Is it really best to wait for that "last-minute-cheap-deal" for your holiday, or should you be booking in advance?
As the summer "peak" season hurtles towards us, owners are now being inundated with requests for quotes over the school-break.... and guests seem "surprised" when availability is limited and prices haven't hit rock-bottom for the dates that are available!
The biggest factor to remember is that with private rentals:- supply will always be more limited than booking through the holiday park direct! If you are looking to save money by renting privately (which you will!), your owner may only have one Holiday Home and in six bookings: that's the entire summer filled for them.
Availability and choice will, of course, be slightly greater if you book privately through an agent, but very few agents will have the same amount of properties available as the holiday parks have.
BOOK EARLY: If you have a family with school-aged children, have restricted holiday time limits at work, or just want to be on holiday over any of the main "peak" dates (all school holidays or bank holidays), you need to book your break as early as you can.
You will have more choice and can virtually "guarantee" you will be able to choose your exact required dates.
Most private owners now offer some sort of payment instalment arrangement, so you will also have longer to fund your Jollidays and won't have to find the cost all in "one hit!" Usually you are required to pay a small deposit to secure the dates, with the full balance being due nearer to your arrival date.
BOOK LATE: If you can be more flexible with your holiday plans and have no clear idea of when or where you would like to take your break, leaving it later and playing ‘holiday roulette’ can sometimes pay off .... BUT be aware, you won’t find many last-minute bargains in peak dates: your choice will be limited and last-minute prices can actually rise, not fall. (All down to the ever-constant, "supply and demand" rule - see our peak-date blog!)
Depending on "how late" you leave it to book, you will probably have to pay in full at point of booking with no option of any payment instalments.
BOOK LATE AND GRAB A "CHEAP" DEAL? The best offers are always available at the last minute, right?
For peak dates, chances are you may end up paying more than if you had booked months ago.... again due to the "supply and demand" rule: "supply" (the holiday homes available) is limited and "demand" (the holiday-makers) is high... so for every one available holiday, there may be several people looking to book it! And so the price-war begins!
NEVER expect to grab a last-minute peak season "huge-bargain"
It’s much wiser to start looking for your holiday early and avoid the hassle of not finding the right holiday for you when you want it. Getting it all sorted in advance means you’ll have time to compare all the available breaks to ensure you get the best deal for your requirements, rather than having to "make do" with whatever is left nearer to your required arrival date.
BE AWARE: as a "late-booker", you are a scammer's dream! Take a read here and stay SAFE with your late peak season booking.