Travellers save big with a new way to book accommodation online
Price Guardian is a price robot on your side. It works by checking your hotel booking against any fluctuations in price to make sure you’ve always got the lowest price locked in.
“Let’s say you book a room for $250 but then, two weeks before you’re due to travel, the price drops to $150. Price Guardian will send an email prompting you to cancel your original booking and re-book the same room at the lower price,” explains Matthew Lawson, Managing Director of Hotel.com.au. “However, if the cost of your hotel room rises, your booking is still secure at the original rate.”
Price Guardian essentially delivers the best of both worlds – the security of making an early booking whilst still having access to savings that are often available with last minute deals. And the deal comes to you, there’s no need to keep monitoring rates yourself. The only condition is the booking must have a free cancellation period for the re-booking process to be viable. Luckily most bookings these days come with free cancellation. It makes planning ahead the way to go rather than the exception, why wait to book? If you wait too long you could basically miss out on your favourite hotel or preferred location.
Deciding when to book a hotel has always been one of the more challenging aspects of holiday planning. On the one hand, booking early allows you to have your hotel room confirmed with time on your side. On the other hand, you can sometimes snag a dreamy hotel at an even dreamier price just by holding off and waiting to see if the price drops.
Even the experts can’t quite agree when the best time to book a hotel is, and the data that is available can often be used to support both arguments. Of course, if you have you heart set on a specific hotel on a specific date, it’s absolutely the best option to just book and have it confirmed. Trying to save a percentage of the cost is not worth missing out on an experience that may be important to you. Booking early also means you won’t be stuck paying hefty room rates later, simply because the hotel is nearing capacity.
Yet there are downsides. Whilst booking a room early may bring peace of mind, you sometimes end up paying more for the privilege. If you book too early, before the best prices have been released, then you’re basically being punished for planning ahead.
Waiting for a last minute deal also poses its own problems. Smart travellers know it can pay dividends, but how can you know for certain exactly the right time to book? Late deals can save you money, but they can also add a layer of (avoidable) stress to your travel plans – especially if you have your heart set on a particular hotel that ends up selling out or prices skyrocket.
With hotel prices determined by location, events, occupancy rates and many other variables, it’s futile to try to answer ‘when is the best time to book a hotel’ in any meaningful, absolute way. The best approach is to put the power back in the traveller’s hands and make the question redundant altogether. At least, that’s the solution posed by Hotel.com.au’s Price Guardian, a tool which, when activated, offers an average saving of $110 per booking. “But there are multiple instances of savings between $400-500 on one and two night reservations for some lucky travellers,” says Matthew.
Price Guardian allows you to tap into those last minute savings without risking missing out on the hotel room you want, giving you both security and freedom when choosing a hotel deal. Then we can all get back to figuring out that other great, unanswerable question: just when is the best time to book a flight?