Is It Better To Book Airbnb Early Or Late?

In the dynamic world of travel planning, the question of when to book accommodation, especially on platforms like Airbnb, often arises. With fluctuating prices, seasonal demands, and the unique nature of individual listings, travelers are left pondering: Is it wiser to book early and secure a spot or wait for potential last-minute deals? 

This article delves into the pros and cons of both approaches, aiming to provide clarity for your next Airbnb booking decision.

Is It Better To Book Airbnb Early Or Late?

Whether it’s better to book an Airbnb early or late depends on various factors, including your travel preferences, flexibility, destination, and the time of year. Here are the pros and cons of both approaches:

Booking Early:


  • Wider Selection: Booking in advance gives you a broader range of options, especially in popular destinations or during peak seasons.
  • Better Prices: Some hosts offer “early bird” discounts for guests who book well in advance.
  • Planning: Knowing where you’re staying can help you plan other aspects of your trip, such as transportation, tours, and activities.
  • Peace of Mind: Booking early can reduce stress, especially if you’re traveling with a group or family and need specific accommodations.


  • Less Flexibility: If your plans change, you might face cancellation fees or lose your booking amount, depending on the host’s cancellation policy.
  • Potential for Better Deals Later: Sometimes, prices might drop closer to the date if hosts haven’t filled their calendars.

Booking Late:


  • Last-Minute Discounts: Hosts eager to fill unbooked dates might offer significant discounts to attract last-minute travelers.
  • Flexibility: If you’re unsure of your travel dates or destination, booking late gives you more flexibility.
  • Recent Reviews: Booking closer to your travel date allows you to see the most recent reviews, which might provide a clearer picture of the property’s current condition.


  • Limited Choices: Popular listings might be booked up, leaving you with fewer options.
  • Price Surge: In high-demand areas or during peak seasons, prices might increase as availability decreases.
  • Potential Stress: Waiting until the last minute can be stressful, especially if you can’t find a suitable place within your budget.

If you’re traveling to a popular destination during its peak season, have specific requirements, or are traveling with a group, it’s generally better to book early. On the other hand, if you’re flexible about where you stay, are traveling solo or as a couple, and are looking for potential discounts, booking late might work in your favor. 

Always consider the specific circumstances of your trip and weigh the pros and cons before making a decision.

Do Airbnb Prices Go Down Closer To The Date?

Airbnb prices can fluctuate based on demand, season, and host preferences. While some hosts might lower their prices as the date approaches to fill any unbooked dates, others might keep prices consistent or even raise them for last-minute bookings. 

Factors like location, local events, and overall demand play a role. Using Airbnb’s “flexible dates” search feature can help identify price trends. However, waiting for a potential price drop carries the risk of losing the desired listing to another guest.

Do Airbnb Hosts Drop Prices Last Minute?

Yes, some Airbnb hosts drop prices at the last minute to maximize occupancy and reduce the chances of having unbooked nights. This strategy is especially common in areas with high competition or during off-peak seasons. Hosts can use Airbnb’s “Smart Pricing” tool, which automatically adjusts prices based on demand, local events, and other factors. 

However, not all hosts opt for last-minute discounts, and some might maintain or even increase their prices. It’s a balance between attracting bookings and optimizing revenue.

How To Get Cheaper Rates On Airbnb?

To secure cheaper rates on Airbnb:

  • Flexible Dates: Use the “flexible dates” feature to find cheaper days.
  • Book in Advance: Some hosts offer early bird discounts.
  • Longer Stays: Many listings provide weekly or monthly discounts.
  • Negotiate: Politely message hosts to inquire about possible discounts.
  • Off-Peak Travel: Book during non-tourist seasons or weekdays.
  • Filter by Price: Adjust search settings to show listings within your budget.
  • Check New Listings: New hosts might offer lower prices to attract initial reviews.
  • Avoid Tourist Hotspots: Opt for locations slightly away from main attractions.

Bottom Line

Whether to book an Airbnb early or late largely depends on individual preferences, travel flexibility, and the nature of the trip. Booking early often ensures a wider selection of listings, especially in popular destinations or during peak seasons, giving travelers the luxury of choice. 

On the other hand, last-minute bookings might yield discounts but come with the risk of limited availability. Booking early is advisable for those with a specific accommodation in mind or traveling during high-demand periods. 

However, if you’re open to adventure and flexible with your stay, waiting might land you a great deal. Always weigh the benefits of security against potential savings to make an informed decision.

Also read: When Is The Best Time To Book A Hotel Room?

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