Planning is the key to success when it comes to getting a budget holiday. There are many things that you can influence such as when you book, how you travel, whether you go package or build your own agenda. All of these things can have a significant impact on the price you pay. Above all, each of these things are within your control!
When to Book
Most people know exactly when they are intending to take a vacation. This can be used to your advantage when it comes to planning.
Deciding on when to book is a bit of a gamble. Whilst many tour operators will offer cheaper prices and early booking discounts, you may find that last minute deals are also available which will prove better financially.
There are many factors that you should take into account when deciding on when to book for maximum financial gain:
- Are you flexible in terms of dates that you are prepared to travel?
- Are you flexible in terms of destinations that you are prepared to travel to?
- Will you be buying a package deal or will you be building your own package?
- Are you considering a popular destination where many tour operators or flight companies travel?
Firstly, if you are flexible in terms of location and dates then you will almost certainly benefit from waiting until the last minute to book your holiday. Last minute deals are, of course, something that you cannot rely upon and if you are set on going to a certain destination at a certain date then last minute is far too risky.
If you are planning on creating your own package then you need to be aware that you are taking multiple gambles. For example, you need to consider your airfare, hotels and transport. Whilst you may get an excellent last minute flight, you may not be so lucky when it comes to the hotel or car hire. In fact, you may find that paying a premium for other parts of your holiday will end up out-weighing any last minute savings you have made.
As a general rule, if you are looking to go on a specific holiday, a cruise, for example, with a specific company or a destination that is only offered by a few operators, you may find that last minute bargains are simply not available. Cruising is a classic example of this. A cruise line will offer holidays for a certain price, whilst they may offer their holidays through different agents who may individually offer discounts, the actual price of the cruise is likely to remain very similar no matter who you go to for your price.