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Hotel bookings data reveals August – not July – is the best month for mid-year holidays, when crowds and prices are down

August 2, 2017 OTA News No Comments Email Email

If you’ve missed out on a chillaxing holiday in July to rejuvenate after EOFY, don’t worry, because August and September are the cheapest months for retreats, and could have you chilling with even more in your back pocket than if you had travelled in July.

Hotel price data from Australia’s largest hotel price aggregator, HotelsCombined (, has shown that there is a significant drop in room rates for retreats in August and September, with the lowest average room rate per night recorded as being $173.86.

The average rate per night for retreat accommodation drops from $196.44 in July to $184.15 in August. Prices drop by a further $10.29 – on average – in September, to an average of $173.86 and start to increase from October, jumping to an average rate of $201 per night. Prices are still high in November, at $199, before dropping again in December and January again to an average rate of $162 per night.

According to booking data from the platform, July is the most popular month for retreat-type escapes – this includes all accommodation classified as being a retreat. In fact, 33 per cent of bookings made by Australians to domestic and international retreats through HotelsCombined were made in July, January and February.

Year after year, July has been one of the busiest months of the year to travel. Outside of retreats, it is the most popular month of year for chalet bookings (12% of chalet bookings made by Australians across the year through HotelsCombined) and campsite bookings (10%), and the second most popular booking month for resorts and motels after January, (at 9% and 10% of total year’s bookings for resorts and motels respectively).

Unsurprisingly, the data also revealed that November and December are when we are least likely to go on retreats, given the busy end-of-year periods. January is the month we are most likely to go on a retreat, with this month receiving the highest number of bookings by Aussie travellers; it is also an affordable time to do so.

It’s no wonder we are feeling in need of a holiday by July, with a recent survey by HotelsCombined revealing that 53.2 per cent of Aussies believe their holidays are getting longer and less frequent. Similarly, recent research reveals more than half of Australian workers have failed to use up all the entitled leave in the past 12 months.

Given Australians overspent by more than $900 million on international travel last year[2], and Australian millennials and baby boomersspend an estimated $11.3 billion and $9.8 billion respectively on overseas travel per year[3], it makes sense that we should be selecting more affordable months of the year to travel.

Chris Rivett, Head of Marketing at HotelsCombined Australia and New Zealand says: “With EOFY being one of the most stressful periods of the year, it’s no wonder Aussies are choosing to opt for a mid-year getaway, making July a peak holiday period. With their peaceful settings, relaxing pace, and healthy meal and exercise offerings, it’s no wonder retreats are regarded as the perfect antidote to our overworked culture. If you can hold out a month longer, retreats tend to be quieter in August, making it easier for travellers to recharge and providing a more affordable option.”

HotelsCombined’s ranking of booking volumes and average prices for retreats 

Month Ranking (volume of bookings) Average price/night
January 1 $162
July 1 $196
February 2 $166
March 3 $173
October 4 $201
August 5 $184
September 6 $174
April 7 $202
May 8 $184
June 9 $180
December 10 $162
November 11 $199

HotelsCombined’s top 5 retreats:

  1. Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort and Spa (Katoomba, Australia), from $319 per night. This modern resort features a restaurant, indoor pool, outdoor tennis courts and sauna, to ensure an enjoyable stay.
  2. Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge (Tasmania, Australia), from $280 per night). Features free Wi-Fi, as well as a Jacuzzi and a sauna. It is the perfect base for those wanting to immerse themselves in nature, with Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park just steps away.
  3. Lake House (Daylesford, Australia), from $565 per night. With an in-house restaurant, coffee bar, sauna and outdoor pool, the Lake House provides a comfortable setting.
  4. The Chillhouse Retreats Bali (Bali), from $165 per night. Situated in the scenic parkland of Canggu, this retreat offers comfortable accommodation and a full range of facilities, such as bicycle rental, a concierge and babysitting/child services.
  5. Thanyapura Health & Sports Resort (Phuket, Thailand), from $113 per night. Featuring a gym, golf course, beauty centre, outdoor pool and supervised child care/activities, the retreat is the perfect getaway for families.

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