You’re probably booking later than you should.

By Nora Horvath
Updated January 19, 2018
Beach Houses on Water
Credit: Denise Taylor/Getty Images

There is so much conflicting advice out there about when to book to get a great deal on a vacation. Are flights cheaper on certain days of the week? Will you score better hotel rates by booking way in advance?

To clear up any confusion, the rental booking site HomeAway released data today that highlights when are the best times of the year to book a vacation home depending on your date of travel. Booking during these optimal times gives renters the most options to choose from while staying within their budget.

According to their survey, the best time to book a summer vacation rental is in January. While this may seem crazy early, especially for people traveling at the end of the summer, HomeAway reports that by April 1, the majority of their summer rentals have been booked up.

The home rental site also released a list of the most in-demand domestic locations for 2018 travel, with Panama City Beach, Florida topping the list, followed by Orange Beach and Gulf Shores, Alabama; Walton County, Florida; San Diego, California; Four Corners, Florida; and Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

Read below for the complete list of the best times to book for every kind of vacation, and see the full data at

Spring Break: Choose a place to stay before January for the biggest selection.

Summer:Book in January. Most summer homes will be full by April 1.

4th of July Weekend: Book by May 1.

Memorial Day Weekend: Booking by March will give travelers the biggest range of home sizes, locations and prices available.

Labor Day Weekend: Book right after the 4th of July to beat the late-summer demand.

Ski season: Renters should start looking in mid-October for the best selection of ski rentals. Half of all ski rentals are booked by December.

Thanksgiving: This is a more last-minute holiday, so renters should book by Oct. 2.

Christmas: Booking three months before your trip will give you the best selection on holiday season rentals.