Pretty soon we will be bombarded with adverts for holidays, cruises, resorts and hotels within days of the Christmas season ending, as tour operators are anxious to cash in on Britain’s mid-winter blues.
January in Britain is pretty bleak and many people instinctively turn their thoughts towards the summer, sunshine, and long white beaches.
Now is the perfect time to start saving and planning for the summertime, especially if you have a dream holiday you would like to pay for.
Many of us, post Christmas, will be on a ‘money diet’ until Easter time. An enforced period of saving after the Christmas binge can help to bring down eye watering credit card bills, but it’s also the perfect time to put away money for the summer.
Now is also the time to take advantage of the best deals. Booking early invariably guarantees you places on flights and at hotels, but it also ensures that you won’t fall prey to exorbitant charges.
Late bookers for summer holidays may find they wind up paying more for the same services their earlier booking counterparts receive.
Kids Go Free
If you are planning for a family holiday and have children then there are countless deals available with tour operators that offer a ‘kids travel free’ promotion.
Taking children out of school during term time is becoming an increasingly contentious issue for headteachers concerned with targets for attendance, so there may be stringent school rules regulating this issue.
If you are bound by term time holidays only, then a January deal might be the best way of securing that holiday. With many tour operators, the prices of holidays can fall as well as rise as the peak season approaches, if holiday package is under subscribed for some reason, it might be sold off cheaply as July and August approach.
Read The Small Print
On the ‘children go for free deals’ you are effectively getting free air fare, not free accommodation. Your child will be expected to stay in your hotel room and will not get one of their own.
This is often fine for young children who want to be with their parents, but for slightly older ones it’s probably not going to be suitable.
In addition to this other charges might be levied such as insurance and airport taxes so the ‘free’ bit in the offer might not be quite as free as it suggests.
Comparing the deals
Package tour operators know that many customers will not object to paying slightly higher prices for hotels, resorts or flights because of the convenience factor.
With the hassle of organising and planning an entire holiday taken out of the process, ‘convenience’ is an excellent device for introducing hidden costs and charges.
Whilst there is a lot to be said for tour operators who create holiday packages for their customers, it is worth seeing if booking flights and hotels separately is cheaper.
Search for discounts
Hotels and resorts know that few of their clients are able to pay full price all year round, but they have to remain in business whatever the season.
This means that the internet is awash with discount and voucher sites selling cut price holidays off season and early bird deals, often on high end luxury destinations.
It is worth being an online bargain hunter in the New Year and seeing what deals are available, in January it is a buyer’s market as hoteliers and tour operators often need you more than you need them.
If you are planning your finances for 2015 for holidays and other spending goals, you can always get some professional advice from a qualified financial adviser.