21

Is there a resource that warns me for (almost) any city / destination when my travel dates coincide with some big event there?

Illustrative example: Say I want to travel to Frankfurt and I'm fairly flexible in my dates. Once a year Frankfurt hosts the international automobile trade fair IAA and during that time most hotels in the city are booked up, even hostel bed prices triple well beyond EUR60 a night and you can figure 1-2 hours to wait for a dinner table if you did not book days in advance. Since I am flexible I would like to avoid this hassle and travel another time, so I want to know, what are the times to avoid?

Now for Frankfurt I do know this and could look up the dates of the IAA and avoid those, but then there are thousands of other small or big conferences or trade fairs in Frankfurt every year and I don't know how for every single event how big of an impact it has. And in fact I am looking for a resource that could tell me for any city which are the dates to avoid, i.e. not only trade fairs in Frankfurt but also say Oktoberfest time in Munich. These are all examples I know to avoid, but I seek similar information for places I am not familiar with.

Some ideas:

  • 3
    Check hotel and flight prices before going to Frankfurt. Too expensive? Go on another week. That's it. – JonathanReez Supports Monica Jul 11 '16 at 8:15
  • No problem with going another week, but I would like to have a sort of calendar indicating the dates to avoid. @JonathanReez – mts Jul 11 '16 at 8:16
  • 2
    Maybe look for a website advertising all the exciting things happening in the city ... which you actually want to avoid. – Andrew Grimm Jul 11 '16 at 9:26
  • 1
    its a good question! – Fattie Jul 11 '16 at 12:42
  • 4
    A website listing events might still miss things like big conventions that aren't generally of public interest. For example, hotels in San Francisco will become quite hard to find and expensive during the Salesforce Dreamforce conference, but that conference wouldn't generally be listed on a events website. Nor is it easy to tell whether an event will impact hotel prices: the Boston Marathon does, as it attracts thousands from all over the world, while the San Francisco Marathon may not. – Zach Lipton Jul 11 '16 at 19:57
17

Wikitravel/Wikivoyage is the only website I know of that comes close. E.g. for Frankfurt it says the following:

If you intend to stay overnight, you may wish to avoid times when trade fairs are held, as this will make finding affordable accommodation a challenging task. The biggest are the Frankfurt Motor Show (Automobil-Ausstellung) every two years in mid-September (next in 2017 and then in 2019) and the Book Fair (Buchmesse) yearly in mid-October

The page for Barcelona says:

Easter week, as well as Christmas to New Year's Eve are very busy times. If you'd rather avoid the crowds, don't come during those dates. Also, avoid visiting during the Mobile World Congress or the Formule 1 racing, unless you are ready to pay extremely expensive hotel rates.

The page for Munich says:

Be aware that the prices can vary significantly by season. Usually you have to pay higher prices during the summer months of June to August. Finding affordable accommodation might be difficult when there are trade fairs in town. Last but not least there is Oktoberfest - around the festival from mid-September to mid-October accommodation prices tend to triple or quadruple and accommodation owners change their terms of use and payment.

I don't think a global page exists about such events as keeping track of the dates and times would be quite difficult. The best you can get is an approximation.

13

At least for Germany (which you used in your examples), the hotel booking site hrs.de is a good source. You can change your language at the top right if it is not automatically detected. You can enter a longer period, and if a major event falls into this period, you'll get a warning. Unfortunately that won't work if no hotel is found at all for the whole period, but it can still be useful.

For example, if I entered Munich from August 1st to November 1st this year, I'll get the warning "Oktoberfest 9/17/16 - 10/2/16".

Or for Frankfurt (Main), same period, the warning lists "Ecostyle 8/27/16 - 8/30/16 and Automechanika 9/13/16 - 9/17/16".

Unfortunately this does not seem to include any other countries, as my tests for Paris and Geneva indicated.

  • That is a great answer, thank you! +1 and likely to accept when no other answer comes around. Do you know though if this method only works for Germany? I chose German examples because I am familiar with those but ideally an answer would be applicable to other places as well. – mts Jul 11 '16 at 9:45
  • 2
    I checked both Paris for the dates of the Paris Motor Show and Geneva for the Geneva Motor Show and did not get a warning, so I guess their list of major events is only for Germany. – helm Jul 11 '16 at 9:50
  • OK, care to edit that info into your answer? – mts Jul 11 '16 at 9:52
  • The first sentence already indicated that, but I made it a bit clearer still. – helm Jul 11 '16 at 9:54
3

if I use [http://www.booking.com] for example for the next weekend in Paris 14.-16.7. (14.7. Bastille day) I get the following warning:

Paris is a top choice on our site with travelers for your selected dates (59% reserved). Tip: Prices might be higher than usual for the dates you've selected. Why not try again with these alternatives? Jul 12 - Jul 14 From € 35 Jul 13 - Jul 15 From € 36 Jul 14 - Jul 16 From € 33 Jul 15 - Jul 17 € 2 less Jul 16 - Jul 18 € 2 less

So I guess with booking you get warnings if the town is full, but it looks as if they don't give you a reason why.

  • +1 but that gives me a warning for specific dates and I would prefer to have a sort of calendar of these dates ideally. – mts Jul 11 '16 at 12:58
  • 6
    booking.com gives such warnings pretty much all the time. They're tuned towards scaring you into booking now rather than warning you about peak periods. The suggested savings of only €2 show that this isn't a meaningful information. I don't think that 14 July matters that much for hotels in Paris: French people aren't particularly likely to visit Paris at that time (if anything, you'd get fewer business travelers) and foreigners aren't likely to be influenced by 14 July. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Jul 11 '16 at 13:16

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.