Happy New Year and welcome to 2020!
I love the new year. It is an excuse to start fresh. We hope to build on the good from the past and learn from what did not go as planned. As a business owner in the travel industry, this is a favorite time of year for a different reason. The beginning of the year is referred as Wave Season and is one of the busiest times of the year for planning vacations.
I have seen some people describe Wave Season as the Black Friday of the travel industry. Fortunately, we get weeks instead of just a day or two. Clients often ask me when the best time to book is and if they should be taking advantage of the beginning of the year specials. I’m going to be honest and give my personal opinions. Not everyone will agree, but this is based on my years in the industry.
In my experience there is no universal best time of the year to book a trip. There are specials happening all the time. The biggest differences tend to be in the extras that you may receive. The most popular tends to be reduced deposits, but can include things like beverage packages, WIFI, bottles of wine or discounted air fare. The actual prices don’t tend to change a great deal. People talk about the deals that they get, and companies don’t want two people sitting next to each other who paid greatly different rates. It does not make for happy customers.
I normally advise my clients to book as far in advance as possible. The two main reasons or this is that you get the best selection of rooms and prices tend to climb as ships and resorts fill up. Does that mean that you should ignore Wave Season? Definitely not! You will not find prices go much lower than they are now. Many people are booking now which means that the selection of accommodations is shrinking.
What happens if you book now and see a lower price in the future? The first thing is to make sure that you are comparing the entire package. Prices may drop but amenities may go away. Prices may go up, but the amenities may get better. You don’t want to change your cruise booking to save $100 if you will lose $500 in amenities. I have seen a small price drop on a cruise, but the new rate no longer included the beverage package. A recent client of mine booked about 9 months in advance and was able to select her ideal room. The ship did not sell as well as expected and as a result the rates dropped. We were able to reprice the vacation and saved about $1000 without losing any of the original perks. Since our time is valuable we are looking at overall value not just the difference in a few dollars.
Every case is different. I personally use the specials to build awareness and excitement. Check out all the specials that are going on and start dreaming of where you want to go next. When something strikes your fancy, contact me and we will make sure that you get a great value and a wonderful trip.
Where will you be going next?
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