Be our guesthouse, says travel site momondo with these top tipsBrits often begin a new year by tightening up belts and pinching pennies, after an indulgent holiday period.
With weather wintry and grey skies above, travel search site momondo.co.uk knows the best way to brighten the mood is to book a break abroad.
But the site says travellers should be aware that over the coming months ahead, hotel rates will fluctuate.
Lasse Skole Hansen, Spokesperson at momondo.co.uk states: “The price of a hotel room always goes up and down. Seasons, popular events in a destination and the time of booking are all essential factors to bear in mind, which influence price. Costs of hotels can vary dramatically and there is potentially a lot of cash to save by paying attention to a few aspects that are essential to hoteliers, when they set their rates.”
Here momondo shows its top tips and tricks to help travellers grab the best hotel rooms in 2016, when the prices are at their lowest.
Factor in annual price fluctuations
Many travellers don’t realise that cities move with the seasons. Prices of hotel rooms in the world's great cities can fluctuate, in step with their busiest touristic times of the year. For example, January is the cheapest month for hotel rooms in cities such as Amsterdam, Paris and Rome due to weather, while hotels in Moscow and New York have the lowest prices in December. Examine annual hotel prices using momondo's price calendar here.
Consider the events and conferences in cities
Just like seasons are crucial to consider, hotel rates will rise and fall, depending on different events held during the year in each city. The hotel industry calls such periods ‘high demand dates’. This description usually covers times of royal or national celebrations, large sporting events or significant cultural gatherings that draw international crowds. These events usually result in hotel price hikes, due to supply and demand. By bypassing these periods, travellers can thus avoid shelling out for overpriced accommodation. momondo advises checking a destination’s own event calendar, for example its tourist office website, before finally settling on a certain hotel and/or time to visit.
Go for photos and user reviews instead of stars
Most travellers have a minimum number of stars required when booking a hotel. And stars are also an excellent starting point when standard is to be assessed. momondo however advises not to rely on these alone, as many travellers do not realise the star system is not standardised globally. This means that some destinations will assign a star rating as they see fit, while other destinations may have hotels of the same star rating that are lower in standard. momondo recommends travellers should therefore examine user hotel reviews too, which often include both descriptive text and true images. Just beware that other users may not share your taste in hotels.
Check price comparison sites
Online travel agents often make special arrangements with hotels, meaning they are able to offer cheaper rooms, and therefore it is a good idea to use price comparison sites to get the full overview of available rates. When it comes to the bigger hotel chains such as Marriott, Hilton and Best Western, the price difference is often smaller though, as they less often offer lower prices last minute, generally becoming more expensive the closer to arrival date. Moreover, travellers should consider what’s included in the rate: Does it include breakfast, and is the price refundable? The price may vary 5 to 10 % depending on whether there’s a cancellation policy included.
How to find cheaper flights
According to global travel statistics from momondo.co.uk, Brits can also save money by booking flights at least 53 days in advance of departure.
By analysing 12.6 billion airfares worldwide on 100 of the most-searched routes, the site found that by booking travel early - just under two months in advance of departure - consumers could save an average of 26% on flight costs.
Travellers can explore the six factors that affect fares with momondo's unique free money saving tool Flight Insight, available on more than 10,000 routes worldwide. The tool can be found at the top of search results on momondo.co.uk when making a flight search.
"By using our tool Flight Insight, travellers can assess the best day of week, time of day and season, in which to travel. If travellers wish to get the greatest savings on travel, they should check our tool for their particular route, to find out how many days in advance to book, in order to score the cheapest ticket,” states Skole Hansen.
Travel tips for booking worldwide flights
• Book your trip 53 days in advance to get the cheapest tickets - and you can achieve average savings of 26%
• Tickets are generally most expensive on the day of departure
• Evening departures between the hours of 6pm and 12am typically offer the cheapest fares
• It is usually more expensive to fly in the morning and midday, before 3pm
• A Tuesday is generally the cheapest day to fly
• Saturday is routinely the most expensive day of the week to fly