Can I Book A Hotel Room For Someone Else

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Can I Book A Hotel Room For Someone Else – It may seem counterintuitive, but the key to getting a good price is often to wait until the last minute to book your hotel room.

Travel is expensive in general, but one of the biggest travel-related expenses is often accommodation.

Can I Book A Hotel Room For Someone Else

Can I Book A Hotel Room For Someone Else

Research has shown that the best time to buy a plane ticket for cheaper options is 70 days in advance. But do the same arguments apply to hotel rooms?

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“Hotel suppliers would rather get a room at a lower price than have it empty, which means the price will drop as you get closer to the date of your stay, depending on how much stock is left,” he said Mel Dohmen, senior brand manager. at Orbitz.

“It comes down to basic supply and demand,” said Devon Nagle, Priceline’s chief communications officer. “There are countless more hotels than airplanes. Seat prices increase as flights fill up. This is not necessarily the case with hotels – they compete on price every day and regularly drop their rates on any given night to accommodate last minute bookings.

Priceline analysts analyzed all-star hotels booked on the site from January 2018 to September 2019 in California, Florida, Texas, Illinois and Massachusetts. According to data shared with Nagle, they found that last-minute bookings are often cheaper than bookings made in advance.

“Hotel suppliers would rather get a room at a lower price than have it empty, which means the price will drop as you get closer to the stay date, as long as you wait to see how much inventory is left. ” – Mel Dohman, Senior Brand Manager, Orbitz.

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“The sweet spot,” he said, “was actually the day before registration in all five states.” For example, for hotels in Massachusetts, the average price for hotels booked 90 days in advance was $244 per night, but dropped to $205 40 days in advance and $141 the day before.

If you can book at the last minute, the time you book can also affect the rate. In fact, spontaneous and expected

“If you can wait, the best time to book is usually the day of,” said Sam Schenk, CEO and founder of HotelTonight, a discount travel app that specializes in last-minute bookings.

Can I Book A Hotel Room For Someone Else

“On average, one-day hotel rates are 10 percent lower than those booked the day before, and usually drop sharply around 4 p.m.,” added Schenk. “If you order after 8pm you can usually save another 5-10%.”

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“The downside to this money-saving tactic is that you’re gambling, and the longer you wait, the more likely the inventory will sell,” Dohmen said. “If you want to get a room at your favorite hotel or hang out with friends, this might not be the tactic for you. This is especially true if you’re booking a hotel for a popular event, as inventory tends to sell out well in advance.

Joel Brandon-Bravo, vice president of TransPerfect and former managing director of Travelzoo UK, agreed that the last minute approach is not a hard and fast rule. Many factors specific to individual hotels and their pricing strategies can affect supply and demand. Group bookings may be cancelled, leaving the hotel with many unsold rooms, or a large conference at the hotel may increase rates.

“If the revenue manager – whose job it is to set the rates – believes the rooms will sell, he will raise the price. If they are correct, they will stay high or even increase. If they overestimate the demand, then as the occupancy date approaches, they will lower the price,” Brandon-Bravo said. “We’ve seen this in London at big events like the Olympics and the Queen’s Jubilee, when hoteliers mistakenly forced people to book a minimum three-night stay at a higher price, then sold them at a lower price when people they didn’t book. .”

Finally, flexibility is key when booking hotel rooms. Travelers should think about where and when they want to go and make decisions based on demand, Brandon-Bravo said.

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“You can look today, look a week from now and see which way it’s trending, then go with the trend, if it goes up, you can book now and wait for it to go south,” he said.

If booking a day or the day before isn’t convenient for you, there are other factors that can help you get a cheaper fare. Historical booking and pricing data show that travelers should click “confirm” in their hotel room on certain days of the week to get the best deals, although the best days may vary.

“Average daily hotel prices vary by booking date,” Dohmen said. “Our data shows that travelers typically find the lowest ADRs on Fridays. Unlike plane tickets, the most expensive day to book a hotel is usually Sunday.”

Can I Book A Hotel Room For Someone Else

“Priceline’s experts have determined that the best day of the week to book a hotel at the lowest price is Sunday,” Nagle said. “The second best day of the week for hotel bookings was Monday, and the difference wasn’t huge.”

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To spot any trends in your preferred destination, we recommend looking at the displayed hotel rates when searching for different days of the week.

The days of the week you plan to stay at the hotel also play an important role in determining the price. For example, if you can be flexible with your dates, you may want to consider a Sunday night stay.

“Sunday night hotel rates are on average 30% cheaper than Friday and Saturday, so we recommend switching your weekend from Friday-Sunday to Saturday-Monday,” said Schenk. “With this strategy, you can take advantage of less population and have easy access to amenities and restaurants.”

“Those who were on holiday over the weekend went home to prepare for work the next day, and most business practices are in the middle of the week,” he said, adding that it is useful for travelers to consider “the rule saturday night” when booking flights to save money. as well as.

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“A simple rule of thumb for saving money is when others don’t. The hotel is available all year round and there are also frequent flights,” said Brandon-Bravo. “Empty rooms and seats cannot be sold the next day!” They lose money or even go down in the low season and raise prices when demand is high to make more money overall.”

He suggested a city break at Christmas or mid-summer, when there are fewer business trips and crowds.

Often the best time to book a hotel is the “shoulder season” – the period between high and low (busy and off-peak) seasons.

Can I Book A Hotel Room For Someone Else

“We generally find that hotel prices are cheapest in January and early February, after the holiday season ends,” Dohmen said. “Most people don’t want to travel after the holidays, so fares are quite low. In the summer, September can be a great time to book a cheap beach vacation, as the busy season tends to slow down once school starts again.

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Nagle noted that despite the drop in hotel prices, the good weather will continue into the shoulder season. The average hotel rate in Hawaii’s Wailea is $542 per night during the summer, but drops to $403 in the off-season, according to a Priceline analysis. Summer hotel rates in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina average $181 per night and $107 per night during high season.

“Peak seasons vary by destination, but generally in the U.S., summer rates are the highest and winter rates are the lowest,” Nagle said.

“The rule of thumb for saving money is to go when no one else is.” – Joel Brandon-Bravo, Vice President of TransPerfect and former Managing Director of Travelzoo UK

“Don’t be shy about calling or emailing the hotel directly,” added Brandon-Bravo. “They’ll usually be happy to tell you when you can get a deal, because they want to fill the empty rooms and might add an extra – or at least match whatever price they can find elsewhere. Some offer a calendar view of fares, so a simple scroll will give you an indication.

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There are many other ways to find good deals on hotel rooms. Consider joining the mailing lists and loyalty programs on your favorite Dohmen travel sites, and keep an eye out for sales days like Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday.

Travel deal sites sometimes offer better rates with special packages during peak months, which can be beneficial (if the selection is a bit limited), Brandon-Bravo said. However, he warned against falling for “only two rooms left” or “this room was booked 2 minutes ago” messages on online travel agency sites.

“A lot of times it’s not true,” he said, adding that hotels and online travel agencies in Europe have recently faced consequences for misleading customers.

Can I Book A Hotel Room For Someone Else

Booking directly through hotel chains and joining loyalty programs can lead to lower rates and even perks like free upgrades.

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“Hotel chains don’t like paying huge commissions to OTAs like, and Expedia, so [they] encourage you to book direct,” Brandon-Bravo said.

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