Making hotel reservations for tours while planning your tours is one way to make sure you get the rooms you need, when you need them.
It’s only June, but I’ll bet you have gigs booked for the fall. Do you also have your hotel reservations made for those tours?
Here are some tips to help you get your hotel reservations on the nights you need, during your upcoming tours. These ideas will be useful no matter when you tour. And even though they may fall into the common sense category, you may be as surprised as I was to know that most artists don’t think about hotel reservations until they begin advancing the tour or the gig. Making hotel reservations for tours during the planning phase is a necessary habit to develop.
Here are four things you need to consider while you’re booking your tour, way before you get ready to hit the road.
- Is this area known for any special seasonal events?
A perfect example would be autumn in New England. People flock to this region of the U.S. during “Leaf Peeping Season”, as it is known.
Now, if you tour New England in the fall, you may run into crowds looking for hotel rooms throughout that region from September through October.
You’ll find similar situations during peak season in any foreign country as well. Depending on where you play, the competition for rooms and the price of the room may be at a premium.
- Are you playing in a college town?
Even if your gig is not on the college campus, hotel rooms may be in great demand during certain times of the year based on college events. The few I can think of are:
- Homecoming weekend
- Home games for football and basketball
- Graduation weekend or
- Major concert events
- Are you playing in a resort area?
Depending on whether the area has a seasonal tourist crowd, hotel room competition may be stiff or non-existent with plenty of deals for the asking. Some examples are :
- Ski resorts
- Senior retirement areas such as Florida and Arizona
- Areas with theme Parks like Orlando, FL or San Diego, CA
- National Parks during the summer
- Is the gig occurring during the time of a major event?
Now you may not follow certain sports, and ignorance in many cases is not necessarily bliss—so you may be unaware that the gig you booked near Indianapolis, IN falls during the week of the Indy 500. And although the potential for a great bar gig may be directly related to greater late night crowds, I will tell you from experience that you will not find a hotel room for nearly 50 miles surrounding that city if you haven’t booked the room way in advance. T and online courseshe people that do follow a recurring or special event have booked their rooms when they checked out last year.
Again, this will be true for certain cities during spring break in Florida for example or Superbowl weekend in whatever city that year’s game is being held.
So to stay ahead of the crowds when making hotel reservations for tours, here are five questions you need to ask the booking person when you’ve confirmed your gig if they haven’t included hotel in your contract.
- Do they have any special deals set up with nearby hotels?
- Will they book your rooms for you to get their special deal, now?
- Are there any regularly occurring events in town around the time of your gig that might make it difficult to book hotel rooms for that night?
- Are there any special events occurring that you should be aware of?
- Can they recommend any hotels between their town and the next town on your tour route?
If circumstances are such that it makes sense to get out of town right after your gig and travel part way to the next gig for available rooms, having this kind of info may be useful and may save you money.
By knowing what to expect when you book the gig, you can plan your hotel reservations in plenty of time. If the gig is a last minute pick-up date, it would be really useful to know this information so you can work around any potential problems and either beat the crowds or avoid them.
When have you been making hotel reservations for tours? Do you wait for the last minute or book them once the contracts are signed?
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