Are you booking too far in advance?
airbnb glass cabin

A new report by NerdWallet answers the question nearly every traveler has asked: When is the best time to book an Airbnb?

To find this out, the company analyzed booking data across hundreds of properties in 10 cities and compared costs when booking in advance versus booking right before a trip. 

The three booking time frames considered were three days, four weeks, or 47 weeks in advance. In a somewhat surprising result, NerdWallet’s data ultimately shows that it is best to take the middle road and book your stay about four weeks in advance. 

While many hotels and airlines often compete for business by offering deals and discounts to travelers, Airbnb doesn’t have to do the same. This is primarily because Airbnb controls its own search tool, meaning that it doesn’t have as much incentive to offer last-minute deals. 

Of course, this data might only be relevant for short trips. Things like extended stays, seasonality, amenities, and days of the week you book can all drive prices up drastically. 

Another thing to keep in mind is that hosts often use dynamic pricing, meaning that they will allow Airbnb to automatically change their stay prices based on demand. For guests, it’s most beneficial to book a property that has static pricing, meaning that they keep weekday and weekend rates the same.

While the findings apply to nearly all travelers, flexible groups including digital nomads should look to book their stays farther in advance while there is more availability and hosts that are willing to offer extended stay discounts.

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