Hotel prices in countries across Europe are surging to record high levels as demand for travel within the continent soars past pre-pandemic numbers.
Studies have revealed that the prices of hotels across the continent are higher than they were before 2020 – further compounding the misery of travelers during a time when it’s also extremely expensive just to purchase flights to Europe in the first place, throwing into doubt the summer travel plans of travelers around the world.
Yet whilst hotels on the continent may be reaching new highs when it comes to cost, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t tactics travelers can employ to save a few dollars on their vacation accommodation. Here’s a look at the study that has shown the spiraling costs of hotels in Europe, plus some practical tips on how travelers can look to save when it comes to finding their dream hotels.
Hotel Prices Hit New Heights – What Travelers Should Know
The study into the prices of hotels across Europe was carried out by STR, a company that provides market data on the hotel industry around the world, tracking almost 70,000 hotels across 180 countries. According to STR, the average daily rates (ADR) for hotels across the continent are now 6% higher on average than they were prior to the pandemic, suggesting hotels are keen to make up for lost business over the last two years.
For some destinations, the ADR is considerably higher than the general average. Hotel rooms in Ireland are currently 21% higher than they were in May 2019 – the highest increase of any of the countries on the continent. Taking second place Portugal, where the ADR is 18% higher than this time last year, whilst Spain is in third place, with the ADR 14% higher than May 2019 – a difference that travelers are certain to notice with their wallets, if not their eyes.
Yet due to the demand for travel being so high at present after years of restrictions and strict entry requirements, it seems travelers are willing to pay such fees. Despite Irish hotels facing the biggest ADR increase, they also boast the third-highest room occupancy levels on the continent, with an impressive 84%. The country with the highest occupancy rate is Poland, with 93%, whilst the UK is in second place with an occupancy rate of 89%.
However, it’s fair to say that not every traveler will be so keen to pay such inflated prices – particularly with the cost of flight tickets also reaching new highs over the past few weeks. Travelers reluctant to pay over the odds for hotel rooms should consider trips to Germany and Austria, where the ADR of hotel rooms are still 6% and 9% lower than the figures recorded in May 2019.
Regardless of the destination, there are some sage pieces of advice that travelers can follow to ensure they’re not being fleeced when it comes to finding a place to stay.
After visiting the usual comparison sites and finding a place to stay, don’t be afraid to send an email or reach out to the hotel on social media and ask them if they can beat the price, or match it with some extras thrown in. Hotels will be keen to take bookings directly after missing out for so long due to the pandemic, and besides – who doesn’t love free WiFi or a complimentary breakfast?
Also keep in mind that the search doesn’t need to end with booking the room; if your reservation has a free cancelation policy, keep an eye out for the same dates as the trip gets closer and exercise the free cancelation right if you find it cheaper. Many hotels still offer good, no-fee cancelation policies that were brought in during the pandemic. Finding bargains is about being proactive and staying vigilant, even if your F5 key ends up being worn out as a result.
If the usual tips such as last-minute bookings, promotion hunting, and being ultra-flexible are driving you up the wall, why not avoid hotels altogether? For active travelers who see their rooms as merely a place to sleep, a hostel may be a better choice. Not a fan of hotel breakfasts? Book a micro AirBnB by a cute pâtisserie and head there instead. Travel has changed significantly in 2022, so don’t be afraid to change your habits too.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories