Finding the best holiday deals – especially in winter when prices change from day to day – takes organisation and patience. But the good news is that January and February are some of the cheapest months of the year in which to travel, offering airfares that are substantially reduced from comparable summer journeys.
If you’re considering an early getaway next year but are working with a budget, here are some important tips to remember when booking your winter holiday.
Package Holidays vs Independent Travel
One of the first things to decide is what type of holiday is right for you. Package holidays that include airfare, accommodation and food can be extremely economical and are best suited for standard breaks; meaning that packages are the cheapest options for seven, 10 or 14 day holiday deals in a traditional destination. If you’re looking for something a bit more off the beaten path, for a different length of time or considering a multi-stop holiday, booking your arrangements independently will likely be the more cost effective option.
Timing is Everything
This one can be a bit complicated. January sales are great, and if you have the flexibility to wait for a last minute deal (no later than eight to ten weeks prior to departure), the prices can be incredibly low as travel companies scramble to fill seats and hotel rooms. The downside of this is that you might be limited in your choices of destination or accommodation facilities. If you don’t have the flexibility to book last minute, then booking as early as possible is the next best thing and the upside is you can secure the destination and the arrangements that you really want.
One of the most important things for travelers to understand is that tour operators create holidays and a range of travel agents then sell them to consumers. While these two entities are likely connected by a larger parent company, the fact remains that different travel agents can and will market holidays at different prices. If you have a budget in mind and a sense of the benchmark costs for your desired holiday, talk to a travel agent to try and get a better deal. They’re competing for your business and are often able to bring down costs for travelers who know enough to ask.