The Best Times to Travel
The cheapest months and days to visit the world’s top travel destinations
Traveling in 2022 is more difficult than ever before, from completing paperwork to checking border restrictions and scheduling vaccines, booking a vacation requires a lot of planning and preparation.
With the added complications of COVID-19, hidden costs to traveling can stack up fast, which is why it is so important to make sure you secure a cheap hotel deal. You could end up paying up to twenty times more for a night's stay in the world’s most visited cities depending on the month you travel.
Bounce looked at average hotel prices in the world’s top vacation destinations to discover the cheapest months of the year and days of the week to travel.
The Most Expensive Months to Travel
July is the most expensive month on average for a vacation. It is the priciest month to travel to eleven tourist attractions out of seventy on our list, including Dubrovnik, Tokyo, and Florence. The difference in price is astounding - for example, a night in a hotel in Oia, Santorini costs 496% more on average in July than in January!
Traveling in May is likely to cost more on average, being the most expensive month for a hotel stay in ten destinations. In Moscow, it could cost 523% more on average for a nightly hotel stay in May than in February.
You might think that traveling in September means avoiding the family summer vacation rush, while still making the most of the great weather and enjoying off-season prices. While this is true in Latin American destinations Buenos Aires, Cancún, and Havana, in top tourist cities like New York, Toronto, and Munich, September is the most expensive month to go abroad.
The Cheapest Months to Travel
January is the cheapest month on average to travel to the world’s most visited tourist destinations, which means you could save money by traveling off-season. January is the cheapest time of the year for travel in nineteen out of seventy of the world’s top vacation destinations, including Barcelona, Venice, and Rome.
Although July is the most expensive month to travel on average, it is also one of the cheapest holiday months in some destinations. July is the cheapest month for travel in southern hemisphere tourist hotspots Sydney and Hamilton, New Zealand.
The Most Expensive Days to Travel
Average daily hotel rates vary dramatically depending on the day that you book. The most expensive days on average to book a hotel room for the night are Monday and Friday. These days each had the highest average price in fourteen and fifteen of the world’s favorite vacation destinations respectively.
While Friday check-ins are popular among vacationing families and couples on weekend getaways, Monday arrivals are more common among business travelers.
In Munich, it could cost 109% more to stay at a hotel on a Monday than on a Saturday. While in Las Vegas it costs 181% more on average for a night’s stay on Friday than on a Wednesday.
The Cheapest Days to Travel
The cheapest days to travel vary by destination, however on average Saturday is the best day for a cheap hotel deal. With many vacationers planning weekend trips away, checking in on a Saturday is less popular and could save you money. Other cheaper days to travel include Monday, Thursday, and Sunday.
In some destinations, we found that Monday is the cheapest day to travel. In Osaka, a hotel stay on Monday could cost 359% less than the same stay on a Friday.
The Vacation Destinations with the Highest Possible Hotel Savings by Month
1. Dubrovnik, Croatia | 829% difference in the average hotel cost
Croatia’s walled city Dubrovnik is one of the country’s most-visited tourist attractions and famous in part for its use as a filming location in Game of Thrones. Popular for beach vacations, wine tours, and sea kayaking, millions of tourists flock to the beautiful city each year.
The best time of year to visit Dubrovnik is December, with hotel stays costing on average $89 for one night. While the most expensive time to vacation in Dubrovnik is July, where the same hotel stay costs on average $824.
2. Jaipur, India | 822% difference in the average hotel cost
India’s royal city is a hub for tourists from all over the world, filled with grand palaces and royal monuments.
Visiting Jaipur can be costly depending on when you travel. For the best hotel deals, it is beneficial to book a stay in March, when a night in a hotel costs $37 on average. Traveling in January avoids the hot summer season, however, could cost $340 for a night’s stay.
3. Santiago, Chile | 564% difference in the average hotel cost
The bustling capital city of Chile, Santiago offers natural beauty which is unmatched, with mountains for skiing and blue oceans for swimmers and surfers.
