PHOTO: Book early to secure the best holiday travel deals. (photo via Pixabay/minfly3)
Right now, much of the country is suffering from high temps, so of course, that means it’s time to talk about winter and the December holidays, right?
“When planning holiday travel it is best to book as early as possible,” said Lori Wall of Destinations to Explore in Hyde Park, New York. “Spots fill up quickly and, shockingly, a lot of people go away for the holidays.
Wall also said to expect to pay top rates with no discounts and expect crowds. “If you go with the flow and go in knowing that it will be crowded and that you may need to be flexible you will have a great time,” she said.
Margie Lenau said that there will be many flights and vacation to choose from now.
“Flight prices are usually lower because there is more to choose from,” said Lenau of Wonderland Family Vacations. “A big mistake that families make when they are looking for flights is waiting to see if the cost goes down. If you see a flight schedule you like at a good price, you should probably book it then. Once that’s in place, the destination choices become easier to choose.”
If you are on a tight budget, Lenau suggests budgeting holiday travel over an extended period of time. “The earlier you book, the vacation the longer you have to dream about what you want to do when you arrive,” she said. “Anticipation is a big part of the enjoyment of travel.”
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Greg Geronemus, the co-CEO of smarTours in New York City said that one way to ensure you’ll get a good deal is to book a group tour during the holiday season.
“You’ll go on the same vacation, but at a radically reduced price,” he said. “By booking a holiday vacation with a tour operator, you will benefit from their significant purchasing power. You can save anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars when you travel with a group.
He explained that tour operators have significant purchasing power with airlines, hotels and restaurants. “By going in a group, you spread lots of costs across a group of people instead of absorbing all the costs yourself,” said Geronemus.
He also said that the tour operator does all the legwork and planning for you. “Guides are there to help with any need that might arise,” he said. “It’s going on a holiday vacation with no worries and lower costs.”
If you come from a big extended family and are trying to plan a holiday vacation, Sean P Finelli, co-owner at The Roman Guy, said to commit to the vacation even if some people drop out or else it will never happen. ‘Holiday vacations are like destination weddings,” he said. “If you want to make it happen, be prepared for some groups to not be able to join. If your nuclear family can go, then pull the trigger.”
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Denise Lorentzen has been reminding her customers since July to start planning for holiday travel. “If you wait too long, then you may not find the lodging of your choice,” said Lorentzen, owner and travel consultant at Dreams Travel Consulting in Hughson, California. “I do a lot of Disney World and many of the hotels are already booked up for the end of the year. So don’t delay, start planning with enough time to get everything you want.”