Last Minute Travel Tips
Should You Book Last Minute or Early?
Are you looking for last minute travel tips or are you an “early bird”? There are pros and cons to both booking methods, i.e. early travel booking or last minute booking. The best outcome can even be achieved somewhere in between those two options.
Last Minute Travel Tips
Last minute booking is a good idea if your travel plans are flexible. Not only your travel dates but also your travel destination, your choice of accommodation, etc. You might be able to find great last minute vacation deals if you want to go somewhere warm sometime in September, for example.
Last minute booking is though risky strategy if you have a specific travel destination in mind and can only travel on certain dates. Waiting until the last minute could actually result in the exact opposite. You might end up paying substantially more as limited availability tends to led to higher prices.
However, it doesn't change the fact that last minute vacation deals are great option for many travelers. Last minute travel tips recommend looking into this if your travel plans are flexible.
Early Travel Bookings
There are often discount available for “early birds”, i.e. people that book their travel well in advance. These discounts can be substantial in some cases, like when booking a cruise or luxury holiday.
There is also more availability earlier on, you can choice and pick what you want. You are more likely to get your preferred seat on the airplane, have your choice of hotel rooms, to be able to secure the best cruise cabin in your price range, get reservation to the most popular restaurants in town and get the best seats if going to the theatre or concert.
On the down side is you usually have to pay a deposit when booking early, sometimes a substantial one. If your tour operator would go bankrupt in the meantime you could lose your money. Paying with credit card and having adequate insurance can however reduce or eliminate this risk.
Maybe of more concern is if you would need to make changes to your travel plans afterwards as there are often hefty fees associated with any changes. We all know how things in our life can change at last minute notice and we might have to change or even cancel our travel plans.
Make sure you read the small print prior to making an early booking. You might also want to take insurance to cover you for any possible problems related to changing or cancelling your travel plans.
The Golden Middle Ground
If you are travelling on peak periods (like over Christmas) or for special high demand event (like festival or big sporting event) then you can't go wrong by booking as early as you possibly can.
The best result for standard vacation can however be achieved by booking somewhere in between very early and late.
Flight prices for instance tend to be quite similar if you book 10 months in advance as if you book just over 1 month in advance.
Leaving it later than that (i.e. within 1 month) means availability will become more limited which usually results in prices going up.
It is advisable to start pricing different travel options at least 6-8 weeks prior to travelling.
Take few days to track airfares and hotel rates to get a sense of what prices you can expect and then start looking if there are any sales promotions available.
Sometimes just changing a date on either end can make all the difference, so if you can be flexible play with different departure and arrival dates.