Booking a summer holiday at the last minute can be highly stressful: you’re hoping for a last minute bargain but discover there’s no availability at your preferred destination; you find the perfect break at a knock-down price, but it’s in early July when little Timmy and Sophie are still at school; everyone at work has already booked time off and you’re left with a fortnight in August, exactly the same dates that your wife has to attend an essential conference.
Unless you have complete flexibility (ie. no partner, no children, no dog/cat, no elderly parents to look after, and a very understanding employer who is happy for staff to jet off with a day’s notice), booking your summer holiday nice and early is a must: we believe Christmas is the perfect time to get booking and here’s why:
1. An Antedote To Christmas Stress
Christmas and the New Year are wonderful times – plenty of eating, relaxing and spending hours and hours with the extended family. But let’s be honest – sometimes all that jollity can be draining; all that squished together for days on end can be testing.
That’s why many holiday destinations report a surge in website visitors on Boxing Day and throughout the Christmas period – people need to think beyond their extended family and plan their own summer holiday escape.
2. Beat The Winter Blues
When it’s cold and foggy, and you have to scrape the ice off your car windscreen each morning, it can be dispiriting. There’s no better remedy than to think of warm, sunny days, and even better if you know exactly where you’ll be spending at least a week or two of them.
3. Time To Browse
Unlike the last minute holiday bookers, you have time to browse through your summer holiday options and consider the pros and cons of each one. Around Christmas time, many people have a clear 2 week break – and plenty of internet research can be done in that time.
4. All The Availability You Could Dream Of
If you book before the old year is even out, you’ll find plenty of availability at your chosen destination and a variety of different accommodation types.
5. A Time To Suit You All
If you have kids, you’ll know their summer holiday dates in advance so you can start to work around those. You’ll also need to consider work commitments of all the adults in the party. If you find a great break in the perfect location for the best possible dates, don’t delay – contact your boss as soon as possible and book those dates off work – before your colleagues can beat you to it.
6. Early Bird Specials
Many people think about last minute breaks to get the best deals, but the majority of holiday parks, resorts, hotels and other accommodation types offer Early Bird Specials to encourage people to book up early.
Look out for these when researching your summer holiday – you could have not only the perfect holiday, but one at a far more attractive price than if you’d left booking until February or beyond.
7. Time To Save
Nowdays most hotels and holiday destinations ask for just a deposit at the point of booking. Check when the remainder has to be paid: perhaps a few weeks before your holiday or sometimes you settle the bill on arrival at your destination.
This makes it far easier to manage your finances: you’ll know how much and when you need to pay, so you can save during the first half of the year ready to foot the bill when the time comes.
8. A Bargaining Tool For The Kids
Children can get stressed during the year with juggling travel to school, school work, homework and after school activities. And stressed kids are not something to look forward to. When they’re feeling grumpy and tired, remind them about the forthcoming summer holiday. Promise them they’ll have fun at the beach, lots of days out or lashings of ice-cream every day – whatever it takes to get them smiling again.
Even a countdown calendar to the “great event” can help them focus on something nice to look forward to. However do be age appropriate; telling a 4 year old about a holiday in 8 months will backfire – they will ask “how many more days?” on (what seems like) an hourly basis.
9. Time To Savour
Once the holiday is booked, time off work is sorted and the kids are smiling, and it’s still only the 3rd of January, you can relax. All you need to do is keep savouring the thought of your reward for all your hard work – a fortnight’s break well away from work and your domestic routine.
10. Time To Prepare
Unlike last minute breaks, you’ll have plenty of time to get organised for the off. If you’re super organised, you’ll be buying discounted sun cream in March in anticipation of your getaway. If you’re average organised you’ll simply have time in the weeks running up to your holiday to plan what you need to take with you.