Travel and living

Is Planning Travel Ahead Passé?

tgwrttfqwIt used to be that planning ahead was the only way to book a holiday, however, recent polls and reports have showed a significant increase in booking last minute. With an ever-increasing pace of life in today’s society, people can’t predict what they will be doing in the coming weeks, never mind whether their schedule is free for a holiday in six to twelve months. In a world where holidays can be booked at the click of a button, has planning to travel ahead become passé?

What are the advantages of booking a last minute holiday?

When a deal opens up for upcoming departures, it can really pay to jump on the opportunity—discounts for late-booked travel can be significant. Moreover, there are plenty of ways to travel that work well with the last-minute ethos, like taking a city break or exploring within the UK.

You can also shed a lot of the worrying that comes with advance planning. Spontaneous trips are often the most enjoyable, as you don’t get bogged down with the details and worries that booking in advance can bring.

Are more people really booking last minute holidays?

The BDRC Continental Holiday Trends Report 2014 seen significant changes in the way people are booking their getaways compared to in past years. The percentage of those who are likely to book their holiday less than a month before departure rose from 7% to 11%, and those booking a month before departure rose from 11% to 14%.

They also found that the average time between booking and departure had dropped. In 2012 and 2013, the mean time was 3.9 months. However, in 2014, this dropped to 3.6 months. The figures prove that more and more people are deciding to book later.

Are last minute holidays cheaper than booking in advance?

There is much debate over the price differences between booking ahead and booking last minute. Flight prices can fluctuate immensely depending on how many seats travel operators have available on their flights. This can mean booking weeks rather than months before departure is more beneficial.

The rise in popularity of last minute holidays has also meant a change in the behaviour of travel operators. Weekend city breaks are becoming much more popular than beach resorts. ABTA found in their Travel Trends Report 2015 that 43% of people were planning a city break compared to 42% planning a longer beach holiday. Due to this, travel companies are offering better deals on weekend, short-stay and last minute breaks as opposed to the traditional fortnight away.

Many people still do choose to book ahead in fear that, if they wait, prices will rise. However, recent trends show that more and more people are being spontaneous and choosing a late deal. It seems that planning to travel ahead is a trend of the past, and booking last minute is the future.

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