If you head over to Orbitz Labs, they have a new (?) feature that gives you an idea what to expect for seasonal an weekly rates at hotels in a given city. It’s basically a Hotel Rate Heatmap. This tool can help you budget for an upcoming trip or even plan a trip around low season. I especially love to travel places during low season because the prices are better and it is less crowded, and this is a pretty easy way to quickly find out when low season it (although it is still important to check the implications of traveling during low-season, such as whether and if things you are interested in will still be open).
Below is a sample Orbitz Heatmap for Phuket, Thailand, one of the places on my travel calendar in 2014. All of the dates are color coded to indicate the approximate pricing. I’m planning on going in May, which is a month that has a lot of light green (in 2013), so I would expect prices to be in a similar range this year.
You can also start to see yearly trends – there was a lot of dark green in 2012 and less dark green but still plenty of light green in 2013, Phuket is becoming a more popular tourist destination, and that is supported by this data.