Simon Calder says he’s ‘holding off’ booking a holiday
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Speaking to Lorraine on ITV, Simon Calder told Britons: “I’m holding off booking. Because although I’m absolutely sure this year is going to be far better than last year, I don’t want to be caught again as so many people have.” The travel expert acknowledged the myriad of great deals currently floating around, but he said he would hold off booking a holiday for now.
Holidaymakers following the expert’s advice will still be able to book their dream holiday in the Med, said Cat Jones, founder of travel company Byway.
However, they may have to be more flexible, which Cat described as “such a joy”.
She told Express.co.uk: “It’s an opportunity, the way travel is working now, you either know what you’re doing, you book months ahead with a package company, you’re sorted, you’re done.
“Or you wait and see and you book something last-minute and you have to be flexible.
“But I think that’s such a joy in being flexible in that kind of way.”
Simon told Lorraine “holiday companies are desperate to sell you those fantastic big summer holidays right now, because frankly, they need the cash,” but Byway found last-minute worked for them.
Cat explained the company, which was founded “the week we went into lockdown” and has only ever operated in a “post-Covid world” had no problems with last-minute.
She said: “Fifty percent of people who’ve booked with us have booked for two months later.
“Twenty-five percent are booking for less than a month later.
“We do get a lot of last-minute requests. Last year, the last-minute bookings did work for us, as we specialise in slow travel and encourage our customers to go off the beaten path.”
Cat knew there were “loads of options” for holidaymakers who left their holiday plans until late, but there was a catch, as “you have to be keen to get away somewhere, and also flexible”.
Flexibility didn’t mean a holiday somewhere completely remote or having to forgo going to some of the most popular regions for a holiday.
Cat explained: “If you have a region in mind and are flexible around that region, we do a lot around the French and Italian coasts.”
And she had some great tips for Britons: “When we look at the Cote d’Azur, for example, maybe stop in Nice briefly, but then go on to Menton, which is very close to Nice, but is not Nice.
“It’s a tiny coastal hideaway on the French Riviera, much quieter,” which meant it was less likely to get booked up months in advance.
Cat continued: “On the Italian Riviera, Alassio is another one. It used to be popular with Britons, maybe in the 70s.
“It’s just a beautiful, amazing rural kind of resort, right on the Med, everything that you want but in a kind of lowkey and chilled way.
“And these places would really not be busy. At least not the way many more popular [and well-known] places on the Med would be.”
Having said all that, Cat recommended: “People who are less flexible should book now. We’ve seen last year places do get booked up.
“If you’re going to book ahead, book a package with somebody who has package protection, the Covid refund guarantee, otherwise there’s a lot of risk with the money.
“There is the risk that you may not travel and it may be disappointing but at least you haven’t got any money on it.”
Byway has a waiting list for holidaymakers who want to book last-minute.
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