Should you pay in advance for hotels online?

When you’re booking hotels online, you’ll often find that the booking website tries to tempt you with a saving if you pay in advance and select a non-refundable rate. Often, this will look like a very attractive thing to do as the non-refundable option will generally be a fair bit cheaper than more flexible options. However, these sites will often present you with a false choice that hides the savings that you could make if you hold your nerve for a little longer. In this article, we will let you know what they are.

Let’s say that you want to stay in a big city like London in England. You’re the kind of person who likes to plan in advance so you’re looking at your options 12 months before you actually go, just after the rooms have gone on sale.

Surely you’ll get the best deal by booking now? Actually, that’s not often the case. Often, hotel rooms will be very expensive when they first go on sale because the operators hope that worried travellers, who tend to be fairly price blind will snap up the first rooms no matter the cost. Wait a few months and you’ll often find that the price falls. That’s why it can often be worth booking a flexible rate if you’re making your plans early and checking back a few months later to see if prices have fallen. You may well be in for a pleasant surprise.