There have been many headlines, and much criticism, about the levels of online shopping on Christmas Day this year – surely, for just one day, the nation could take a break from its internet addiction?
Well, some people were at least planning a break…
Tour company Thomson and First Choice reported online bookings for holidays in 2014 peaked between 10am and 12pm on Christmas Day.
Jeremy Ellis, marketing and digital director for Thomson and First Choice, says: “Our January sale began early again on December 20, with bad weather again prompting more Brits to plan escapes to the sunshine.”
Thomas Cook’s New Year campaign also launched pre-Christmas, and includes discounts up to £300, kids’ places from £1, ‘3 for 2’ benefits on Thomas Cook Airlines, innovative hotel concepts for families and flexible options on flights from 19 UK airports.
Low deposits from many companies are also a big magnet for early bookers. For example, on lowcostholidays.com, you would only have to put down £25 on seven-night all-inclusives in May in a three-star Costa Blanca hotel from £209 or seven-night room-only stays in June in Orlando, Florida, from £528, including flights. It’s therefore unsurprising that the website saw Boxing Day traffic up by 20%, with top searches for ‘summer holidays’ and ‘low deposit holidays’.
At easyJet Holidays they offer other incentives too – early bookers can get 50 euros spending money if they book summer 2014 breaks, of five nights or more between May 1 and September 30, by January 31. After the deposit, they can pay the balance two weeks before departure.
ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents) chairman Noel Josephides says: “If you book now, you are buying the holiday you really want- and early booking offers can be great value early in summer – May, June and mid-July – and at the end, from mid-September to the end of October. Many small companies no longer charter flights, they get hotel bookings and arrange flights after that.”
In an annual travel survey from Travelsupermarket.com, it predicted the summer months of June, July and August are by far the most popular months to travel in 2014, and Spain looks set to be the most popular destination.
Bob Atkinson, TravelSupermarket travel expert adds: “Spain, a favourite beach destination for Brits keen to unwind, still offers great value, affordable holidays and a reliable experience. However some people want to try less traditional destinations to make the most of their time and money overseas.
“Wherever you go though, January is a key booking time: think carefully about what you want, research options, and use a price comparison website to help find the most suitable holiday.”
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