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Now that you know how far in advance you can book airfare across carriers, the next thing you need for your perfect vacation is somewhere to stay. But when can you start looking?
Let’s examine the booking policies of the top hotel brands in the US, as well as some other options.
Rewards program: Nothing official, though you may be able to earn airline miles for your stays through promotions.
How early you can book: Technically, there’s no limit to how far in advance you can book via Airbnb.
There are currently some 2.5 million Airbnb listings available, and you can make bookings beyond 2025. In fact, we actually couldn’t find a date without availability. Just beware that if you do book that far in advance, your reservation would likely get canceled in the event that the host moves before your vacation eight years from now.
Rewards program: Best Western Rewards
How early you can book: 350 days
Best Western has 10 different brands, each with its own vibe. You can book any of its properties up to 350 days in advance using cash or points.
Rewards program: Choice Privileges
How early you can book: 350 days using cash, 30-100 days using rewards
Choice Hotels may not have the most luxurious 11 brands, but you can be sure that there’s a property in a town near you. As with Best Western, you can book up to 350 days in advance if you’re paying in dollars. But if you’re using your Choice Privileges Rewards, you can only book 30 days out, though elite members can book awards further out — up to 100 days in advance for Diamond members.
Rewards program: Club Carlson
How early you can book: Three years using cash, 270 days using rewards
Club Carlson has seven different brands under its umbrella. It allows you to book hotels using cash an astounding 1,095 days, or exactly three years, in advance! When using your points, though, you can only book up to 270 days in advance.
Rewards program: Hilton Honors
How early you can book: One year
Hilton Hotels has more than 5,000 hotels in more than 100 countries spread out over 14 different brands. You can book up to 365 days in advance using points or dollars. Be sure to check the expiration date on any free-night certificates, as they’re only good for one year regardless of when you book the room.
Rewards program: World of Hyatt
How early you can book: 395 days
Hyatt Hotels has 11 different brands. It operates almost 700 hotels in 56 countries. You can book award and cash reservations up to 395 days in advance.
InterContinental Hotels Group
Rewards program: IHG Rewards Club
How early you can book: 350 days for non-Kimpton hotels, 355 for Kimpton properties
IHG has 13 different brands with more than 742,000 rooms spread out over 5,000 hotels in 100 countries. It allows bookings up to 350 days in advance regardless of whether you’re using points or dollars. You cannot use your IHG Club Points for stays at Kimpton properties, or vice versa, though the two programs are merging in early 2018, and at that point you’ll be able to book Kimpton hotels with IHG points. If you do want to book a Kimpton hotel, you can book directly through Kimpton.com. It accepts bookings using points or cash up to 355 days in advance.
How early you can book: 50 weeks
Marriott is the largest hotel chain in the world when you count both the Marriott and Starwood brands. It operates over 6,000 properties with over 1.1 million hotel rooms, and over 30 different brands to suit anyone’s needs. You can currently book pre-merger Marriott hotel rooms 50 weeks in advance using points or cash. Starwood hotels can be booked further out (see below).
Omni Hotels & Resorts
Rewards program: Select Guest
How early you can book: 13 months
Although Omni isn’t the biggest brand, it does offer some of the nicer rooms I’ve personally stayed in. Omni Hotels allows you to book up to 13 months in advance, using either points or dollars.
Rewards program: Starwood Preferred Guest
How early you can book: 550 days, for now.
You can currently book a room at one of the 11 Starwood brands up to 550 days in advance using points or dollars. (Please note that some hotels don’t load their availability online that far in advance, but you can call them to request it.) Expect that to change once the Starwood and Marriott loyalty programs merge.
Wyndham Hotels and Resorts
Rewards program: Wyndham Rewards
How early you can book: 364 days
Wyndham operates 32 different brands, from the bottom-of-the-bucket Super 8 to the rather pleasant Wyndham Grand. You can book its properties up to 364 days in advance using Wyndham Rewards points or USD.
In most cases, you can book your hotel room further in advance than you can reserve your airfare reservation. The caveat is that the best deals typically can be found from third-party booking sites like Hotwire.com two to seven days before you travel. If you’re like me, though, and don’t like waiting until the last minute, booking a year out rather than a month out can save you anxiety, hassle and a little bit of money
Featured image courtesy of the Conrad Maldives.
With some great bonus categories, the American Express Gold Card has a lot going for it. The card offers 4x points at US restaurants, at US supermarkets (up to $25,000; then 1x), and 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or through amextravel.com. It is currently offering a welcome bonus of 35,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 in the first three months.
- Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.
- Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. restaurants. Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X).
- Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
- Earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with The Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Shake Shack, and Ruth's Chris Steak House. This is an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
- $100 Airline Fee Credit: up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.
- Choose to carry a balance with interest on eligible charges of $100 or more.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- Annual Fee is $250.
- Terms apply.
- See Rates & Fees