Christmas and how to get better deals.
Hotel Rates on Christmas: What To Expect, Best Time To Book, and More
Most people believe that off-season booking costs less. So, they finalize accommodation weeks before the big day instead of booking a hotel closer to Christmas. It does help to book in advance. But you can also get excellent cheap deals on hotel booking closer to Christmas.
So, taking the risk of leaving your booking until the last moment may have benefits. However, you can’t expect all hotels to offer the same rates. Several other factors determine hotel rates. These include:
- The city you want to visit.
- The number of days you want to stay.
- The type of hotel you wish to book.
- Location of the hotel.
- Room type and additional services plus amenities.
- Parking spot.
- Supply and demand.
- Online booking.
Another important factor to know is when to book the hotel. You can enjoy excellent deals and prices if you know the best booking time.
The Best Time To Book and What To Expect
Booking a hotel room for Christmas requires some research. You must know what to expect in terms of rates, the quality of rooms you will get, the amenities the hotel is willing to provide, etc.
NerdWallet believes you can get excellent rates by booking hotels at least 15 days before arrival. Luxury hotels can offer cheaper rates by 22%, and you may be able to save up to $30 per night by making last-minute bookings in non-luxury hotels. This data relates to hotel bookings in general.
As for Christmas, according to Quartz, the best time to book is a week before Christmas. Websites like HotelTonight can help you get the most significant discounts on hotel rooms.
As mentioned, the deals you get also depend on the destination. When you visit a place where most citizens travel out of the city, you can find good deals on hotel rooms at the last minute. The reason is simple, as the demand dwindles, the hotels lower their rates to fill as many rooms as possible.
Expect To Compromise
According to Expedia, travelers who book hotels at least six days or less before travel can save as much as 20% on Christmas. However, you may have to manage your expectations as you may not get the hotel or room of your choice. But that’s not always the case.
In places like Orlando and New York, you may want to book hotels at least two weeks before Christmas. The reason is the increased demand, so you may not find a hotel at the last minute. A two-week early booking may still help you save around 5%.
However, the opposite may be true for bigger cities and tourist destinations. In this case, you may want to go for early bookings.
According to Hopper (the leading travel booking app), hotel rates are likely to be 14% higher than last year, 2021. On average, a hotel stay may cost you around $202. But these rates depend on when you check in.
Hopper believes you should check in two to three days before Christmas if willing to take the risk. However, for early planners, you should wait for at least the first week of December to book hotels.
Tips for Saving on Hotel Bookings on Christmas
Of course, the time of booking matters the most. Nonetheless, several other factors can help you save even more on Christmas hotel bookings. I have a couple of tips that can help you make your Christmas accommodation more affordable:
Look for a Bundle
In a package deal, you can contact a travel agent to look for bundles that offer flights, hotel stays, car rentals, and other facilities. Bundles work well for both early and late bookings. These packages help to reduce overall costs. For example, a good bundle deal may give you a decent enough hotel room with a rental car for your stay.
It is never a good idea to sign up for the first deal you find, even if you go for late bookings. You should contact several platforms and hotels to inquire about their rates and package deals. This way, you get to find the best rates. Nevertheless, you may have to hurry if you book a week before Christmas to get lower rates.
Call the Hotel
The good old way of calling the front desk is still a good idea. With so many online platforms and booking apps, people rarely try to contact the hotel directly. You must try contacting the hotel’s front desk and ask them for discounts or special deals on Christmas.
The staff may tell you about rates and deals that the online platforms may not have.
Redeem Your Credit Points
Credit cards that offer loyalty programs are an excellent way to enjoy reduced rates on Christmas. You can redeem credit card points if the hotel allows it. Still, going for credit points may require research. The downside is that you may not always find hotels compatible with your credit card company.
Contrary to popular belief, hotels are not always more expensive on Christmas. That said, the rates rely on several factors:
- The time of booking.
- Some places reward you for late bookings, while others require early hotel reservations.
- You can also look for bundle deals, which can get you overall discounts on flights, hotel bookings, car rentals, etc.
Use these tips to get yourself the best deal next Christmas!
- Quartz: The week before Christmas is a great time to get a hotel room deal
- USA Today: Bundling your flights and hotels: We weigh the pros and cons
- CNBC: Credit Card Rewards Programs: What Are They & How Do They Work