Forget Friday, Monday Is the Day to Play Hooky — Here's Why (Video)
The month of August is historically one of the year's busiest months for travel. Pools get crowded, prices balloon, and travel time can be frenzied. The antidote? Summer Mondays.
Most of us have Friday in our back pocket in case we need a long weekend away. But taking Monday off is a much better bet. Wedged in between the weekend crowds—who typically check out on Sunday—and the business swarm that checks in on Monday, Sunday nights away can be bliss. You won’t be competing with the masses during busy travel times and can save some money too, since Sundays tend to be a less popular night of the week at many hotels.
HotelTonight, the booking app that allows users to make discounted last minute bookings, has been tracking the trend. The company's CEO, Sam Shank, says, "This summer and into fall, we're encouraging bookers to embrace Summer Mondays, taking Monday off work instead of Friday, as Sunday night rates are, on average, 30% lower than the rest of the week, especially compared with Fridays and Saturdays. In addition to landing a great deal, travelers can take advantage of great hotel amenities like the rooftop pool and bar, without the crowds—a win-win."
Average Sunday night rates on the HotelTonight platform this month include: Dallas ($117), Atlanta ($120), Charleston ($145), London ($146), San Diego ($162), Amsterdam ($162) and New Orleans ($167). These prices are expected to stay stable, or even drop, through September.
Mel Dohmen, a senior brand manager at Orbitz.com, seconds taking Summer Mondays as a smart strategy for a more chill experience, and substantial deals. Booking data from the site shows double digit growth this summer for Friday through Monday stays.
Mel explains, "Summer Mondays are great for anyone who wants to skip out on long lines at the airport or hotel since Sunday is a popular travel day home for many vacationers. There’s also the benefit of having an afternoon to relax and take advantage of some of the hotel amenities that might be more crowded on a Friday or Saturday. You’ll have less competition for that perfect poolside spot or dinner reservations at that restaurant or bar you’ve been wanting to check out."
According to data from Orbitz.com, some of the best markets for great Summer Monday rates are Paris, London, Las Vegas, and Chicago.
Stress reduction and relaxation are two key elements that make Summer Mondays appealing. Mel elaborates, "If you’re someone who tends to get the Sunday Scaries, this trend is definitely for you. Relaxing on Sunday night and having that extra day to ease into the work week is worth it for a lot of vacationers."
In addition to discounts, hotels often offer Sunday evening activities and perks to sweeten the deal. Santa Monica's Shore Hotel is one of several properties we talked to that offers special programming for Sunday night guests. The hotel’s General Manager, Gerry Peck, says, "Mondays are great for travelers who enjoy the quieter environment — we cater to them with Mindful Mondays in our Meditation Garden. Here, between 7 and 8 p.m. on Sunday and Monday evenings, guests are invited to practice complimentary self-guided meditation in the tranquil garden setting complete with candle lighting, meditation poufs, and calming scents.”
If we haven’t you convinced you yet, Summer Mondays can easily be paired with other travel savings, such as a booking on a Third Night Free promotion (if you can take Tuesday off as well). And, to knock Summer Monday prices down even more, remember that hotels typically get cheaper the closer you get your travel date (as opposed to airlines, which offer the most discounted flights at least three weeks out.) Data from HotelTonight shows that same-day hotel rates are, on average, 10 percent less than booking the day before. The longer you wait in the day, the better. Rates are the highest at 8 a.m. and then progressively decrease. Prices drop dramatically around 4 p.m., and waiting until 8 p.m. brings them down an additional 5-10 percent.