The mantra of the travel industry for securing clients the best rates is ‘book early’! Why? When flights and hotels have their greatest availability is when you can secure ‘first choices’ without having to compete for the last remaining spaces. For example, if you book early for the school summer holidays 2017 now (i.e. during the school summer holidays 2016), you can ensure the flights and accommodation of your choosing, as well as some great savings to boot. Take a closer at our ‘Early Bird Offers’ in our Autumn Savings brochure, with up to £765 off. Don’t forget… the earliest you can book flights is one year in advance of travel.
Dreamy island locations such as the Maldives are the perfect setting for your luxury holiday. But due to their remote location and hard to reach settings, you may find that in-resort wining and dining is a little on the pricey side. Therefore, a great way to get the best value from your stay is to choose all-inclusive, or full-board, where you can eat and drink to your heart’s content without having to worry about a hefty bill at the end of your stay. This is a particularly good option for a luxury honeymoon; as you’ll know how much you’ll need for that dream post-wedding holiday before you travel, with only a little spending money required for souvenirs etc. The stunning new OZEN by Atmosphere at Maadhoo is a particularly good choice, with their all-inclusive plan including premium drinks such as Champagne.
Flexibility is where the benefit of booking with a tour operator such as ITC comes in. Save yourself hours of trawling the internet for the best deals and give a Travel Specialist a ring to find out what savings you could enjoy at any given time. So, if you have a week booked off in September and don’t mind where you end up, we could suggest a £450 saving to the South of France, or a Moroccan escape with up to 60% off! Sunshine AND Savings…sounds good to us!
Like all big retailers, tour operators have sales at certain times of year to ‘reduce their leftover stock’. These sales are a great time to bag yourself a bargain, with January being the biggest sale of the year. Having said that, you’ll see offers throughout the year, with e-newsletters a great way to hear about the latest up-to-the-minute deals. At ITC we have weekly offers on the homepage of our website too, such as a massive saving of £2,965 per person at Jumeirah Vittaveli this week.
Just as it pays to book early, it can also pay to book last minute. As long as you can be reasonably flexible on your dates and destination, there’s some outstanding savings to be made by booking this way. At the Inspiring Travel Company we always keep a close eye on any last minute savings – so it’s always worth giving us a ring to see what’s just come into the office. You may need to fly from an alternative airport or stay for 5, 10 or 14 nights rather than a week, but last minute can be great budget choice for the spontaneous luxury traveller.
While there are certain places in the world we wouldn’t recommend ‘out of season’ due to weather conditions, others can afford a still wonderful climate but with a less hefty price point. Take Tenerife for example. Its southerly position makes the island a real year-round destination, and while winter might not guarantee the same glorious sunshine-filled days as summer, the climate is still balmy and perfect for younger travellers thanks to its cooler temperatures. Some destinations also experience ‘shoulder seasons’; where the weather gradually turns cooler or warmer. In the Pacific Islands, shoulder season is September to November and April to June, where prices are much lower but the weather still glorious. You might experience the odd cooler or rainy day or night, but surely that’s a small price to pay for saving yourself thousands on a luxury holiday?!
When hotels and resorts are new, they may offer ‘soft opening’ prices; which are much lower than standard rates because certain facilities aren’t built or open yet, or because staff are still undergoing training. We will never create a package for you at one of our new openings without first letting you know of any amenities which won’t be available to you or of any potential teething problems. But if this doesn’t put you off, it means you may be able to experience a luxury holiday without the luxury cost. For example, a new resort might not yet have their kids’ club open; but if you’re travelling as a couple then this won’t affect you. Call one of our Travel Specialists for more information about our most recent hotel openings.
Make your holiday spends go further by choosing a destination which is favourable to the Pound. For example, currently your Sterling will go a long way in South Africa, with around 18 Rand to the Pound (as of 24.8.16). We suggest making the most of the shops and attractions in Cape Town with a stay at One&Only Cape Town – to which we currently have some fantastic offers for travel before the end of the year. Top tip: the more currency you get, the better value, so if you’re having multiple holidays to the same currency destination in one year it pays to ‘buy in bulk’ to get yourself a better rate. Take a look at currency comparison sites before choosing which company to exchange your Pounds with to ensure the best rate.
Signing up to club and member schemes is a great way to build up points; which in turn can afford fantastic rewards. When you become a client of ITC we will build all your member details into your client profile. So, for example, if you sign up to the Jumeirah Sirius reward scheme we’ll ensure your points are added every time we book your stay at a Jumeirah hotel or resort, and similarly if you travel with British Airways as a member of the Executive Club.
Here at the Inspiring Travel Company we have fantastic relationships with our airline partners, which means we’re always the first to hear about discounted rates. Our Aviation Manager Catherine Maudsley says: “The best way to get the best rates on air fares is to book as early as possible rather than leaving it until the last minute; as the busier flights are the more expensive the fares are. If you’re travelling for a short break, always ask your Travel Specialist to ensure a Saturday night is included – as this makes your premium cabin seat cheaper, as business passengers only take up seats during the working week…again more availability equals better rates.”