Holidays: Now is the best time to book hotels, cruises & city breaks thanks to big savings

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Holidays are all-the-better when they’ve been snapped up as part of a great sale. Experts have said that now could be the best time to make the most of such savings. The travel industry is offering a plethora of good deals to tempt holidaymakers to jet off once again.

Phil Salcedo, UK Head of Market for travel deals platform and app Holiday Pirates, has shared his travel advice: “We are advising consumers to book ahead to lock-in that bargain.

“It looks like capacity will be reduced in 2021 and, when international borders start opening and restrictions ease, deals in popular destinations won’t be as compelling as they are currently.”

Hotels are offering some whopping discounts, with some sharing savings of up to 40 and 50 per cent.

“Whilst hotels and resorts will be looking to fill their rooms, capacity has been taken out of the market during the pandemic,” said Salcedo.

“The message is, if you are brave enough, book now while the strongest deals are still around.”

He added: “The strength and availability of the discount will largely be dictated by the prevailing level of consumer confidence in the new year.”

The cruise industry has also been hard hit by the covid crisis, however, deals are now popping up.

“The cruise sector, traditionally a business that discounts significantly in key booking periods, will look to attract its market back with strong deals,” Salcedo explained.

“With new ships due to be launched, and a huge existing inventory at anchor around the world, cruise companies will be reliant initially on the committed cruise market returning rather than attracting currently timid ‘new to cruise’ business.

“Consumers can expect impressive discounts as we head into the traditional ‘Wave’ booking period of January/February.”

It’s also a good time to get your hands on city break deals. “City destinations keen to recover some of the traffic that stayed away from built-up areas in 2020, are likely to be marketing in a way that they haven’t previously,” said Salcedo.

“Plus Tourist Boards will put more funds into attracting visitors going forward to support their economies and employment prospects.”

Of course, many Britons do worry about booking a holiday at this time – is it safe amid coronavirus? How much financial protection is there?

Salcedo, speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, explained there are ways of covering your back.

He clarified: “Although there’s increasingly good news on vaccine developments, life is not going to be back to normal for some time, and so it’s worth looking out for deals which either offer very low deposits – some of our most recent deals are asking for deposits of just £25 for a holiday to the Med – or flexible cancellation policies.

“Similarly, if you book a flight-based package, make sure that it is ATOL protected.

“Also book with a credit card whenever possible, but check the terms of your card – far from all situations will be covered by card protection.

“These days, destinations, hotels and accommodation providers are being very upfront about what covid-secure health and safety policies are being offered, so make sure you take a careful look at these and always follow local authorities’ guidelines.”

Salcedo added that the best idea is to book travel far into the future.

“Fingers crossed later in 2021 and into 2022, the situation will have improved significantly,” he said.

“There are really good deals to be had right now, if you can plan that far ahead, when the risk will hopefully be much lower.”

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