08 Jan

Booking early

People often fall into two categories, the planners and the spur-of-the-moment, last-minute, spontaneous types. When it comes to holidays, this is the time of year the planners come into their own, as millions of people hit the high street or go online to book their summer holidays. January and February can often be a depressing time of year, with plummeting temperatures, grey skies and the fun and games of Christmas and the New Year fading in the memory. So, understandably, thoughts stray to sunnier climes, and researching and booking a summer holiday provides a welcome break from the winter gloom. Planners also appreciate that anticipation is in itself a pleasure and the steady count down begins as soon as you’ve confirmed your holiday booking.

Booking now is also a wise move financially, as tour operators put out discounted offers and free child places. They don’t do this out of the goodness of their hearts, it helps them immensely if you book early so they will entice you in every way they can, and lower prices are the ultimate incentive. Another bonus of booking now is availability. There is a lot of pressure on the most popular resorts and hotels at peak periods, and they can and do sell out quickly. In the weeks leading up to Xmas we have already seen a year on year increase in the number of very early bookers, particularly to Mediterranean Eurozone destinations and, if this trend continues, late bookers may find that their holiday options are very limited as well as possibly rather expensive.

Booking early is not just a good idea for holidays, flights will also steadily increase in price as the seats start to fill up. I remember one of my friends asking me if I could help get him a cheap flight to New Zealand a week before he was due to fly home for Xmas. Unfortunately, even being a travel industry insider, I couldn’t change the inflexible economic laws of supply and demand and he ended up paying £1,500 for a one way ticket. He learnt his lesson and booked his next trip down under six months in advance.

So, for all of you romantic “I love a surprise” types, it’s time to get with the programme, join the “months in advance” types and book now.  Otherwise, they’ll probably be the ones sitting in front of you on your plane to Spain in August with smug grins on their faces, because they’ve paid half what you have and they’re staying in a much nicer hotel. 

Visit the Earlybird hub here.