FULL SALE AHEAD

Kick-start your 2019 hol­i­day plans with a Jan­uary bar­gain

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - Escape - - COVER STORY - AMANDA WOODS

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.

WHY NOW?

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

PIC­TURES: LUX HO­TELS, UN­SPLASH.COM, ROYAL CARIBBEAN, ISTOCK

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.

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