The holiday season is coming up and now is the time to start considering your holiday game plan. Even if you don’t want to book it just yet, taking certain things into consideration is key.
Package vs DIY Holidays
The first thing to decide is whether a package holiday’s right for you or if you would get a better deal booking a DIY flight and hotel online. A package holiday is an all-in-one, where the tour operator provides flights, connections and accommodation for one price. That means they’re off-the-peg and best suited for standard breaks of standard length. So... As a rough rule of thumb, packages are usually cheapest for seven, 10 or 14 days away in traditional holiday destinations. If you’re going away for a different trip length, to a less-visited spot, on a city break or multistop holiday, you’ll tend to be better off with a DIY break.
Book late for the best deals...
Booking late is the cheapest way to get a package. 'Late' means no more than 8-10 weeks before departure, when the bargains flood in. The reason's simple. Tour operators have chartered the planes and reserved the rooms, and, if they don't shift 'em, they lose money. The later you leave it, the more desperate they are to flog empty rooms, so the price drops further. Yet the later you wait, the more you need to be flexible about dates and destinations. So if creche facilities or a specific hotel are must haves, be careful. If you just want anywhere hot and cheap, leave it very late, ie, the week before you go, and you may get elegant trips for dirt-cheap prices, however, you may have to settle for something you don’t particularly want.
...or book early for special offers and discounts
Great if you need particular facilities The other way to get discounts is to book early, as much as NINE MONTHS in advance, because many tour operators offer early booking discounts. These can include £100 per couple discounts or buy-one-get-one-free weeks. Many places shout about special offers, but don’t be drawn in without checking the final cost – you might find a cheaper deal elsewhere, without a specific sale or code.
The last two weeks of summer are cheaper
Take a holiday when others can't, such as travelling before the school holidays in May and June to family destinations such as Florida, and you'll get a better price. If that's not an option, prices for package holidays drop rapidly towards the end of August – this is likely to be because most people want to go as soon as they can, according to ABTA Just please remember if you love summer holidays and you know exactly what you want book as soon as you can, if you just want some sun then the late booking method could be for you.