FULL SALE AHEAD
Kick-start your 2019 holiday plans with a January bargain
Christmas and New Year are over and it’s time to get back into work mode and kick goals in a shiny new 2019. But wait, what’s this? January is one of the hottest times of the year to bag a travel bargain? Well, you’ll have something to look forward to.
Remember all that talk over Christmas with friends and family about where you wanted to go this year, and promises to yourself you’d make it happen? Before the working year swallows you up and it’s July already, now is the time to turn that travel talk into reality and save cash.
Travel companies know there’s nothing that makes us dream of going on a holiday like coming back from one, so January is the perfect time to dangle new ideas in front of us with a big sale sign on them.
John Constable, Helloworld Travel’s group general manager retail and commercial, says January sales are created and prompted by demand, particularly for Easter and winter escapes.
“Travel is a part of life that brings enjoyment and excitement so the start of the year is an excellent time to be considering it,” he says.
“After Christmas and the summer break, our customers are wanting to look forward to something exciting and plan ahead for their next break.
“In January we see strong sales for the Easter period and some of our clients will be planning for their winter escapes. Because of this busy cycle we see some terrific offers on these key travel times that will entice people to book early and lock in their next holiday.” And if you like to cruise, it’s bargain-palooza time as companies try to fill any spare cabins on ships sailing out of Australia before our cruise season ends, while also booking as much as they can internationally for the year ahead.
HOW TO NAVIGATE A SEA OF SALES
Put the kettle on and get ready to research.
First, cast a wide net. Rip sales that you like out of the paper, contact your travel agent and let them know what sort of holiday you’re hunting for, sign up for newsletters on escape.com.au and other industry sites, and get on the email list for companies you’d like to travel with.
Crunch the numbers and decide how much you can spend, followed by an “I really, really can’t go above this amount no matter how great it is” number, and know what dates you can get off work.
Jodie Bradbury from Hoot Holidays says while most people start with a destination in mind, it’s worth being open to trying something new.
Also consider the pros of an allinclusive holiday so you can lock in the cost of the trip now without worrying about currency exchange rates changing and having to pay for meals and drinks when you’re there.
If you can’t afford to book your whole trip at once, Webjet Exclusive Tours has a 12-month interest-free payment option, while Expedia’s Add-On Advantage will let you book your flight and then access guaranteed discounts for hotels right up until your trip starts. Expedia’s Kelly Cull says being flexible with dates will help save money on flights if you’re looking to lock in a break over popular travel times like school holidays.
Kelly says that as tempting as it is to go away again as soon as you can, you should also be looking at trips later in the year with possible bargains to be found on a ski trip or European adventure.
Princess Cruises’ Nick Ferguson says with so many cruise deals being updated daily, it’s a good idea to have
New hotel openings such as LUX Grand Gaube in Mauritius are upping the sales game; authentic experiences like Morocco and India, and family cruises are all heavily discounted at this time of year.