When to book?

Do you book early or wait for a last minute bargain?

The glut of £99 holidays has all but gone now. Why?

The main reason is that pile em high and sell em cheap holidays have caused the demise of many that have fallen by the wayside because they were selling holidays at less than cost. Loss leaders are fine but this needs to be balanced with enough holidays at the other end of the scale to ensure their survival so any company that sells most of their holidays very cheaply is not likely to survive in the current economic climate. If holidays are sold last minute they are not even holding your deposit in the bank

It is also a fact that a basic pension with no pool or an unnamed property that was acceptable in the eighties is now much more difficult to sell, travelers are now more discerning and expect more for less

There have been years when many flights have existed and created overcapacity and bought prices down. This is usually followed by a series of bankruptcies, consolidations and take overs so a shortage will exist the following year and prices go up

Having established that holidays are not as cheap as they were in the boom years of eighties and nineties, the next thing to consider is supply and demand. If you want to travel at Christmas, New Year, Easter or school holidays then you must book early to get the best price on seats and ensure your accommodation is available. The Caribbean will often sell all their Christmas and New Year allocations a year in advance.

Consider the season. If you want a family holiday in Majorca or this years club scene place in August, Sharm, Florida, Caribbean or Far East in winter then this is high season and you will pay a premium and you will need to book early

Another thing to consider is the type if room. If you want a family room for four or five people these are like gold dust and will not be available last minute

So how do you get a bargain? The key is to be flexible with your destinations, dates, departure airports amd be prepared to travel off season. It is less crowded and the weather is often just as good

May or June is traditionally
a difficult to sell season, so is late November and early December. At these times of year there are lots of bargains to be had. It does help if you are willing to travel midweek

Sometimes circumstances can determine price, for instance, last year Sharm was in high demand so prices doubled. This year after riots, unrest and shark attacks demand dropped and so did prices. Tunisia is also cheap this year and so is Japan until confidence returns.

Sometimes there are building works either in the hotel or near it and this has led to cancellations and so the hotel has to reduce its prices to entice customers. If you don’t really mind if the restaurant is closed or they are painting corridors then there are some genuine bargains

So if you absolutely have to travel on 23rd December on British airways on a direct flight to an oceanfront room on the west coast of Barbados please book early. If, however you have a couple of weeks to spare in mid June, a reasonable budget and are willing to travel anytime within the next week and fairly open to destinations then you can leave it late.

Also if you know there is a riot or natural disaster they will be welcoming you with open arms a month later

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