Why you should book early and some money saving tips

If you book early you will get the best flight and hotel deals. There are often early booking deals, blocks of seats on first come first served. Late deals are mostly a thing of the past. This is especially true over school holidays but they are even getting scarce in June nowadays.

Early booking offers, free night offers etc. are often available if you book this far ahead but if you leave it until the last minute you get what is left or what has been cancelled. When LowCostHolidays went bust last year the hotels wouldn’t honour the accommodation as they had not been paid and then many of them resold it at the rack rates rather than the contract rates and the drop in the currency post Brexit compounded the problem. There difference may not be as great for next year due to poor currency rates but they are unlikely to improve later.

Sometimes booking a flight and hotel together is actually cheaper so tempting as it is to book a cheap flight it is still worth checking that the bundle isn’t a cheaper way of doing it. For instance I did an multi centre USA enquiry which required me to book a minimum 3 nights accommodation so I was able to quote £970 including 4 nights accommodation in one of his 2 destinations or £1048 without any accommodation at all.

Taking advantage of seat sales can get you some real bargains. I bought a ticket for myself last September travel February London-Dubai-Sri Lanka – Singapore-Kuala Lumpur-London £560. I can’t always predict when seat sales will happen and it is different airlines at different times but usually at slow selling times, over Christmas, May-June and September-October

Be prepared to fly on “funny airlines” eg Turkish Airlines and Qatar are consistently voted top on Skytrax be prepared to fly indirect. Sometimes the break, although adding to your journey gives you a chance to stretch your legs

If you see a bargain whether that is a seat sale, early booking offer, something on Avios points etc. book it sooner rather than wait for a better offer. Sometimes a better offer does come along but more often they don’t

Be flexible eg midweek, early morning, late at night – this could save you a lot of money

Free child places for families still exist with the major tour operators, Thomas Cook and Jet2 even in the school holidays but they go quickly so you need to book either as soon as the brochures come out around September or round about now with the January launches but if you don’t want kids around you avoid school holidays and get cheaper prices too so generally avoid mid February, Easter, late May/early June, late July to end August, late October and New Year or at least travel out just before school holidays and/or return just after they go back but bear in mind that European accommodation is high season from June to September as Irish and European holidays are longer than ours

Buying your accommodation now for later in the year, in most cases you can pay just a small deposit usually £25

Read reviews to get a big picture but do take them with a pinch of salt. You will never please everybody and if you are expecting a de luxe apartment with all mod cons in Greece you will be disappointed. We have our own reviews as well as Trust You Reviews and wherever possible I only offer over 8/10

Travel in the rainy season or off season. I’m not suggesting going in the height of the monsoon but if you look at the first or last week of the rainy season for instance, you would be really unlucky to encounter two weeks of constant rain. You are more likely to have really high humidity and half an hour of heavy rain and it doesn’t rain in the bar but you can get some really good bargains.

Don’t always listen to friends. My friends love Magaluf. I don’t as I prefer something quieter and a bit more cultured.

Try not to leave holes to fill in later if you are unsure they can be filled. Plans can change eg staying with relatives and this can’t be helped but generally it is better to know that there is a plan A and a Plan B. I have had many clients who assume it is easy to fill the holes later but firstly there may not be availability later and secondly it may not be possible to easily get to the bits you left out as the routings may have changed and then you are stuck with having to do something that may not be happy with.

It is my job to plan a route that works best with your dates. It is much easier to plan what works first and then fill the holes afterwards than to book bits and pieces and then find it can’t be done.

Make sure passports are well in date and valid for the country you are visiting especially if you book a long way in advance. Some countries require 6 months beyond the return date. If possible have this to hand when you book your holiday/flight. I usually have to put dummy details in and it is harder to change them than put them in in the first place. I get people every year that have to get emergency passports because they think it is valid.

Make sure that you have visas if required for the country you are visiting. It is easy forget that you need visas for some popular destinations like Cuba, Goa, Sri Lanka, Australia, USA and now Canada

Make sure insurance covers your needs. Do you have a pre existing illness. You need to tell them otherwise you wont be covered

Check well in advance with your GP whether your destination requires vaccinations or malaria tablets. Are yours up to date? You may need the jabs several weeks in advance or to start taking your malaria tablets a couple of weeks in advance

 Organise excursions in advance. They are often cheaper in advance and some things do get full eg Eiffel Tower, Disneyland Paris, La Scala operas and The Last Supper

Transfers can often be cheaper in advance eg Malta taxi 25 euros locally £12 booking in advance, Majorca £25-39 euros in resort £10 in advance with meet and greet and how nice to be met by a driver who will help you with your cases

If you travel often keep a few small euro and dollar notes and larger coins, they are always useful for tips, bus fares etc. It is usually cheaper to hold on to them than change them back.

Book car hire well in advance for peak season as they do run out and make sure the boot is big enough for your luggage. It is cheaper to upgrade in advance than in resort

Please give me a call on 020 3432 4740 to organise your next hassle free trip

 

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