Planning a vacation in 2019? Once you’ve decided where you want to go, it’s a good idea to book it soon after. Although there are lots of people who like to wait until the last minute before booking a holiday in the hope of grabbing a fantastic late deal, it’s actually a better idea to get it all sorted out as early as you can. And, we’ll tell you why – here are five reasons why it’s a good idea to book your vacation as early as possible.
Booking early means more choice
One of the real downsides of leaving it until the last minute to book your holiday is that you are limited when it comes to choice. If you look around a week or so before you plan to travel, you’ll find availability, but usually at a premium. Lots of hotels will be fully booked, and so will lots of flights. And, although you may be able to find space on a flight, you might be left with seats away from the rest of your party, or flights at anti-social times. A 3 am flight might be fine if you’re travelling on your own or as a couple, but if you’re holidaying with kids, it’s not much fun.
Booking early means you’ll have far more choice. You’ll typically have a wide range of hotels to consider, and flights at convenient and family-friendly times. However, even if you’re browsing summer holidays as far ahead as January, don’t be surprised if the hotels you’ve earmarked as possibles are fully booked up by February.
Booking late or even last minute is often associated with heavy discounts. While that is sometimes the case, this is because travel companies are keen to sell their last remaining holidays otherwise they lose money. Chances are, you’ll be left with the options nobody else wanted.
As Travel Supermarket says here, ‘the general rule of thumb here is that securing your trip in advance will net you savings.’ A good point worth bearing in mind is that flight prices never really go down once they’re released, so if you’re hoping to see reductions the closer you get to your planned departure, you should perhaps think again.
Travel companies are also aware of popular destinations and hotels and are unlikely to discount prices significantly as a result. The bottom line is, if you spot your dream holiday at a price that falls within your budget, get it booked. You’re more likely to see it fully booked and unavailable in two months’ time than tagged with a chunky discount.
Easier to budget
If you book a late deal, you’ll probably have to pay for the whole lot in one go, and that’s a lot of money to find immediately. For a lot of people, it’s highly unlikely they’ll be able to pay like that. Booking a holiday early gives you the chance to budget for it, paying in installments. It also gives you the opportunity, if you need to, to arrange funding.
While planning ahead can help you to manage your money and pay for your holiday without blowing your budget, what do you do if an emergency arises? You’ve already committed money to your holiday, and have nothing else to spare. In this situation, you can still use other savings if you have them, or consider a short-term loan from someone like Sunny to get back on track and cover your emergency without putting your holiday at risk.
Something to look forward to
Booking a late holiday is definitely exciting, but it’s also a bit of a whirlwind rush and can be stressful if you need to suddenly secure leave from work, buy new holiday clothes and generally charge about getting everything sorted in time before jetting off. Booking plenty in advance gives you a more gradual build-up and also allows you to look forward to your holiday. There’s something really pleasurable in knowing the date of your departure months beforehand and enjoying the countdown.
You might grab a great deal
Yes, it’s true – it’s not exclusively late bookings that might throw up a great deal. Some holiday companies will offer incentives for booking early – such as money off per person, or, in the case of First Choice, free places for kids. That’s not to be sniffed at – it’s a free holiday for the kids! Such free spots are limited and it’s very often a case of first come, first served, so if you snooze, you lose.
If you’ve got a holiday for 2019 in mind it might be time to stop thinking about and hoping the price will drop, and just get it booked and in the bag.