What’s Hot for 2010?
With the proverbial green shoots of recovery still struggling to break through, consumers will be continuing to look for value in 2010. For many of us, having ‘staycated’ last year (enduring record rainfall even for the UK) an overseas holiday is going to be an essential ingredient for happiness in 2010.
So what can we do to get the best value?
As always, shopping around is going to be key. The best prices are generally online but prices can vary massively from site to site. It is well worth checking several websites before booking. Unfortunately, not all websites include the full costs up front so you need to battle right through to the final costing to make sure you are really comparing apples with apples.
It is also worth checking out the level of financial protection on offer just in case you are unlucky and the airline or another party fails. Paying with a card with “charge back protection” is one defence – you should check with your card issuer but most UK credit cards and some UK debit cards have this insurance built in. You should also see what the website itself offers. Larger online companies like www.TravelRepublic.co.uk also offer their own protection scheme, at no extra charge. Alternatively, you might decide to take out an additional insurance policy to make sure you are covered.
If you are after summer sun the Mediterranean offers great value. Although the pound has fallen against the euro, Spain and Portugal are still enormously popular and generally work out cheaper than a UK holiday when the cost of food and drinks is factored in. If you want to want to get the best value from your pound you might look further East, towards Turkey. The sun and sea are every bit as good as Spain but the exchange rate is more attractive.
Another area where you can save money is by booking all inclusive. If you book a flight, transfer and an all inclusive hotel you don’t really need any spending money, plus you know the total cost of your break long in advance. However, read the small print! Not all “all inclusive” rates are as inclusive as you’d expect! It is well worth checking in advance just what is included. It is also a good idea to check out the hotel reviews on sites like www.tripadvisor.com and www.TravelRepublic.co.uk . You are, in effect, committing to all the food in advance and some hotels (but by no means all) cash in on this by serving up some fairly sorry fare.
Market forecasters are predicting some extra pent up demand in 2010 as Brits get back to their normal levels of holiday booking. Meanwhile, the larger tour operators are still reducing capacity. The result could be prices rising as the year goes on – could be a good year to get in early for a change.