Watching Your Wallet: Hotel Bookings

With school out, a summer vacation sounds great right about now.
Published: May. 22, 2023 at 3:22 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - With school out, a summer vacation sounds great right about now, which can mean a lot of planning in advance, but you might want to book your hotel last minute.

Imagine this - you have a big summer vacation planned, but you don’t book a hotel until the week you leave. According to online travel agency and search engine Skyscanner, you can save more than 20 percent if you just wait to book your hotel until a few days before you leave. That’s going to take some courage. Nerd Wallet says if you book about 15 days before you travel, you can save 13 percent.

Either way, it’s cutting it close on a very important part of the whole vacation. This might be worth trying if you’re not traveling with a family and you’re not traveling during the busy season. But when the vacation involves your kids and it’s summer, this trick may not be worth it.

It’s true that hotels will lower prices to get more customers and larger discounts usually occur at pricier hotels. Even then, if your hotel bill is $500 and you get 13 percent off, you’re only saving $65 by living risky.

The other thing to keep in mind is this only works if the hotel has empty rooms. That’s less likely to happen during the summer travel season.

So consider this - maybe a better plan is to book a hotel that you can cancel in advance. Then, you can keep looking around for a better deal or see if prices go down where you plan to stay. It’s a safer way to travel.

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