The biggest dilemma people face when trying to book a holiday is: will they save by booking early or are there better deals available at the last-minute? Here we will help you look at both arguments to enable you find the best option.
If you have a family with children of School age, work in a job with restricted holiday times or have a fixed idea on the type of holiday you want to go on, booking as soon as possible will be your best bet.
Try getting in early to enable you get the pick of the crop and to get the holiday you want before everyone else jumps in and snaps up those valuable seats on the plane. This is especially important for departures during the busy school holiday periods.
However, if you’re just after a relaxing week away in the sun as a pick-me-up or are happy to be inspired by deals currently available, booking late and waiting for a bargain might suit you better.
If you have to travel at a set time or have a specific room or hotel requirement, booking now will mean you won’t have to compromise on your day of departure, or any other element of your break – one perk of booking early is that, you’ll get the best choice of hotel or hotel room type, destinations and holiday length.
If, on the other hand, you are truly flexible in terms of where and when you can travel then leaving it late and playing ‘holiday roulette’ can pay off with some excellent late deals. You are definitely not going to find many last-minute bargains in peak periods, though, so be aware that holiday choices will be limited and last-minute prices tends to rise, not fall – even for package holidays.
Note too that any holiday involving a low-cost or scheduled flight is highly unlikely to ever get cheaper except on an off-peak date to a destination that is not currently popular. In our experience, prices for these trips always go upwards the later you leave it.
Bet you think best offers are always available at the last minute, right? Wrong! Booking early means you can take advantage of early booking discounts such as free or highly discounted child places, free night deals, meal deals, room upgrade deals and single traveller deals– all of which can greatly reduce the total cost of your holiday.
Again, if you’re flexible and purely motivated by price, a last-minute deal might be better for you. Sign up to TravelConzult newsletters to stand the best chance of spotting those killer deals before anyone else.
If you book in advance, always opt for an ATOL-backed package holiday if possible and ensure you buy a decent travel insurance policy as soon as you book not only for peace of mind but to protect your holiday from unforeseen events from now until you return from your break.
Article written by: Riyike Makinde CEO/Travel Consultant – TravelConzult