Travel Smart 2016:
A Month-by-Month Guide to the Best Hotel Deals
Both Domestic and International!
Spinning the globe, closing your eyes and picking a place on the map to jet set for the weekend is romantic but usually not practical. I love, love, love to travel and have found that the best way to see the world affordably is the decidedly un-glamorous method of planning ahead.
Domestic: Los Angeles
The nightly average for 4 star hotels drops to the lowest in the entire year in January. Save 33% on hotels in the City of Angels and use your savings for a stroll down Rodeo Drive. Ok, well maybe not exactly there, but you know what I mean.
January is the perfect time to fly to Melbourne, as you’ll hit the city right in the lull between Christmas and the Australian Open. Average rooms run $150/night in peak season but guess what: in January they dip down to $112/night.
International: Hong Kong
I couldn’t believe it but 4 star hotels are as low as $125 a night in February. This is the time of the year for Chinese New Year and Spring Lantern festival. What better way to visit than in the midst of new year celebrations – your wallet will thank you!
Domestic: Flagstaff, Arizona
Flagstaff is the gateway to the Grand Canyon. Explore one of the most beautiful national parks in March, when you’ll have the sights to yourself and can hike it in relatively cool weather. The first week of March has hotels for under $100/night.
International: Buenos Aires
Buenos, Buenos Buenos. I visited this delightful Latin American city in March my junior year of college. Now I know why! The land of good eats (steak and red wine) has four star accommodation for as low as $55/night in March.
Chicago hotel prices dip in early spring once the frigid winter season has passed. Check out Chicago’s splashy waterfront along Lake Michigan or hit up some of the city’s best restaurants and museums. Hotel rates are up to 54% cheaper in April than the rest of the year.
Come to Copenhagen in April, one month before the tourist rush starts. Copenhagen has one of the most innovative dining scenes in the world and I can’t get enough of Danish interior design. You’ll save 38% on Copenhagen hotel rooms by coming in April.
Domestic: San Antonio, Texas
San Antonio is the hot new neighbor to Austin. Do the local river walk in June when 4 star hotels average just $150 a night. Don’t forget to check out the hot new dining scene or the multitude of new hotels popping up left and right. Oh and Austin is only an hour’s ride away – why not see both?
June is shoulder season in Beijing, before the mad tourist rush in August and fall. Visit in June to find four star hotels for under $80 a night! Walk along the Great Wall, visit the forbidden palace and have some Peking duck while you’re in town.
Domestic: New York City
Locals clear out of NYC in August for one last jaunt to the Hamptons. Take advantage of my favorite city in the world and stay during the last week of the month for the steepest hotel discounts. Why not grab a coffee, check out Shakespeare in the Park, or visit one of the museums in town while you’re here?
Berlin is an affordable European getaway practically all year round but in August four star hotels dip to the $100/night mark. Thanks to its abundance of cool galleries, attractions and nightlife, you’ll be hard pressed to fit everything in on a quick jaunt to Berlin.
Disneyland, Universal Studios and Harry Potter World suddenly become affordable once the school season starts. Plan a weekend getaway to Orlando with some girlfriends and save 40% a night on hotels. Shorter lines at all the major theme parks are just the icing on the cake!
Rome was my favorite Italian big city. Come visit in September, when the locals are back to work and the tourists have used up their vacation allotment and you’ll be rewarded with the city all to yourself. Rome hotels are around $131 a night in September. Go ahead, indulge in an extra gelato scoop!
Domestic: New Orleans
Spook yourself out for Halloween with a voodoo visit to N’awlins. Hotel rates plummet to just over $200 / night – a 35% discount compared to the week of Mardi Gras. Looking for things to do in the French Quarter? Check out my previous posts on the city or read my NOLA Eats guide here.
International: Cape Town
I visited Cape Town in September to coincide with a safari visit but if you come in October you’ll be rewarded with affordable hotels (under $80/night) and whale watching season! For a full guide on what to see, eat and do, check out my previous posts about Cape Town.
Domestic: San Francisco
The week before Thanksgiving is the cheapest for hotels in Golden Gate City. You’ll save a massive 50% and can still manage to catch the tail end of wine season if you book ahead! While in town, don’t forget to walk along Fisherman’s wharf, drive down twisty Lombard Street and check out the Ghirardelli factory.
International: Rio de Janiero
All visitors to Rio like to lay out on Copacabana Beach. Come in November when the temperature (and accommodation!) is just right. Be sure to take advantage of the breathtaking views and spot the Christ the Redeemer statue. Don’t wait to visit in December, since prices skyrocket 37% higher.
Christmas in Germany is a magical experience. The cities are all lit up and the holiday markets are insane. Frankfurt’s Christmas market is one of the country’s oldest and most beautiful! Visit in December for 56% on hotels.
And there you have it! A month by month guide for the cheapest places to travel around the world. Where are you off to next?