Booking hotels requires a certain level of skill — and KAYAK (parent company: BKNG) knows the pain. In a new study, the travel platform provides hotel tips for saving more.
With 56% of Americans preferring to stay in a hotel rather than a vacation rental like Airbnb, KAYAK compiled all the searches for hotels made on its U.S. website and derived a few key trends for its inaugural Hotel Travel Study.
The data covers searches made by users on the KAYAK site from June 2016 to December 2017 for hotels, while the travel-related data was from January 2016 to December 2017.
Here are some highlights:
Last-minute is good
If you and the people you travel with have the patience, waiting until the last minute to book a hotel will pay off. KAYAK says that booking your hotels just 1 to 3 days in advance could save you between $15 to $20 per night.
Weekends are cheaper
You can also save by searching for hotels during off-peak hours — which are Fridays through Saturdays. Off-peak simply means less competition — KAYAK said that during that time of the week searches for hotels and prices start to decrease as many as 30% fewer people are searching.
Off-peak = $$$ saved
If you’re not required to stick to a specific arrival date for the trip consider checking in on a Sunday — the cheapest day of the week — versus a Friday or Saturday check-in. KAYAK said that a Sunday check-in is the cheapest, with Monday and Tuesday being the next best options.
4 weeks ahead for overseas travel
While KAYAK said that booking last-minute can save you some money, if you’re going overseas, it’s better to book in advance. Especially if you’re traveling internationally for more than 2 weeks try to book your flights 4 weeks in advance. KAYAK says that the forward planning can save you up to $21 per night.
Plan for a late August trip
During the summer the median airfare for weekends — between Friday to Sunday — is $441. KAYAK suggests that you save your vacation days for the end of August or even early September, when both hotel and airfare prices are lower, especially if it’s a domestic flight. Here are are some weekends that you should consider as the summer crawls to a close.
- August 25: median airfare of $305
- September 8: median airfare of $311
- September 1: median airfare of $312
Most expensive hotels
KAYAK also looked at the most expensive hotels in the U.S. — and beyond — and found that a lot of the median hotel rates in these cities are likely to exceed the average person’s budget.
The company found that 72% of Americans spend $222 a night or less on hotel rooms. So if you’re planning to visit any of these cities — be prepared to spend big bucks.
- Maui, Hawaii: median hotel rates are $540/might
- Napa Valley, California: median hotel rates are $349/night
- Vail, Colorado: median hotel rates are $347/night
- Key West, Florida: median hotel rates are $326/night
- Honolulu, Hawaii: median hotel rates are $283/night
- Providenciales, Turks & Caicos: median hotel rates are $550/night
- Hamilton, Bermuda: median hotel rates are $450/night
- Nassau, Bahamas: median hotel rates are $433/night
- Montego Bay, Jamaica: median hotel rates are $363/night
- Tulum, Mexico: median hotel rates are $329/night
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