If you want to get the very lowest priced travel then are you better off booking up nice and early in order to save, or should you wait until the very last moment to bag some great bargains? This is a question which many have wrangled with over the years and the answer is not exactly straight forward. Today we are going to look at a couple of different aspects of a vacation and see whether or not you will be better to get in early, or wait it out.
Before we get into the whys and wherefores it is important to mention that if you have a concrete date on which you need to travel then it is not worth your while waiting for a late deal. The key here is flexibility because if you wait for a lower price and it doesn’t come, you will be paying far over the odds for your travel.
When it comes to a cruise, be it a short break or a multi-week cruise, you may well be able to find a great late cruise deal offering you some big savings. Cruise prices are almost always cheaper from the outset and then as the cheaper cabins sell the price gradually increases. What many third party operators will do however is to offer a fire sale of spaces in the days leading up to the cruise. These third parties have already paid up for the cabins and they need to get rid of them, which is where you’ll find a great late saving.
When airlines release flight tickets, usually around 6 months before departure, they will have already allocated a certain amount of ‘low priced seats’ which are sold very quickly. Once the cheap seats are sold the price will continue to grow for a month or so before arriving at the maximum price. We have seen in recent years however that tickets 3 on sale 3 weeks before departure are on average 8 percent cheaper than the initial tickets, as the airline looks to fill up the flight. Again this is not guaranteed so only wait it out if you have some flexibility.
One method of travel which will never give you a saving if you wait is train travel, the tickets which are initially released are almost always the lowest price that you will find. Whether it is because of the volume of trains that there are or the fact that there is less pressure on the trains being full is unknown but what is for sure is that if you wait it out, you will be paying more.
Hotels differ from location to location but in the main you will be able to snag some great last minute deals on accommodation, especially if you are using a third party vendor. Much depends of course on how full the hotel is on the nights which you want, and then on whether or not the hotel is prepared to slash prices to get more people in. The best advice on this is simply to keep your eyes peeled, and remain flexible with dates, times and locations.
Late travel deals are great if you can get them and from a little bit of research it is clear that hanging around can often mean big savings.