We’ve all heard about people who leave booking their holiday to the very last minute – weeks, days or even hours before the flight departs, and perhaps you even do this yourself. Until quite recently, last minute deals were the best way to get an affordable holiday, as hotels and apartments which still had rooms available offered accommodation at rock-bottom prices in order to fill up rooms. Over the past couple of years, the trend for last minute holiday bookings has seen a fall, as more people choose to book well in advance of their vacation.
Booking your holiday early may seem a little boring for anyone who has gotten used to the buzz of not knowing where there are going until they are due to set off, but it seems to have a number of advantages. Read on to discover some of the reasons that booking in advance could save you money and make your holiday more enjoyable.
One of the main reasons that people choose to book their holiday in advance is to guarantee that they get to stay in their desired location or resort. Leaving the booking process until last minute usually means that you have less choice of where to stay, particularly if you take your vacations during peak periods such as school holiday times. For anyone who has their heart set on visiting a specific area, booking early will avoid disappointment.
Booking early also means that you can be more choosy about flight times – a last minute deal might see you on a late night “red-eye” flight, which is not ideal if you are travelling with kids or elderly family members.
Holiday companies are aware that customers want to get great deals and are often on a budget. Their response to this need has been to offer excellent prices and special offers on early bookings – so booking early can work out even cheaper than waiting on that late deal.
Booking advance on your accommodation means you will also be able to arrange car or vehicle hire in advance. This will be a weight off your mind and is also a way to keep expenses down.
Knowing where you will be staying in advance means that you have plenty of time to learn about the facilities, places of interest and history of the area you are going to visit. Having some background knowledge can add a new dimension to your holiday, so book ahead, then head to your local library or book shop and stock up on guidebooks and literature about the place you are going to stay in. A leisurely browse through a few websites relating to where you will be staying is also a good idea - you’ll find lots of reviews from fellow travellers with ideas of attractions and restaurants to visit…or avoid.
Another thing that you will have time to do if you book in advance is learn a few words of the language you are visiting (if you are travelling abroad). There are many learning programs available, so take some time to pick up the basics. Even if you can only manage to say please, thank-you and hello, you’ll feel really accomplished when you try it out in shops and bars!
A final point to consider – if you book your holiday in advance, you’ll be able to wile away rainy, grey days, day-dreaming about your vacation and it will serve as a mental boost when you are tired, fed-up or bored at work! If you wait till last minute, you won’t have that sense of build-up and expectation that most of us would admit to enjoying!