Hotel Bookings on Rome2rio: When, How Long, How Far Ahead?

Published June 28, 2017

Choosing and booking accommodation is an integral part of planning a trip. In 2016, Rome2rio users made over 53,000 bookings with our hotel booking partners. I’ve recently dived into this collection of bookings and explored when users stay, how long they stay for, and how far ahead they book.

Hotels 2016 - Arrivals by Month
Hotels 2016 – Arrivals by Month

The busiest month for hotel arrivals was July, accounting for about 13% of total hotel bookings. The overall trend for hotel stays coincides with the northern hemisphere summer, with a small increase around the end-of-year holiday season.

Hotels 2016 - Stay Length
Hotels 2016 – Stay Length

Bookings are most commonly for a single night. This accounts for 41% of total bookings. 4% of bookings are for day-use of a room, with arrival and departure on the same date.

Hotels 2016 - Arrival Day of Week
Hotels 2016 – Arrival Day of Week

Bookings are slightly more likely to start on a Friday, accounting for 18% of bookings. Arrivals on Sunday through Wednesday see about 13% of bookings on average.

Hotels 2016 - Time between Booking and Arrival
Hotels 2016 – Time between Booking and Arrival

Almost half (44%) of bookings are made for arrivals between one month and one year from the date of booking. A tiny number of bookings (less than 0.5%) are made more than a year in advance. At the other end of the scale, 11% of bookings are made for arrival on the same day, and a total of 28% are for arrival in the same week.

Hotels 2016 - Time between Booking and Arrival by Platform
Hotels 2016 – Time between Booking and Arrival by Platform

How far in advance a booking is made varies greatly by the class of device used to book. Desktop bookings happen further in advance; 50% are for stays more than a month away, and only 22% are for stays within a week. Mobile bookings have a shorter time frame; 27% are for stays more than a month away, and only 49% are for stays within a week. Tablet sits somewhere in between, with more short-term bookings than Desktop and more long-term bookings than Mobile.

Hotels 2016 - Time between Booking and Arrival by Month
Hotels 2016 – Time between Booking and Arrival by Month

Finally, how far ahead people plan varies throughout the year. Same-day bookings peak in July-August and again in December. In January, 58% of stays are booked a month in advance. In August, this number is only 35%.

Taking the occasional deeper dive into our hotels data helps us gain a better sense of how Rome2rio fits into to travel planning as a whole. Sometimes, it helps us realize that those of us developing Rome2rio don’t necessarily represent the broader user base! Understanding these differences helps us make decisions about how Rome2rio works and what features to improve next.

Written by
Data Science Lead
Rome2rio, based in Melbourne, Australia, is organising the world’s transport information. We offer a multi-modal, door-to-door travel search engine that returns itineraries for air, train, coach, ferry, mass transit and driving options to and from any location. Discover the possibilities at rome2rio.com