Staying at a hotel in Santiago could be much more expensive depending on the time of year you travel - an average one-night stay at a hotel in January costs $90 while in December it costs $597.
The Vacation Destinations with the Smallest Possible Hotel Savings by Month
1. Hawaii, United States | 26% difference in the average hotel cost
Hawaii is undeniably one of the most beautiful places in the world, however, there are little savings to be made by booking your hotel months in advance.
The cheapest month to book a hotel in Hawaii is November, when it costs $299 on average for an overnight stay. The priciest month to book a hotel is March when a room could cost around $375.
2. San Francisco, United States | 29% difference in the average hotel cost
Tourist hub San Francisco is a firm favorite vacation destination among creatives, music lovers, and foodies.
The cost of a hotel stay in San Francisco varies little by month. The cheapest month to visit San Francisco is March when it costs on average $222 for one night in a hotel. The most expensive month to travel is January when the average cost of a hotel stay is $288 per night.
3. The Maldives | 32% difference in the average hotel cost
The Maldives is one of the hottest tourist destinations of 2022, and a trip to the lavish islands is known for being expensive.
Unfortunately, hotel price fluctuates little by month, with the cheapest month to travel being June with an average cost of $350 per night. The most expensive month to stay in the Maldives is May when an overnight stay could cost around $461 in a hotel.
The Vacation Destinations with the Highest Possible Hotel Savings by Day
1. Beijing, China | 419% difference in the average hotel cost
China’s capital Beijing is home to a rich history, magnificent parks, and traditional Chinese culture.
The cost of visiting Beijing could look significantly different depending on the day you stay. While a hotel costs on average $35 for a night’s stay on a Sunday, the same room could cost up to $184 on a Wednesday.
2. Providencia, Colombia | 414% difference in the average hotel cost
The Colombian island of Providencia sits in the Caribbean Sea, boasting beautiful beaches and rich blue waters.
A stay in Providencia could put a dent in your vacation budget if you forget to plan ahead. Book a stay on a Thursday for the cheapest average hotel prices, at just $38 per night.
3. Osaka, Japan | 359% difference in the average hotel cost
Home to world-famous Japanese cuisine and the traditional puppet theatre ‘Bunraku‘, Osaka in Japan is a bucket list travel destination for many.
Hotels in the area cost on average $63 per night for a stay on a Monday. The price rises to $288 for an overnight stay on a Friday - that’s a 359% price difference!
The Vacation Destinations with the Smallest Possible Hotel Savings by Day
1. Hawaii, United States | 10% difference in the average hotel cost
One of the most naturally gorgeous places in the United States, Hawaii is home to breathtaking natural landscapes and deep blue oceans. The price of a hotel in Hawaii varies little by month and by day.
The cheapest day to book a hotel in Hawaii is Thursday when it costs $290 on average for an overnight stay. The costliest day to book a hotel stay is Tuesday when a room could cost around $230.
2. The Maldives | 17% difference in the average hotel cost
Top vacation destination the Maldives attract tourists from all over the world, thanks to its unique natural beauty.
The cost of a hotel stay in the Maldives varies little by day. The cheapest day to visit is Monday when it costs on average $319 for one night in a hotel. The most expensive day to travel is Saturday when the average cost of a hotel stay is $374 per night.
3. Barcelona, Spain | 19% difference in the average hotel cost
Catalonia’s capital city is home to unique architecture and diverse culture and is one of the most visited places in Spain.
The cost of a hotel stay in Barcelona does not fluctuate significantly by day. The cheapest day to stay is Sunday, costing around $181 for a hotel room for the night. The priciest day to book a hotel is Tuesday when it costs around $215 for a similar room.
Bounce wanted to find out the cheapest and most expensive times to visit the world’s top tourist destinations. A list of 70 tourist destinations was compiled using lists from Wikipedia and Forbes.
Using Kayak, the average daily hotel cost by month of the year and day of the week was sourced for each location and is accurate as of 20/01/2022.
Using this information, we calculated the difference in average price between a nightly stay at a 3-star hotel in the cheapest and most expensive month of the year. We repeated this for days of the week.
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