I am sure many times you may sit back and say, it’s time for a vacation. Summer is upon us and thoughts of traveling and getting out to the great wide open consumes your thoughts as well as thoughts of trying to figure out how to make that happen. It might make you hop on the internet and start your search for a vacation that might fit your limited time and budget constraints and usually ends up with settling for something too expensive or somewhere undesirable.
One of the most misplaced thought concepts regarding booking travel is not when, but WHEN. Yes you read that right and it is not poor sentence structure; it is one of the biggest mistakes travelers make when considering or planning their next vacation extravaganza. The mistake of booking travel too late generally will result in higher prices and limited availability; but the urge to go on vacation can ultimately convince oneself to spend frivolously as opposed to smartly.
After being in this industry as long as I have; it is interesting that I still continue to hear that it may be in the client’s best interest to wait until the last minute because there will always be space available that the cruise lines just can’t sell or hotel rooms that sit empty. C’mon man!!! When have you been on a cruise that wasn’t jammed to the gills or at a resort that has a pool filled with so many people, you can stir them with a stick. Let’s not mention theme parks where the ratio of people to open space just does not exist! This line of thinking is not realistic anymore and those days are gone because, the industry knows their market and deals are harder and harder to come by nowadays!
Cruise lines are full the day of sailing…no last minute deals there and prices naturally inflate the closer to arrival due to sophisticated computer algorithms; so how does one get a good deal anymore? It’s called “booking smart” by using a travel agent. Thinking you can beat the system and get a better deal that an agent can’t is just unrealistic. Not saying every agent is a bona fide miracle worker, but I am sure many times than not, an agent that is experienced will provide you with the best options, availability at the best prices with less effort and expense by doing it yourself.
This is where the “When” comes in. It is more cost effective and flexible to understand the seasons to book travel and why it is beneficial. Let’s take for example you want to cruise to Alaska; looking to book in January or February for example will net you higher rates and limited availability since the booking season is usually September to November the year prior to the summer season these cruises typically sail. Trying to find cheap rates for summer vacation when you are reaching the end of the school year will only add to the frustration of saving money and finding great accommodations. And one final example is that the last minute market only allows for the destination to offer a higher price with only the most undesirable leftovers available.
So in essence, the time to start looking for a vacation shouldn’t occur when you need it, but when you can plan it. I have many clients that book well in advance, get the best rates, secure their cabin or hotel room and make small payments along the way so when the time to travel approaches; the vacation is set, paid and the fun commences! Why wait? Let’s talk and plan that great escape and save some serious cash…or wait and panic, and miss out as plenty do!