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. According to Booking.com, that could mean anything from Honolulu in February (hello, warm weather!) to Fort Lauderdale, Florida in May (smack between the spring break crowd and the region’s famously humid summers). Plan it right and you’ll even find significant price dips—up to 56 percent—at hotels in major overseas capitals like London and Rome (you’ll have to read ahead to find out which months are best for each).
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So what causes prices to dip so low in certain months? The reasons vary. In some places, you’ll see hotel deals following a big national holiday—often times, one that doesn’t register here in the United States. You can also bet on serious shoulder season values, when the weather in a destination is still great but crowds have gotten a bit thinner. Even bouncing back from major tourism events, like the tennis opens and big-ticket conferences, can create pockets of deep savings during particular months—or even weeks—of the year, if you know to look for them.
Here, your month-by-month guide for great vacation deals.