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Ever tried to book a holiday at the eleventh hour, only to find the flights are way out of your price range? Sometimes you can get lucky with a last-minute holiday, but the easiest way to get the cheapest deals is booking well in advance with an early-bird deal! You know what they say; the early bird gets the... holiday!
On this page we'll show you how save big on flights and holidays by booking early, weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of booking your holiday way ahead of departure and bring you our best early-bird holiday deals.
Booking early isn't always the right answer if you're looking for the cheapest fares. However, for summer holidays that include the most popular dates, it's often the only way! Here are 6 benefits to booking your summer holiday early that you might miss out on with a last minute or later booking.
You should get the exact dates you want: Summer holidays are popular for many reasons, such as the best weather and the fact that you don't have to pull your kids out of school. But that means they sell out fast. Booking early means you have a much higher chance of getting the exact dates you want before they sell out.
The fares are often cheaper: This one depends on the flight, airline, destination and more, but early-bird deals are usually cheaper than if you book with a few months or weeks until departure. Flight prices increase right up until the last minute if and when seats are still available. You'll also get the the chance to take advantage of offers such as January sales.
Low deposit and gradual payment: Most operators and package provides will allow you to secure your holiday with a low deposit and for you to pay in increments. This gives you plenty of time to save up while paying off the holiday little by little.
It's stress-free and leaves more time for planning: Booking last minute is exciting, but it can also be stressful. Taking advantage of early deals means you have plenty of time to plan all the holiday activities, the sights you want to see and all the things you want to do.
Let the pre-holiday buzz build: For us, all that planning and day dreaming is part of the excitement of looking forward to your holiday. There's plenty of time for the excitement to build while waiting months for your departure, making finally jetting off all the more rewarding.
It's easier to get time off work: Your employer will also appreciate your shrewdness in booking an early-bird deal. Putting in your work holiday request early will almost certainly lead to it getting approved, saving you more stress and planning.
Whether you're considering a trip next summer or already on the hunt for a cheap deal, there are many reasons to secure your holiday a year in advance.
Flight schedules for the next year are usually released in September or October. When new flight schedules are first released, fares tend to be at their lowest. As demand for certain dates increases, especially in peak seasons like summer or over bank holidays, prices will increase. So if you book your summer holidays many months in advance, you’re much more likely to get a good deal than if you book it just a month or two before. In fact, we've found that around a year in advance is the cheapest time to book a summer holiday. This changes depending on the time of year you travel. For example, breaks such as Easter are usually cheapest at around three months ahead.
Flights aren’t the only reason to look for early-bird travel. Many travel companies are willing to give discounts for travel booked well ahead of time in order to get business on the books for the coming year. Whether you're planning your ultimate solo trip or gathering your friends together for an epic group holiday, you are sure to save money compared with booking closer to the departure date.
Not only that, but you can also very often secure your holiday for a very small deposit. With the trip not taking place until many months or even a year later, most operators are happy to book for a deposit sometimes as low as £10.
Flights to Spain skyrocket in summer, but you don’t have to pay heaps of money for a trip to Southern Europe. Booking early means not only much cheaper plane or train fare, but also more (and cheaper) options in choosing your hotel, resort, rental home, or hostel. Given the popularity of cities like Barcelona and Seville and beach destinations like Mallorca and Ibiza, it’s best to book well in advance to snag the best offers.
With temperate weather in the north, sultry summer days in the south, and more fresh pasta than you can handle, its unsurprising that tourism in Italy is at its peak in the summer. While you can’t avoid the crowds of tourists in cities like Rome, Venice, and Florence, you can rise above by planning smarter. Booking early means big savings on flights and popular hotels—and more money to spend on wine and gelato.
An ace holiday is practically guaranteed in Greece, where sunshine-y days and warm weather are the norm. Early bookings ensure that you can get to your favourite Greek destinations, like Athens, Santorini, and Crete, without spending too much as prices rise in spring and summer. Once you’re there, you can explore ancient ruins, relax by the beach, take day trips out to small islands, and enjoy fresh seafood by the water.
From top deals on a glamping getaway to a budget minibreak in one of your favourite beach towns, there are plenty of reasons to book ahead when it comes to spring and summer travel in the UK. Staying close to home for a holiday is becoming more and more popular, given the number of excellent city trips, cozy bed-and-breakfasts, and relaxing beach holidays available. Not to mention, staying in the UK is an opportunity to take a more eco-friendly holiday.
In recent years Croatia has climbed the ranks of summer holiday hotspots, making it one of the most sought-after summer destinations. With cities rich in interesting architecture and Mediterranean fusion cuisine, and seaside towns overlooking deep blue waters, Croatia draws in bigger and bigger crowds ever year. Get ahead of the curve by booking early and enjoy hotels with seaside views or bed-and-breakfasts in the city centre without breaking the bank.