Every holiday company would like to have all of their products booked-up as early as possible. This allows them to plan on arranged numbers so as to minimise costs against a set income. Brochures are being issued earlier and earlier so that you can now book your next package before you have enjoyed this one! Financially 'early booking' is a boon for the companies and there are signs that these benefits are being passed on to clients in the form of 'early booking discounts'; a direct contrast with the 'last minute discounting' of recent years. So early booking may give you a cheaper package and secure the particular package that you want but do the advantages balance out the disadvantages?
Disadvantages of an early commitment to a
holiday include; "Will the country still be there?"
changes in political climate and laws, "What if I change my mind?"
A year is a long time in the travel industry, "Will the holiday company still exist?".
Of course the internet, with companies such as lastminute.com, has had a dramatic effect on holiday bookings. The biggest growth area is in short breaks, often booked direct. Easyjet, Ryanair et al have revolutionised how we think of travel and combined with online booking has created a whole new area of vacationing that the traditional holiday companies have missed or are only just catching up on. Many of our destinations will reward a short break so long as you really go for it and pack your break with activity. How about a weekend in Axarquia; cheap flights to Malaga + hire car + book accommodation (see Walk! Axarquia for ideas); or three nights hiking in Mallorca's Tramuntana mountains (Walk! Mallorca).
One disadvantage of 'early booking' seldom talked about is the psychological effect. Most holidays are booked from glossy brochures which emphasise the expectations/dreams of the product. As few people buy a guide book these dreams/expectations are likely to increase during the long period of waiting for the holiday. Fuelled by all this expectation it is unlikely that the physical reality of the holiday can ever match the dream! The situation is similar to someone who goes to work with the dream of retiring.
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