Are you traveling for business or pleasure? Either way, your top goals are undoubtedly to have the best experience possible and to save money. Can the two goals really go hand in hand? Fortunately, the answer is yes, as long as you know where to look and when to book.
When Should I Book My Hotel?
As you might expect, the ideal time to book your hotel reservation is not cut and dry. Consider your situation to discover how far in advance you should book your stay:
- 30 to 90 days: Are you an international tourist? It’s best to make your reservation at least one to three months ahead of time. You can get the lowest price if this reservation falls within the region’s “off season.”
- 14 to 30 days: Are you traveling for business? You should have your booking made far enough in advance that you’re not scrambling at the last minute. At two to four weeks, many hotels start offering discounts in an attempt to fill still-vacant rooms, giving you the chance to snag some really good deals.
- 3 to 7 days: Are you traveling for leisure? This close to your stay, you can be certain to find discounts from hotels desperate to fill every room.
- 1 to 2 days: Last-minute bookings can be risky, but they can also result in the best discounts. This is only recommended if your travels snuck up suddenly or you’re traveling locally with many hotel options.
- Booking with a travel agency: At WorldTravelService®, we’re able to offer deep hotel discounts via our preferred corporate rates—usually between 20 to 65 percent 47,000 properties worldwide. Learn more about our hotel discounts program.
When Should I Book My Flight?
Many factors contribute to the best time to book a flight. Current market standing, time of the year and even day of the week make a difference. Help narrow the field with these findings:
- 7 weeks: Starting 7 months out, the cost of domestic airline flights steadily drops until it bottoms out 7 weeks in advance. If you’re traveling anywhere within the country, this is generally the best time to book your flight.
- 14 weeks: For holiday travels when airlines are sure to fill every seat on every flight, it’s best to book your travels further ahead of time.
- Avoid last-minute bookings: Unlike hotels, airlines are more likely to keep pushing the price steadily up starting about three weeks before the flight. Plan at least one month ahead if possible.
- Booking with a travel agency: WorldTravelService® uses a number of advanced systems to ensure that you get the best flights—and the best service—at the lowest fares. Our fare search engine finds the best ticket price available while checking alternative flights, fares, and airlines 24/7. Its flexible system works with corporate guidelines and policy.
When Should I Book My Rental Car?
Follow this timeline to help you get the best deals on car rentals:
- 1 to 3 weeks: Under normal circumstances, whether traveling for business or pleasure, this is enough time to book your car rental and lock in a good price.
- 4 to 6 weeks: If you’re traveling over a busy holiday weekend, do yourself a favor and book your rental car more than a month ahead of time.
- Book alongside everything else: Go for that package deal by booking a car rental with your hotel and airline flight.
- Avoid booking last minute: It’s unlikely you’ll get burned with high prices by booking in advance, and by waiting till the last minute, you risk having a limited supply of cars to choose from.
- Booking with a travel agency: We can help with that, too! Our WebCk™ system searches more than 200 websites to find the best rental car prices.
Where to Look for Travel Deals
One of the best ways to save on corporate and leisure travel is to book your hotel, flight and car rental through a full service travel agency like WorldTravelService®. We are the second-largest independently owned travel management company in the mid-Atlantic region. We help clients throughout D.C., Maryland, Virginia and across the mid-Atlantic book trips of a lifetime all around the world. We assure the best service, competitive pricing and lifelong memories for you and your travel companions.