It’s a situation that most people will have found themselves in when it comes to booking a holiday.
You know when you can get the time off work, you know where you want to go and you have a rough idea of the budget that have to work with.
But when do you actually bit the bullet and make the booking?
On the one hand, there are those who will want to sort the details as soon as possible, looking ahead and trying to ensure that everything is sorted well in advance.
On the other, there are those who will be happy to wait until the last minute before finally deciding to make the booking to get their holiday sorted.
But which is better?
Of course what works for one person might not work for another, but there are various reasons why we’d suggest that booking early is the best way to go.
For a start there is the financial consideration.
Booking early provides the opportunity to benefit from the various deals that are in place when holidays first go on sale, which can include things like free child places for families.
These deals are on a first come, first served basis and when they’re gone, they’re gone….
By booking a holiday early, there is also the obvious fact that you are giving yourself longer to pay and won’t need to find as much in one lump sum as would be the case if you booked your deal at the last minute.
Instead, you can benefit from the low deposits that are available on most package holidays and then either pay off your break in installments or set aside money as you go along ready to pay the final balance – which could be as little as two weeks before you depart.
That’s certainly something that is a lot easier to do when you know there is a dream holiday waiting for you at the other end.
There are still deals to be done on a late booking and we have plenty of cracking offers available ourselves, but as a rule, you are more likely to encounter the best deals by booking early – particularly if you are travelling to a popular destination like Spain.
Prices might also rise over time, particularly on long haul trips, which might mean you paying more for holding on than if you’d booked in advance. There is also that factor of a late deal needing to be paid off in one go – there’ll be no little deposit and paying it off over time when your holiday is just around the corner.
It largely comes down to whether you want to guarantee your price by booking early or take the gamble on things getting cheaper – aware that they could get more expensive…
Whilst price will no doubt be a key factor for many people to consider, you also need to bear in mind availability.
In short, if you know what you want, how much do you actually want it?
Obviously when you choose to book earlier you have a wider range of options when it comes to flights and accommodation, and that will dwindle over time as others make their bookings.
What that means is that those favourable early morning flights might no longer be available if you play the waiting game, or the room with a sea view that you had your eye on might end up being a room overlooking the gardens instead.
The limited availability that comes from hanging on means that you might be left to settle for second best rather than getting what you actually wanted, and you might also find that any deals that are offered by travel companies don’t meet your needs.
In simple terms, the size of the market you are looking at could dwindle a lot over time. If you know what you want, then book early. If you just want a holiday and don’t care too much about the details, then you will be fine with a later deal.
And finally, there is that element of excitement that comes from knowing your holiday in the sun is booked – and that’s something you benefit from more when you’ve booked in advance.
It means that even in the middle of winter when the rain is coming down and it’s getting dark early, you’ll know in the back of your mind that a two week break in the sun is already sorted and waiting for you further down the line…
Whether you go with an early booking or a late booking, the key thing is to ensure that you have a holiday booked with a fully ATOL and ABTA bonded agent – like we are – and also make sure you get travel insurance in place to cover anything that might go wrong.
So whether you are one of those people who likes to plan and wants to travel next summer, or are the risk-taker who likes to hold on for the late deals, simply give us a shout and we’ll see what we have to meet your needs…