…What Sort of Holidaymaker Are You?
Look around at an airport and you might be able to tell the difference between who’s booked on last minute holidays and the travellers that have carefully planned their breaks, even down to the best-selling novel they’re getting stuck into.
Planners are the types who purchase a package holiday well in advance of their trip and may even be marking the weeks off a calendar as they eagerly await the moment they step off a plane and into skis, onto a beach or out on the streets of a bustling city. On the other hand, last-minute holiday-goers may only have booked their bargain trip the day before and have a hurriedly packed bag with a brand-new guidebook to a destination they never even knew they were going to!
These two types of traveller are at far ends of the scale, and most holidaymakers fall somewhere in between. If you’ve decided to book a break and want to change your normal habits, maybe it’s a good idea to take a look at our rundown of the pros and cons of planning versus leaving everything to the last minute.
Quick Holiday Fix
Whether you’re sitting opposite a tour operator, or visiting Thomas Cook’s website, you can buy a family holiday in minutes, start packing within the hour and be on your flight soon after. This is a great option if you like spontaneity and are looking for cheap holidays, because some operators drop the price of their package deals when departure times are getting close.
Last-minute bookings are set to remain popular with holidaymakers throughout 2012 – even among cautious planners who are waiting to see what happens in the job market, exchange rates and economy – according to the latest Travel Trends Report from the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA). However, the report warns that choice in last-minute bargains “could be limited” particularly if holidaymakers want something specific such as family deals.
Families may already have favourite sunny resorts, for example, and you might need to travel on specific days, such as within school holidays. Availability on the days you need can become limited close to your departure date.
It’s a Date
Planned holidays are ideal for you if you like to be organised and to know exactly where you’re going and on what date. Booking in advance usually means you get a vast choice of resorts, so you’re free to either pick your favourite beach destination or skiing location. If you get a package break then your accommodation, transfers and flights are all set up for you, so you can just start counting down the weeks to your break.
This kind of trip gives you time to save money and find out about all the activities on offer. If you want to take any special equipment with you, like diving suits, then you have time to get this organised.
But once you’ve booked a break in advance, you’re committed. While this suits many, you could incur extra fees if you need to change your holiday dates. Also, you might be disappointed to see your break drop in price as your departure time arrives.
However, careful planners who book their trips during holiday sales or special promotions can still get cheaper deals. In fact, ABTA’s 2012 Travel Trends Report revealed that some of the best deals are found when booking in advance just after Christmas.