‘Baby, it’s cold outside,’ sang Michael #Bublé and #Idina Menzel. ‘Let’s plan our summer holiday now,’ they should have added.
While everyone else is thinking about Christmas…. by planning your summer holiday now, you could save a lot of money and loads of stress. (And by booking early, you’ll force yourself to actually travel – instead of just vegging out on the sofa.)
Speak to HR well in advance
Booking your holidays this early isn’t the norm, so make sure to discuss things with your line manager and HR department. Keep them in the loop so they’re forewarned and can figure out how to manage your workload. (Sweet-talk them by pointing out you can put some of the money you’ll save towards a duty free treat for the office.)
Book flights really early
#MoneySavingExpert (MSE) says your two options for saving the most cash are to book late – so when tour operators have to fill the planes and resorts they’ve chartered – or as early as possible, up to nine months in advance. You can also save extra-extra cash by choosing quieter periods: a squeak before the school holidays or just after the August rush.
Check hotel prices directly
While you should always check price comparison websites like #Trivago or #TravelSupermarket, one tip I’ve seen consistently is to ring up hotels and find out offers directly from them. People in the hospitality industry say this is one of the best ways of snagging a good deal (a price checking service is still a middle-man).
Hit the Christmas sales
Retailers will still be offloading summer clothes and holiday items this winter. If you see a swimsuit or sunscreen that’s a good deal, snap it up. It can live in your cupboard until departure. A useful MSE tip is to visit pound shops for things like neck pillows, travel adaptors and sleep masks; it’ll be much cheaper than buying them in the airport.
Get the family involved
By bringing the cost of a holiday down, you make it easier for friends and family to come along. Let them know your ideas and try to co-ordinate to see if you can make it a group trip for everyone to enjoy. (But if you don’t get on with your in-laws, keep shtum, eh?.)
When you’re trudging through snow and sleet to get to work, to what far away place does your mind wander? That’s where you should book the holiday.