When Should I Book My Accessible Hotel in Europe?

Note:  Next week, I will be sending out our first Accessible Caribbean Vacations newsletter.  This will be a separate monthly email that focuses on the Caribbean instead of Europe.  You can unsubscribe at any time if you don’t want to hear about the Caribbean…but I think you’ll enjoy learning about some of the awesome accessible experiences we’ve discovered!

When I was planning my own trips before I started Sage Traveling, I always asked myself “How far in advance do I need to book to get an accessible room?”  It wasn’t until I began planning trips over and over again to the same destination that I realized I was asking the wrong question!

Instead, I should have been asking “When do I need to book to get the most affordable and most centrally-located accessible room?” After all, we all want to spend our money and time wisely while still enjoying the most authentic local experiences.

In this newsletter I have included a bunch of numbers and analysis to help answer a very important question:  “When Should I Book My Accessible Hotel Room in Europe?”  If you’re not into the numbers you can take away this key message:

Because of a limited supply of affordable, centrally-located,
accessible hotel rooms in Europe, you should
book your rooms before anyone else books them.
This is usually 20 to 40 weeks before your arrival date.

Accessible Hotel Bedroom

Limited Supply of Accessible Hotel Rooms

There is a limited supply of accessible rooms in many European city centers.  Many city centers like Paris, Rome, Naples, and Istanbul are made up of buildings that are at least 100 years old.  Hotels are housed in these old buildings, and only some of them have been made accessible. You can find accessible hotels located further outside the city, but who wants to spend an hour of your precious vacation time each day commuting from an uninteresting suburb?

Consequently, there is a limited supply of accessible hotel rooms in the tourist areas of European cities…and the best rooms get booked first!

The Busy Season for Accessible European Travel

When thinking about accessible hotel room availability in Europe, the first question that you need to ask is “When is busy season for accessible European travel?”  The following graph is based on our actual 2014 client numbers.

The graph below shows you the distribution of accessible vacations by month.  You can see that the busiest months are May (19% of disabled European tourists choose this month), June (14%), July (12%), and September (15%).

When Do Disabled Travelers Visit Europe

If you are planning on traveling in the most popular months (May, June, July, and September), you will be competing with many other disabled travelers for accessible hotel rooms.  An example of this occurred this year when a client contacted us in April requesting an accessible Paris hotel in June….we checked 30 accessible hotel rooms and all of them had already been booked!

How Far In Advance Should I Book My Accessible Room?

The timing of your hotel booking depends on your goals.  Do you just want any accessible hotel room?  Or do you want the most affordable, most centrally-located hotel room?  I think the second option makes for the most enjoyable vacation.

The graph below shows two lines.  The yellow line shows theAverage Number of Weeks in Advance that we booked accessible hotels.  When you average it out across all months, we typically booked accessible hotel rooms 14 weeks in advance.

But you don’t just want to be average, you want to be at the front of the queue for accessible hotel rooms.  Because once an accessible hotel room is gone, it’s gone!

So the blue line is more important.  It shows the Maximum Number of Weeks in Advance that we booked accessible hotels for each month.  The people that book this far in advance are typically planning the trip of a lifetime, traveling long distances, and have complex trips.  It makes sense doesn’t it?  For example, an Australian making their only trip to Europe may plan their trip one year in advance.  A Londoner traveling to Paris may only plan one month in advance….and be disappointed by their selection of accessible hotels.

If you want the most affordable, most centrally-located accessible hotel, you need to book before these long-term planners.  When you average it out across all months, you need to book 40 weeks in advance to be able to choose from the best accessible hotel options.

How Many Weeks in Advance Are Accessible Rooms Booked

Conclusion

Because of a limited supply of affordable, centrally-located,
accessible hotel rooms in Europe, you should
book your rooms before anyone else books them.
This is usually 20 to 40 weeks before your arrival date.

After years of trip planning experience, I can tell you that European trip planning season ramps up greatly in January.  If you are planning on traveling in May, June, or July and you want to choose from the most centrally located & most affordableaccessible hotel options, you should book your hotel room in December. 

At the latest, you may be able to wait until January and still be able to choose from the best options.  Wait until February and you will be choosing from the second tier of accessible hotel options.  This will cause higher prices and/or more time spent commuting to the tourist attractions.

Want Help?

Don’t have time to do all the hotel accessibility research on your own before January?  Our accessible travel consultants can help.  Donna, Jennifer, and Danielle can book you into a hotel where we have personally inspected accessibility inside and out .  They will make bookings on a first-come, first-served basis, so don’t delay.

 

Travel Wisely,

John Sage, Founder and President of Sage Traveling


Email: john@sagetraveling.com
Phone: US: 1-888-645-7920, UK: +44 20 3540 6155
Web: http://www.sagetraveling.com

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