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How far out you can book a hotel? In addition, does making reservations at the far side of the booking window provide any tangible benefit? Each hotel chain handles reservations differently, with the booking windows of major hotel chains ranging from 100 days to two years.
We’re big fans of locking your accommodation plans in early. Award travel is often dependent on finding scarce award availability. In fact, you’ll have much better luck piecing together an itinerary of award flights and hotels if you book at the outer reaches of the booking window.
Why Book Your Hotel in Advance?
When you’re battling to piece an itinerary together and juggling multiple rewards currencies, booking in advance provides the best possible chance of securing availability at the lowest award rate. Revenue bookings, on the other hand, tend to decrease in price as you get closer to your stay. Then, they spike at the last minute.
Award prices either stay the same or rise as the departure date approaches and “standard” rooms book out. You can get lucky and snag a standard room in a busy location close to the check-in date. However, if you wait, you run the risk of not getting the accommodation you want. You also might end up paying extra if there are no standard rooms available.
Booking hotels as the booking window opens provides certainty for your vacation plans. Even if you only keep the reservation until award space in a better hotel or suite availability opens up, many hotels will allow you to cancel an award at no cost — and some even permit free cancellation up to the night before your arrival. Remember, award cancellation policies are dictated by the hotel, not the chain. Check the cancellation policy of the hotel before making your reservation.
How far in advance can you book a hotel?
|Hotel Rewards Program||Booking Window|
|Accor Live Limitless||404 days|
|Best Western||349 days|
|Choice Privileges||100 days for awards, 50 weeks for paid stays|
|Hilton Honors||365 days|
|IHG One Rewards||350 days|
|Marriott Bonvoy||352 days|
|Radisson Rewards||730 days (2 years)|
|World of Hyatt||394 days|
The booking window varies widely between chains. IHG and Marriott allow you to book a little under 12 months out. In comparison, Radisson Rewards allows you to book two years in advance. The average booking window is around 12 months.
When to Book Hotels Well in Advance
There are plenty of opportunities to book a hotel just a week or a month before check-in and land a good deal or find wide-open availability. However, we think select circumstances warrant booking as far in advance as your planning allows. These are the occasions when you should consider booking well in advance:
- Popular destinations or room types, such as the overwater bungalows in the Maldives
- High season in busy destinations
- Destinations with few chain hotels (meaning fewer points redemption options)
- When traveling with kids or possibly grandparents
- When attending weddings, sporting and music events, or cultural performances
- Airport hotels for early morning or late evening arrival/departure
- When booking promo or discount awards
- If you need to use free night certificates before they expire
Planning your award stays well into the future is an excellent way of securing the best deals and guaranteeing that you have accommodation during peak season. Most programs allow you to book your hotel stays up to 12 months in advance. That gives you a long way into the future to plan.
If we’ve missed any programs you wish to see included, please reach out in the comments. We’ll do our best to get it added to the list.
Also, don't forget to check out our related post: How Far in Advance Can You Book Airline Award Tickets?
How far in advance can you book with Hyatt?
You can book a Hyatt hotel room 394 days in advance. That gives you over a year to decide if that fits your travel plans.
How far in advance can you book a Hilton hotel?
Hilton allows you to book a room 365 days in advance. You have a whole year to make plans to stay at a Hilton hotel.
How far in advance can you book a Marriott hotel room?
Marriott Bonvoy lets you book a room 352 days ahead. That's little less than a year but still plenty of time.
How far in advance can you book a Choice hotel?
You can book a room at a Choice hotel 100 days in advance for award bookings. That’s not a lot of time to plan. If you're paying cash, the maximum is 50 weeks in advance.
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