April showers can lead to big discounts if you book now.
Although British Summer Time has officially started and the clocks have gone forward, it doesn’t feel particularly summery and ones thoughts are not naturally turning to booking a Summer Holiday. Not surprising after two heavy snow falls & the inevitable disruption they caused both holidaymakers and the industry.
However, it would be a mistake to delay booking a break. Looking at our own bookings, the key dates are practically gone already. Moreover, a brief web search showed that statistically a hot summer follows a hard winter.
Rather than hesitating and being frozen by uncertainty, waiting for the mercury to boil; the smart cookies are getting their summer bookings in now. Why? Because ‘the early bird catches the worm’.
Holiday parks and many hotels will currently be offering deals and extras to encourage you to book. Wait until July when everyone else wants to go away and prices will follow demand, going up, up, up.
In the holiday market there is one thing we as operators like and that’s guaranteed bookings. You can benefit from this in several ways:
I realise this is a shocking concept in today’s world of instant gratification. I recently read an article about a new practice of making reservations at multiple restaurants for the same time and deciding where to go at the last minute. However, remember holidays appeal to all generations. Older generations plan ahead and get the best deals. Don’t be like Aesop’s Grasshopper – from the Ant and the Grasshopper fable. There are other benefits to booking in advance, you know where and when you are going so you can monitor weather, pack appropriately and plan things to do in the area, making the most of your precious holiday time.
2. Go small
The larger and more commercial the business, the less the person at the other end of your email or phone call cares about your booking. And, more importantly, the less power they have to do something special for you. I know that a third party offer will take a commission ranging from 50% – 70% so when I book a holiday I call direct. If the call ends up at a centralised bookings call centre I can hear the pages of the script being turned. The person on the end of the phone is watching the clock and has no interest in my booking. I have similarly gone to a privately owned site and have benefited from great discounts by speaking directly to the receptionist.
3. Don’t be lazy
I’ve already mentioned booking early but this comes with a caveat. Don’t just click the button on your phone. Act in haste and repent at leisure. If you haven’t carried out your information search then figuratively, you have made your bed, you must lie in it. Staff will have little sympathy for lazy bookings and moreover, it is insulting to the admin team, booking team and the marketing team that go to great pains to make sure all the information is available. Speak to sites directly, get someone on the phone, no one knows the site better than the people that work there. The other benefit of not being a ‘one click wonder’ is that, despite what you read, no one will be able to offer a better deal than the site themselves.
Here’s to a hot, dry summer and early booking discounts.