Travel alert: The best day and time to book a hotel room

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Travel alert: The best day and time to book a hotel room
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Looking for a great hotel deal? The travel website Kayak has analyzed its search data to reveal the best day and time to book a hotel room.

There’s good news for procrastinators in Kayak’s first-ever Global Hotel Study, which found that waiting until the last minute to make your reservation — one to three days in advance — can save you between $15 and $20 per night.

RELATED: Find out what Priceline or Hotwire hotel you’re going to get before you book

New report: Kayak reveals the best day and time to book a hotel

The report also said that booking a hotel room over the weekend is a money-saving strategy because fewer people are searching:

“We see supply and demand play a major role with prices, which are at their peak Monday through Wednesday. Searches and prices start to decrease the closer it gets to the weekend, with prices at their lowest Fridays through Saturdays (when 23 – 30% fewer people are searching).”

Another thing to consider? Your hotel check-in and check-out days. Kayak found that checking in on a Friday or Saturday and checking out on Sunday is the most expensive option overall.

According to the website’s data, a Sunday check-in is the cheapest, followed by Monday and Tuesday.

Summary of Kayak’s Global Hotel Study findings for domestic travel 

Cheapest day to book a hotel Friday/Saturday
Most expensive day to book a hotel Tuesday
Cheapest hotel check-in day Sunday
Most expensive hotel check-in day Friday
Cheapest hotel check-out day Friday
Most expensive hotel check-out day Sunday

Clark’s hotel booking strategy 

With hotel prices changing so frequently, how do you make sure you’re always getting the best deal? Money expert Clark Howard has a three-step strategy that works for him:

  1. Book a refundable hotel the day that you book your flight
  2. Check for deals on Hotwire and Priceline mystery hotels one week before your trip
  3. Cancel the refundable hotel if you find a better deal

Clark says it’s important to keep in mind that many hotels are now requiring that you cancel refundable hotel reservations up to 72 hours before your check-in, so you need to read the fine print before you book one.

In addition, mystery hotel deals — Hotwire Hot Rates and Priceline Express Deals — are NOT refundable.

The next time you go to reserve a hotel room through Hotwire, Priceline or any other hotel booking website, there’s a sneaky fee that’s often excluded from the advertised room rate.

Read Clark’s special warning and the extra step you need to take to avoid it!

More Clark.com stories you may like: 

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Michael Timmermann paid off his mortgage in two years. Now, he shares his money-saving tips on his blog, MichaelSaves.com.
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