Deciding how to spend a well-deserved summer holiday can be exciting. Should you go back to a favourite location, or try something new? But there can be tricky trade-offs, such as whether to decide early and book ahead or wait as long as possible in the hope of finding a better deal.
Which is best?
An ING Twitter poll attracting 4,194 responses suggests people are divided on the best approach. Some 42.6% indicate booking early is best, while 23.5% prefer waiting for last-minute offers. And 33.9% say “there is no difference” – of course, holiday deals can be made available at different times. Perhaps the best advice of all is to set a budget and research all the possibilities – one way to counter the influence of natural thinking traps, such as familiarity bias, on the decision-making process.
Take your time
There’s no need to rush when planning. As behavioural economics has shown, not only can getting emotional - in a “hot state” - affect decision making ability, but taking time to plan well and think about an upcoming holiday can be very enjoyable in itself, as this article explains. Of course, if you wait too long, it is possible to miss out on the accommodation or destination you prefer.
If saving money is important, remember you don’t have to do what you’ve always done before or what other people are doing. It can be easy to think that friends or family who spend more money are having more fun on their holidays – but this isn’t necessarily the case. Travelling out of season or to less popular destinations can be cheaper; the activities and environment on offer may also turn out to be a pleasant surprise.
Read this eZonomics article for even more tips on holiday savings.