After Midnight Hotel Room Booking: The Dos and Don’ts

  • By: pdstamp
  • Date: January 15, 2023

One of the things that makes travel so unpredictable is there will always be things that don’t go according to plan–like flights that get delayed for hours or hotel bookings that you thought were good but got canceled at the last minute. In such cases, you often struggle to find new accommodations at impossible hours. 

Most hotels won’t let you book a hotel after midnight unless you’re booking it for the following day or later. So, you’ll likely be unable to make a booking through online channels. However, you may be able to get a room by calling the hotel directly and asking if they have unbooked rooms.

Mishaps happen when traveling all the time. You may be in a situation where you either find a room ASAP or sleep at the airport. Read on to find out how to get out of these sticky situations.

Can You Book a Hotel After Midnight?

It’s usually not possible to book a hotel after midnight for the same night. The date automatically changes to the next day by midnight, which means that all online channels or hotel booking apps will no longer allow you to make a booking for the same night.

To avoid the hassle of looking for a room at the last minute, make arrangements at least a day in advance since most hotels only accommodate reservations at least one day ahead. In fact, some hotels even require guests to request changes to their reservations three to four days early. To ensure you’re covered, check hotel policies first and go from there.

Making reservations ahead (as in weeks ahead) may also avail you of discounts and promos, while booking rooms at the last minute may cost more, especially during peak tourist seasons and holidays.

Ways To Get a Room After Midnight

If you’re in a pinch, it may not be possible to make hotel arrangements in advance, which means that if you try to reserve a room after midnight, the earliest you can stay is in the morning of the next day. 

But who wants to sleep in the airport or in the car for the night? Thankfully, while hotels usually do not accommodate reservations after midnight for the same night, there are ways around it so that you can still get a room when you need one.

Here are three ways you can get a room after midnight.

Check Hourly Hotels

Most hotels, especially four to five-star ones, have strict policies around bookings and reservations requiring guests to arrange a room at least one day in advance. So what do you do if you’re really in a jam?

Fortunately, you may be able to find a few lower-star hotels or motels that allow guests to book rooms any time of the day. Your best bet is to start with hotels that offer hour-by-hour rentals.

They’re also cheaper if you want to save a few bucks. Most of us don’t need to stay in the hotel for the whole day anyway and only need a place to rest our heads.

Call Hotels To Ask for Unbooked Rooms

Another option is to call your preferred hotel and ask for any unbooked rooms for the night. You won’t be able to book unbooked rooms for the same day or night via their website or booking apps, but you can do so by calling the hotel directly.

The biggest upside to doing this? Unbooked rooms are often given at a discount rate when you book on the same day. As a matter of fact, booking hotel rooms at the last minute could even save you about $30 per night! It’s a win-win situation.

Look for Hotels That Accept Walk-Ins

Your last option is to look for hotels that accept walk-in guests. Hotels that accept walk-ins are usually much cheaper, which works great if you’re looking to save money. However, very few hotels accept walk-ins, so make sure to call the hotel before actually going to avoid wasting your time.

Do Hotel Prices Drop at Midnight?

Hotel prices often drop at midnight, so booking a room at the last minute could save you lots of money. However, you can’t guarantee that you will be able to get the room that you like or even any room at all, especially if you try to book during peak seasons like holidays.

If you are on a tight schedule, it’s always better to arrange for rooms in advance.

Can You Book a Hotel Room by Just Walking in and Asking?

Some hotels will allow you to book a room just by walking in and asking. However, most require reservations to be made at least one day in advance. Still, some will allow walk-in reservations if they have available or unbooked rooms when you come in. 

Some people prefer booking at the last minute because hotels offer discounts for last-minute reservations.

Can I Still Check Into a Hotel at 2 AM?

It’s possible to check into a hotel at 2 am or later, given that you called the hotel to inform them that you will be checking in late. Most hotels mention whether they allow late or early check-ins on their websites.

However, note that unless the hotel charges by the hour, you may be charged for another full day of stay if you choose to extend your stay beyond your designated check-out time.

What Time Will My Check-In Reservation Be Held Until if I’m Late?

Most large hotel chains will allow you to check in as late as 12 midnight without you calling in beforehand to inform them of your plans to check in late. But since policies vary among hotels, the safest option is always to call the hotel to let them know that you’ll be checking in late.


Always arrange for accommodations in advance to avoid hassles when booking a room. But if you’re into a bit of spontaneity while looking to save a few bucks, you can also check in late and enjoy last-minute discounts.