JOPLIN, Mo. — Want to see the country but not pay an arm and a leg to stay somewhere? Then there’s no time like the present.

It might be worth your while to visit more than just relatives this time of year. Why? Because on average, you’ll be paying less for a hotel room.

Once the thermometer drops, Jina Scott, General Manager of the Townplace Suites by Marriott in Joplin, says so does the cost of hotel rooms.

“We have what you call peak times and non-peak times so usually summertime we have more travelers so rates are usually higher,” said Scott.

In fact, according to Hotels.com, the absolute lowest hotel room rates occur between December 15th through the 20th and from January 3rd through the 8th, saving as much as 50 to $100 per night compared to summer months.

“It’s a very good time to travel. This is usually the time we try to travel, our team members travel as well,” Scott added.

And there are other advantages to hitting the open road this time of year.

“The cool thing about traveling this time of year is you’re not competing with everybody else, if you’re trying to avoid large groups because of flu, COVID, whatever, this is a good time of year to go see things,” said Patrick Tuttle, Director, Joplin Convention & Visitor’s Bureau.

During those peak travel times that coincide with warm weather, Scott says you absolutely should make room accommodation plans in advance, but with fewer travelers on the road this time of year, she says that’s not always a must.