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Finding the right accommodations is one of the most important parts of planning your next trip. Searching online allows you to select a hotel in the right location, one that has all the amenities that you require, and a hotel room with a price that matches your budget. While you can compare prices online to search for the best cheap hotel deal, it helps to understand why, when and how hotel prices change.
Why do hotel prices change?
Why do hotel prices change?
If you search different dates for the same location you will notice that hotel prices can go up and down from day to day. If you track the prices over a period of weeks you may notice further differences. Hotel prices change for several reasons, the biggest ones being:
- Most hotels use revenue management software and other algorithms to automatically update their hotel room rates. These help them predict when demand will be high, which can affect the prices.
- Hotel prices change because there are major local events or during peak vacation season, you can expect prices to be at their highest. During periods of low demand, prices are automatically lowered to entice visitors to book empty rooms.
Considering some of the factors that influence hotel rates may help you decide on the best time of year to book your stay.
1. Room Occupancy & Seasonal Demand
Room availability and customer demand have the biggest influence on hotel prices. If you are searching for accommodations during the most popular months for tourists, or there is a conference or festival happening in the city, hotel prices will rise in response to the high demand.
At the same time, hotel rooms can be booked for a fraction of the cost during months, weeks or days when there is low demand. Experimenting with different dates in the Skyscanner hotel search tool can help identify a range of prices.
2. A Hotel’s Central Location
In most cities, hotels that are centrally located, and particularly the hotels that are closest to the most popular tourist attractions, will be priced higher than hotels that are further from downtown or located in less fashionable areas of the city. If you do not mind traveling further to explore the city’s points of interest then you can make significant savings.
3. Type of Room
The competition between hotels in popular destinations has led to an increased diversification of the category of room available to book. Beyond, standard, family room and suite, there may be further options to choose whether your room has a sea view, the size of the bed in your accommodations, the amenities available. All these factors will affect the overall price.
4. Price Matching Between Brands
For most locations where there are a variety of hotels available, there will be an element of deal matching across different hotel brands. If there are a high concentration of hotels in the same part of the city then smart travelers will check all the available deals before booking their stay. Look at the map on the Skyscanner hotel results page to see if there are other options nearby.
5. Time of Year
Find out what time of year is the off-season for the destination you wish to visit and you may find this is the best way to save some money. Even within peak season, it might be possible to save money by booking weekday stays instead of weekends as the demand is usually lower so prices may respond to that.
6. Summer Hotel Rates
Summer vacations can lead to the most expensive prices for hotels. Often cities that are known as summer destinations will aim to maximize their income before the off season by increasing prices. Summer locations that have year-round visitors and more available hotel rooms tend to be less affected by seasonal variations.
How do I find cheap hotel rates?
The most effective way of finding affordable accommodations is searching multiple hotel booking sites at once using Skyscanner. You will be provided with the lowest rates and best value for a range of hotels in the destination you select. You can choose to compare hotels within a particular location within the city, hotels that have the same star rating or have similar amenities.
When you understand that hotel rates can change in real-time on an ongoing basis, then you are a step closer to performing the fast, simple online search that will lead you to the right hotel room for you.