You’ve heard the myths: Tuesday is the best day to book airfare. Wednesday is the best day to fly. January is the cheapest month to travel. All of them are up for debate, to a certain extent. But according to new data from, you can count on getting good hotel values by picking the right destination for the right time of year.

If a cheap vacation is what you’re after, plan your trips based on when hotel rates are proven to be low; then use a service like Hopper or Kayak to find the best-priced plane tickets to round out your plans. You’ll end up with a powerful, money-saving one-two punch—which can save you hundreds for even a quick family getaway. According to, that could mean anything from Honolulu in February (hello, warm weather!) to Fort Lauderdale, Florida in May (smack between the spring break crowd and the region’s famously humid summers). Plan it right and you’ll even find significant price dips—up to 56 percent—at hotels in major overseas capitals like London and Rome (you’ll have to read ahead to find out which months are best for each).


So what causes prices to dip so low in certain months? The reasons vary. In some places, you’ll see hotel deals following a big national holiday—often times, one that doesn’t register here in the United States. You can also bet on serious shoulder season values, when the weather in a destination is still great but crowds have gotten a bit thinner. Even bouncing back from major tourism events, like the tennis opens and big-ticket conferences, can create pockets of deep savings during particular months—or even weeks—of the year, if you know to look for them.

Here, your month-by-month guide for great vacation deals.




January: Los Angeles

Domestic: Los Angeles

You can save 33 percent on hotels in the city of angels this month, when the nightly average rate for four-star properties dips down to $212—the lowest all year. Spend the leftover cash on hot restaurants, like Trois Familia (by Ludo Lefebvre and the guys from Animal) or Otium, an ambitious new spot attached to the just-opened Broad Museum.


February: Honolulu

Domestic: Honolulu

Hawaii is at its most expensive over New Years, but come Valentine’s Day, this ultra-romantic spot offers surprisingly good prices (we’re talking a 40 percent dip in hotel rates). Maximize your savings by heading to the island in the first week of the month, when values are at their very best.



March: Flagstaff, Arizona

Domestic: Flagstaff, Arizona

Think of it as the gateway to the Grand Canyon—and an affordable one, at that. Cooler temperatures in March mean you get the sights to yourself, and if you travel in the first week of March, you can pay well under $100 for a comfortable hotel.


April: Chicago

Domestic: Chicago

The Second City should be first on your list come spring, when hotel rates dip to 54 percent cheaper than peak season prices, says The blustery cold of winter has passed (and so too, the crowds from this year’s Architecture Biennial), so you can choose whether to check out the splashy new concessions along Lake Michigan or hit the city’s fabulous museums and restaurants.


May: Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Domestic: Fort Lauderdale, Florida

You’ll miss the spring breakers and the hundred-percent humidity by planning a South Florida trip in May. Bonus: Fort Lauderdale offers a quieter escape, and better prices (averaging $162 per night) that Miami does.


June: San Antonio, Texas

Domestic: San Antonio, Texas

It’s stealing all the attention away from Austin, its neighbor to the north, and with good reason: San Antonio is now home to a buzzy restaurant scene and the beautiful new Emma hotel, designed by Roman & Williams and set in the former Pearl Brewery. It’s also 49 percent cheaper to stay here than it is to stay in Austin (average rates at this time of year hover at $164 for a four star spot) and you’re still just an hour’s drive away.


July: Boston

Domestic: Boston

You can save about $120 per night on your hotel in Boston if you come for Fourth of July instead of Columbus Day—and the weather will be far better, too. The city is in the midst of a tremendous culinary reawakening, so be sure to plan your reservations in advance (we recommend RibelleBranch Line, and Flour for breakfast pastries and sticky buns).


August: New York City

Domestic: New York City

Double check that your hotel is well air-conditioned—New York City summers can be stifling. But they’re a great excuse to hit trendy juice bars (we love Joe and the Juice in Soho) and take advantage of summer events, like outdoor New York Philharmonic concerts and Shakespeare in the Park, which are totally free to attend. Stay in the last week of the month for the deepest discounts on accommodations.


September: Orlando

Domestic: Orlando

Once school’s in session, Disney prices hit their rock bottom lows—no surprise. Plan a long weekend away and you’ll save 40 percent on high season hotel prices (think $130 a night for decent rooms). The shorter lines at the parks are icing on the cake.



October: New Orleans

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Domestic: New Orleans

How does NoLa for Halloween sound? Pretty good, when you consider that the last week of the month is the cheapest time of year to visit. Hotel rates plummet to $202 on average per night—a whopping 34 percent less than the week of Mardi Gras,’s study found.



November: San Francisco

Domestic: San Francisco

The week before Thanksgiving is the cheapest for hotels in the Golden Gate City, says—the average rates are $202 per night, representing a massive savings of more than 50 percent. Plus, you might catch the tail end of crush season if you head up to wine country for a day.




December: Las Vegas

Domestic: Las Vegas

There’s no bigger, bolder way to celebrate the holidays than with a trip to Vegas, and if you’re lucky, you might even win it big at the tables and subsidize your shopping list. Do it all while enjoying the year’s lowest hotel rates—with an average of $84, they’re up to 60 percent off—which you’ll find on the third week of the month.