Booking early

It’s the age old question when you book your summer holiday – should you book it early or leave it late?

Of course a lot of us will make spur of the moment decisions to get away and that’s part of the fun of going on holiday, but early booking, particularly in January and February has so many advantages.

Lots of very cheap late deals are a thing of the past – rock-bottom-priced late deals used to be common in the travel industry, but the travel market today is much more fluid, with travel companies able to exercise greater flexibility with flights and room bookings, so don’t expect the same volume of last-minute bargains.                           

And finally – if you’ve left it late in the day to take a summer break – don’t panic! If you’re prepared to be flexible about where you go there will always be something on offer; but you may prefer to book earlier next time!

The benefits of booking early are:

  1. Cheaper prices
    January and February is the traditional sales season for travel companies and it’s at this time that they put out their best deals with potential savings of hundreds of pounds.
  2. Free child places
    Tour operators will typically offer a limited number of free child places in January and February, if you leave it too late to book, these are likely to run out.
  3. Lots of choice
    Booking early means that you have a wide range of options as to where and when to go, leaving it late may drastically reduce these options.
  4. Supply and demand
    Remember it’s not just British tourists who are all looking forward to their summer holiday but millions of tourists from other countries too. That puts competitive pressure on hotel rooms and flights, and there’s a limited supply of both.
  5. Buy now, pay later
    If you book a package holiday for the summer you will only initially have to pay a deposit with the balance not due until later in the year. This will help your finances under pressure after Christmas and give you a chance to budget effectively.​​​​​​​
  6. Something to look forward to
    One of the best ways to beat the winter blues is to talk to a travel professional, research and book your summer holiday. The beginning of the year will be a lot more bearable when you’re counting down the days to your dream holiday.​​​​​​​
  7. Pre-booking flight seats
    Many airlines now offer the option to pre-book your seats on the aircraft but it’s very much first come first served, so early bookers get priority.​​​​​​​
  8. Popular destinations and accommodation
    Popular destinations and hotels around the world and in the UK will sell early, so to avoid disappointment, talk to an ABTA Member and book early.