By all means, I’m a procrastinator.
I don’t get around to doing laundry until I have nothing clean to wear.
I spend 40 minutes being lazy every morning and then spend the last 10 minutes rushing to get out the door.
I don’t even remember the last time I changed my oil.
…but there is something that I make sure I’m never late with and that’s saving money!
My husband sometimes gets upset when I spend most of the spring season just looking at our finances. It makes sense to me though. We already have to do taxes, we know how much we get back or owe, and the majority of our annual expenses are yet to come – summer vacations, back to school supplies, Halloween costumes and decorations, Christmas gifts and decorations, New Year’s Eve, it’s all yet to come.
Many people don’t even think about planning out this early, especially if they’re used to going on vacation every year. Sure, you probably know your destination city…but that’s not the only factor when it comes to the financial aspect of your vacation.
The actual cost of things and the chances to save money are based on your booking timeline, what transportation you need, what rentals you use (ex. Hotel room, vehicle, boat, etc.), and what entertainment you will seek.
Book Early to Save Money
I can go on and on about how convenient it is to have everything set in stone months before going on vacation. I don’t need to though. If I were being completely honest, there is only one reason that my otherwise lazy self makes the effort.
That reason is money. I know I can save money by booking early, so I take advantage of it!
How do I save by booking early?
I’ll give you an example.
Let’s say the destination is Bermuda. We end up going with the Cambridge Beaches Resort & Spa. On their website, they have seasonal specials that allow us to save money for booking early. Booking 60 days in advance will save us a nice 35%. Booking 90 days in advance will save us an even nicer 40%.
Not bad, right?
Save By Shopping Around
Sometimes booking ahead isn’t an option, like when leasing a vehicle.
Let’s say we plan to do a road trip across the UK with some friends. We will be doing a lot of driving so gas mileage will be a big concern. We are also very eco-friendly people, so we want to lease something that reflects that.
We go to http://www.tilsungroup.com/ and check out the “Green Car Lease” option under the Car Leasing tab. This gives us a rundown of the options of green cars that they have and the cost of leasing them. There is also the option of choosing the level of CO2 banding, meaning we can compare based on how environment friendly they are as well!
Booking Early Can Cost More
Here’s where booking early gets tricky.
Businesses know that people think booking ahead saves you money. It does some of the time, but not all the time. If you ring in a flight on the London Heathrow Airport website, you may be surprised with the much lower prices for flights closer to now. I tried it out and a flight a few weeks from now is just over £500, close to £1,000 in July and over £1,400 in August.
For this reason, you may still want to leave some doors open. If the current price of the flight is £1,400, it probably won’t go up. You can wait it out and order when it’s more affordable – say, in the £700 to £800 range.
You Can Save Money Too!
It’s not that hard. All you have to do is take the initiative to find out which opportunities can save you money by booking in the spring.
In this demonstration, we found that we could save 40% on booking at a resort. We also found that a vehicle leasing company offers competitive rates on many green cars. On the other hand, we learned that booking early could cost us almost triple for the flight.