This is always the big question “Should I book my vacation now, or, wait and see if the rate will go down?”
First of all, I am a consumer, too. I believe in getting the best value for my discretionary dollar. Some say the cheapest price. I look for the best overall value or deal. I look at the whole package when I buy. The product, the quality, the people I buy from, the value and the price. That’s what I define as the whole package.
So, getting back to the question, “Should I book my vacation now or, wait?”.
As an industry insider, my suggestion is to book and deposit on your trip the moment that you are satisfied with your vacation choice, your destination or ship, your accommodations, and of course price. One typically comes to this conclusion after a few phone calls and/or visits with a travel professional (we call ourselves Escape Artists). A true travel professional knows where to look, what to recommend, and can gauge how long a promotional price will be available in order to take advantage of it. (FYI – the tables have turned a bit, suppliers are actually giving travel professionals pricing advantages vs the internet )
Have you ever attempted online booking yourself? You can expect that the average person visits between 15-50 different websites over a two to three week period. This can spell C-O-N-F-U-S-I-O-N. I suggest incorporating a travel pro who can collaborate with you and cut your research time down significantly.
Travel professionals usually have access to hundreds of promo codes, only available to the industry, that are not accessible to the average person booking online. The best part, a travel professional can create clarity for you and can save you money!
So, the bottom line is…book it when it all comes together. If the rate is affordable and falls within your vacation budget – book it! I have noticed that the most popular vacations prices are on the rise. Occasionally, the price does goes down. But why gamble with your vacation? For those who choose to wait, we observe the price actually goes up and one of a few things happen; One, they either do not go on their vacation (UGH!) or Two, they end up taken lesser accommodations or Three, they end up staying fewer days. (UGH!) None of these are appealing options.
We do have a few suppliers who have a best price guarantee for a vacation. This means if you pay for the trip protection along with the price protection at the time of booking…if the price of your trip goes down, they will adjust your price before your final payment. This gives clients the comfort to “book early” and not worry about the price going lower. Some cruise lines will adjust pricing as well. It can get confusing, so again, I suggest you save yourself the grief and work with one of our Escape Artists to relieve the potential anxiety so you can stay focused on what you need to do to have a great vacation!
One last note – travel prices are reflected by supply and demand. At the moment, demand for 2010 is rising, which means that the prices will soon climb as well. So, if you are thinking about going on a vacation next year, now is a good time to start looking to ensure you get what you want and the best values available.
Bon Voyage – have a great trip!