We’re all guilty of a little wanderlust, especially in the winter, when images of Caribbean seas, South African skies and Sri Lankan sun dominate our Instagram feed. Escapism can take many forms, and the long, barren January needs it, even if that escape happens only on the pages of Skyscanner. We all need something to look forward to, and for practical purposes, planning your holidays sooner rather than later can have many advantages. With that in mind, here are 5 IDEAL reasons to plan your next holiday well in advance.

SNAG THOSE LOWER PRICES

Whilst it’s not always true that the earlier you book, the cheaper it is, waiting for last-minute bargains is a stressful, often fruitless experience. By planning earlier, you’re able to monitor fluctuations in prices and book when you see a good deal, without succumbing to the pressures of ‘now or never’. 

There’s often a temptation to engage in a game of who blinks first when booking flights; if you take it right down to the wire, you might cash in on a last minute price drop. But this very rarely works, really. You’re much more likely to get inexpensive tickets if you act decisively and firmly once you’ve chosen where you want to go. Even in the unlikely event that you do snag an eleventh-hour flight, the cost of high time, high price hotel room bookings, transfers and the rest will likely render your savvy saving on flights negligible.

Accordingly, it’s a wise move to set up price alerts to help you grab the best deals, as well as looking out for promotions, all with a flexibility in mind that doing things earlier grants you. 

BUDGET BETTER

Simply put and consistently true, planning your holidays helps you better manage your budget, both for the holiday itself and life in general. To streamline the more complicated sums, if you have 10 weeks to save for a £1,000 holiday, you know you need to start putting aside £100 a week; and this easy visualisation is actually an incredibly useful tool when budgeting. Knowing this will help your spending, and ensure you have enough money to not only travel to your desired location, but actually afford to do all the things you want when you’re there….waiter, another dos cerveza s’il vous plate! 

ALWAYS TAKE THE WEATHER WITH YOU

Actually, don’t. But if you’re like the majority of 82% of Brits who consider having good weather the most important thing in a holiday, then you don’t want to take anything by chance. By looking at average temperatures, long range weather predictions and the rest, you’ll be able to plan when the best time to go is, instead of just being lured by low prices and sacrificing good weather in favour of saving a few pounds.

AVOID SOLD OUT DISAPPOINTMENTS

If you’re travelling to a destination for a particular event like a concert, festival or exhibition, knowing the dates in advance will help ensure you bag a ticket. Similarly, exclusive holidays like cruises, wellness retreats and conservation holidays tend to only take small numbers and sell out months in advance. Getting your spot early is vital if you don’t want to miss out. 

GET YOUR HOLIDAY REQUEST IN

If your place of work operates holidays on a first-come-first-served basis, you’ll want to get your holiday requests in early to avoid missing out. By deciding on your travel dates early, your employer is more likely to accommodate your request – especially if you’re looking at longer durations. You can also hack and manipulate the bank holidays to your advantage by incorporating them into your holiday request and saving precious annual leave. In fact, we wrote an article last year on the IDEAL guide to make the most of your annual leave in 2019. Though the year has changed, the same rules apply, so check it out!

And with that, we’re off to book ours! Good luck with your search, and perhaps we’ll see you in the plane or by the pool?