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When is the best time to book a holiday?

beach holidayIt’s hardly original to suggest that this might be a bit of a challenging year. And January is always a month to be endured rather than enjoyed what with all that resolution keeping and breaking. So it’s a good time to think ahead to the spring and summer – and that means sorting out this year’s holiday.

But stop now: is January actually a good time to book it? While there might be flight sales on and holiday companies are advertising deals if you book now, January is the peak holiday booking time hence prices usually fall later in the year (there’s a good article here on this). And this year, of course, there’s also the Brexit factor. Lord knows what is going on but frankly, the chances of everything being sorted quickly seems remote. I don’t know about you but I really don’t fancy joining a long queue at an air or sea port while customs officials try to get a grip of new procedures. Having said this (and this will lose me votes for mother of the year) junior is off on a school trip to France in May which could mean many hours stuck at Calais docks. From memory, this involves sitting in a massive car park with grungy toilets and a horrible café. Rather him than me.

Brexit worries also could derail travel companies: if we aren’t booking flights or holidays because we’re worried about it, then their income falls which could mean they fail. If you book a package holiday then you’re covered by the Civil Aviation Authority’s Atol bond. If you create your own package by booking a flight and a hotel through the same site, then you should be covered by Atol, but do check first. There’s more information on the Atol bond here.

All this Brexit worry could mean holiday prices will fall over the next few months. If (ha ha) the whole affair is sorted out in March, then I suppose prices will start going up after that. So if you want to save money on a foreign holiday, then maybe you should be thinking about booking in February-March. If you do, remember that cashback sites Quidco* and Topcashback* have offers: currently, there’s 11% off some Expedia deals at Quidco and Topcashback has 8% off Royal Caribbean cruises.

Of course, the other alternative - and the one I’m leaning towards – is to stay in the UK. I don’t imagine I’m alone here: no doubt many of the nicest holiday homes and hotels are already fully booked. But if the sun shines and the traffic isn’t horrendous, then isn’t the UK the best possible option for this year? Keeping us all marooned on this island is, I suppose, just what the Brexiteers always wanted.

See our SMM guide to holiday insurance here.

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Wednesday, 22 May 2019