Saturday, February 18, 2012

Let's Wait For A Deal!

Jeff Erbele of Travel Impressions recently posted something on Facebook that caught my attention. I suppose the reason it jumped off the screen at me was because I have heard it so many times. Here is what he wrote: "We sometimes hear a client say, 'I would like to wait to see if the price will go down.'"

I have to tell you that if I had a dollar for every time someone said something like that to me I wouldn't be worrying about by retirement account.

I know everyone is looking for a bargain these days and I really can't say that I blame them. I too am looking for bargains and I am aware that when it comes to commodities new models drive down the price of the previous version. Every year when the new cars are announced the inventory of the previous year's models needs to be cleared. I was in Best Buy a few days ago and the clerk tried really hard to sell me a new laptop computer at what was in fact I terrific price. Problem was he only had one and I had to get it now and I really didn't need it. However, when it comes to travel it doesn't seem to work that way. Travel products have an even shorter shelf life that it literally disappears daily. So it is take what is available or do without.

In my experience every time a client put off booking a trip to see if the price would go down they lost money. In travel waiting almost always results in the price going up. Not only does the price go up the availability and choices go down.

It also usually means fewer amenities and on a cruise ship it usually a lower category cabin. Anyone who has taken one of those "last minute" bargain cruises can tell you about this. A week in one of those small inside cabins on the lowest deck in the very front or rear of a ship may be the cheapest fare but it is certainly no bargain.

People who wait to the last minute to book hoping for a better price usually loose financially all the way round. First, they generally get less value for their investment but they also have to pay the full amount of the trip when they book. Early booking allows you to incorporate your vacation costs into your budget and pay it out over time thus not straining the family budget. Nothing will ruin a vacation faster than worrying about the cost.

Early booking virtually always produces the best price, most amenities and nicest facilities. To begin with, early booking will usually mean better choices. You have more transportation options, more hotel choices and more cruise itineraries from which to choose as you plan your vacation. This means you will come more near having the vacation you dreamed than the one you for which you had to settle. You will not be getting everyone else's leavings.

Last minute booking has caught on in recent years because people have discovered there are in fact some cheap prices out there . . . . they may be cheap prices but they are certainly not a bargain. But keep in mind, you must want what's being offered and what's being offered is usually available because an operator needs to off-load holidays that nobody else wants (and there is a reason nobody wanted them) or an airline is desperate to fill seats on a half-empty flight.

One of the really neat benefits of early booking is that you have the months and weeks leading up to your vacation for excitement to build and to get personally organized to so you can actually enjoy your trip. Who wants to spend the days before a vacation worrying about flights, hotel arrangements etc. You'll have much more time to buy everything you need for your holiday, from clothes to plug adapters. Wouldn't you rather spend doing that than sweating the trip details.

My conclusion is waiting to book has a much higher risk of paying more for less than it has of paying off. What's your reason for waiting to book this year's vacation.