Early Booking vs Last Minute Discounts (which is best?)

Early Booking vs Last Minute Discounts (which is best?)
Hey guys, it's Dana and it's time to talk about money,and in this article I wanted to talk about whether or not it's better to book early or to do last-minute reservations. Which one saves you more money? Okay, so I'm a planner. I really do like to pre-plan,but every once in a while I go crazy and I try to be spontaneous, and this is the week of July 4th,and I had it in my head that, hey,maybe we should do something 4th of July,maybe we should try to go
somewhere for one night or go somewhere with fireworks,and I have always wanted to take the kids to Jelly stone Yogi Bear Camp ground.

They're not sponsoring this article. I wish they were, but they're not,and it's just a place I've wanted to go, take the kids,I thought that they would really enjoy it there,and there's one in the Adirondacks which I would love to go to,but that's like a six-hour drive, five-hour drive for us,and then there's one that's out in Lancaster,sort of Pennsylvania Amish country, and so I thought,well, hey, that one's not too far away.

Maybe we could try and go to that one!So I went onto their website and I was looking around,and I was very pleased to see that, normally,they have a three-night minimum stay over holiday or peak season, peak dates or whatever,and they waive that if you reserve the week of. So then you can do just a one-night stay,which I was like,♪ Ahh ♪That's so much better, cheaper,more affordable way for us to go than to do three nights.

One night, obviously, it's a lot less money!And then, so I called on the phone to talk about,they had some kind of lock fee, where you have to,in order to lock your particular cabin site or campsite into that site that you've selected,you have to pay a $30 fee to lock it,and they told me that they would waive that fee,and we wouldn't have to pay that.

They had just four cabins left or something,and I could pick which cabin we wanted and then they would waive that fee. So that was a savings, which I was really excited about. So in this case, it is cheaper to call the week of, last-minute,because I'm getting that lock fee waived,and I can stay one night,we don't have to stay the three-night minimum stay that they usually make you stay.

So a lot of times with hotels,if you go on last-minute and if you have that flexibility,if you're able to go last-minute like that,I think you can get some really good deals on hotel rooms,because they have cancellations or they just have open rooms and they wanna book them,they wanna have all the rooms full if possible,so I think a lot of times they might drop the price of the room,or like I said, if there's cancellations,they just wanna get people in there to fill the rooms.

I think possibly cruise ships, I've heard from people that this is the same with cruise ships,that they wanna get the rooms filled last,so if you call last-minute, the week of. But typically, I think that between four months and three weeks of the date you're going somewhere,that's not the best time to reserve your hotel or your flight.

I think it either has to be before four months,way before, if you can do it. We usually like to do a year in advance,or if you can do less than three weeks, like week of. Those are the times, those are the two time frames that I think you're gonna save the most money.
Otherwise, you're probably not. It's probably gonna be higher rates if you're booking like three months in advance. I think that that's not, you're not gonna get a good deal. So either really far in advance, when you know you wanna go,you lock in your room, your rate, your flight early. If you can do eight months in advance, a year in advance,that's gonna be the cheapest price, most likely, for you,versus the in-between range, like I said.

And that four-month to three-week range,I got that from cheapair.com. They said that flights are usually not going to get cheaper within that time frame. They said that flights become more expensive four months to three weeks before your departure date. Now, like I said, I always really like to book as far in advance as I can. Also for budgeting reasons,I think if you've got some extra cash laying around and you're able to use it,but I do think that if you can pre plan stuff,it's gonna really help you. I like to look forward to my trip too.

That's part of the fun is looking forward to it and planning out where we're gonna go,what we're gonna eat, all those things. If we're going camping, we go camping every summer at a campground, and I book that as soon as I can book it,11 months for state campgrounds,11 months in advance is when I book it. I like to be able to pick out the perfect site. When you're booking last-minute,usually you don't get to really have a lot of choice as far as which room you get, which campsite you get,which cabin you get.

You basically are at the mercy of what's available,and a lot of times you might be getting rooms that people don't want, there's a reason it's not booked,and so it's lesser quality, perhaps. So in my personal opinion, I feel like we save the most by booking early, and then I feel like when we're there,when we're at the campground that we stay at,I feel like the campsite we're in, I've researched it, 'cause I really research campgrounds,campsites, I watch YouTube videos,I try to find as many reviews,people who do campsite tours of the different sites. I like to see what the site is facing,is it next to a road, all those things,so I like being able to pick out what I think is going to be the best site,the best hotel room, whatever it may be,and so part of the fun of that is, part of the trip,the fun for me is all that planning.

But last-minute can be fun too, like I said,if it's the week of, especially, you can stay less time,like in the case of Jellystone,you can stay just one night instead of three,which is really good, or maybe it's a place you wouldn't be able to afford otherwise,'cause you can't stay three nights because of the price,it's maybe more of a high-end place,like Jellystone, is much more high-end than what we usually stay at for a campground,just 'cause of the activities and everything they have,and the cabin has a bathroom, like whoa!And so maybe it's a place you can't usually stay for more,you wouldn't be able to afford it if you had to stay three or four nights,and so if you do it last-minute,they might let you go for the one night,that way you get to go and experience it,have a taste of it, enjoy it a little bit without spending all the money, right?Okay, so guys, if you have any advice,if you have found a great deal three weeks before you went somewhere and I'm wrong about that, or a month before,please leave it down below in the comments.

I like to hear everything that you have to say'cause you have so much to share,so thank you for those of you who do that every week,and who are here watching me, I really appreciate it. And that's it, I'll talk to you guys next week. All right, bye guys.