Looking for the best travel deals? Here’s where to go—and when.
Originally published by Travel + Leisure
You’ve heard the myths: Tuesday is the best day to book airfare. Wednesday is the best day to fly. January is the cheapest month to travel. All of them are up for debate, to a certain extent. But according to new data from Booking.com, you can count on getting good hotel values by picking the right destination for the right time of year.
If a cheap vacation is what you’re after, plan your trips based on when hotel rates are proven to be low; then use a service like Hopper or Kayak to find the best-priced plane tickets to round out your plans. You’ll end up with a powerful, money-saving one-two punch—which can save you hundreds for even a quick family getaway. Here, your month-by-month guide for great vacation deals.
You can save 33 percent on hotels in the city of angels this month, when the nightly average rate for four-star properties dips down to $212—the lowest all year. Spend the leftover cash on hot restaurants, like Trois Familia (by Ludo Lefebvre and the guys from Animal) or Otium, an ambitious new spot attached to the just-opened Broad Museum.
Visiting Melbourne in January means you can take advantage of low rates between the Christmas rush and the Australian Open, both of which draw tons of travelers. The average room goes for $150 in peak season—already a good deal—but going now means you can book a great place to stay for roughly $112 per night.
Photo: Getty Images
Hawaii is at its most expensive over New Years, but come Valentine’s Day, this ultra-romantic spot offers surprisingly good prices (we’re talking a 40 percent dip in hotel rates). Maximize your savings by heading to the island in the first week of the month, when values are at their very best.
It’s not just hotels that are cheaper in Hong Kong in February, though they drop as low as $125 for a four-star spot this month. It’s also peak season for shoppers (who can benefit from excellent sales) and culture lovers (who can check out the Spring Lantern Festival or celebrate the Chinese New Year in style).
Photo: Ian Dagnall/Alamy Stock Photo
Think of it as the gateway to the Grand Canyon—and an affordable one, at that. Cooler temperatures in March mean you get the sights to yourself, and if you travel in the first week of March, you can pay well under $100 for a comfortable hotel.
It’s not quite a warm weather getaway, but springtime in the U.S. translates to temperate autumn in Buenos Aires—a perfect time to explore on your own two feet. You can find four-star accommodations for as little as $55 (really!), which more than justifies the long-haul flight.
Photo: Getty Images
The Second City should be first on your list come spring, when hotel rates dip to 54 percent cheaper than peak season prices, says Booking.com. The blustery cold of winter has passed. so you can choose whether to check out the splashy new concessions along Lake Michigan or hit the city’s fabulous museums and restaurants.
Photo: Getty Images
May through October is Copenhagen’s busy tourist season, and in this small but delightful city, you can really feel the crush. Visit in April and you’ll save 38 percent on your room, without dealing with Scandinavia’s super-short days and frighteningly cold winter temperatures.
Photo: Don Klumpp/Alamy
FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA
You’ll miss the spring breakers and the hundred-percent humidity by planning a South Florida trip in May. Bonus: Fort Lauderdale offers a quieter escape, and better prices (averaging $162 per night), than Miami does.
Sure, it’s a global capital—and never a cheap ticket—but London offers surprising value if you go after May Day (the bank holiday falls on May 1 this year). The average nightly rate for the week that follows: $216.
Photo: Getty Images/Moment Open
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS
It’s stealing all the attention away from Austin, its neighbor to the north, and with good reason: San Antonio is now home to a buzzy restaurant scene and the beautiful new Emma hotel, designed by Roman & Williams and set in the former Pearl Brewery. It’s also 49 percent cheaper to stay here than it is to stay in Austin (average rates at this time of year hover at $164 for a four star spot) and you’re still just an hour’s drive away.
June is shoulder season in Beijing; the weather is mild but there aren’t any domestic holidays, which means a dip in local travelers. Go now and expect to pay under $80 a night for your four-star hotel.