Booking an industry standard holiday
With summer well on its way, the next big holiday most families will be looking forward to is the summer break, as soon as schools break up and the kids are bored with ambling about the house and their friends' houses. This year, more so than ever, the emphasis is on value for money. Choosing the right destination, at the right time, has always been top priority, but now consumers have to think more consciously about when they are going to book, what kind of deal they are going to buy and who to buy it from.
With so many tour ops, airlines and even direct tourism operators such as hotels going bust in 2008 and 2009, consumers have to be extra cautious before booking with any old travel agent that pops up on Google in 2010. Consumers should look for tour ops, airlines and travel agents that are members of ABTA and are ATOL licensed.
The holidays offered on this website are Timeshare weeks and are booked with the Timeshare Company via the owner’s permission. One of the advantages of going with a Timeshare company in this way is that everything has been pre-paid, so the actual structure of the holiday is secure. The company are not going to suddenly find they cannot afford to run the boats, or pay the staff, because the money to do that was paid into in the bank at the beginning of the year.
If you are making arrangements via a Travel Agent, using a respected market leader can make a lot of sense and help ensure your peace of mind at a time when you are trying to relax and enjoy yourself. You may well want to book your flights by this means, please think carefully about the reputation of the company you choose to use.
With regards to the Narrowboat Holidays themselves we would advise basic holiday insurance. We have owned Timeshares with this company since about 2002 and have yet to hear of a single holiday cancellation, but “Acts of God” such as sudden summer storms can happen ( thankfully very rarely ) and the security of a little insurance can make the difference between “Adventure” and “Disaster”.
If you are date specific, i.e. you need to travel in half-term or a particular week in August for example, then booking 12 months in advance means you will qualify for early booking discounts and can save 10 to 20% on the cost. Also, as availability will be good, you will have a wide choice of specifications to pick from. If you pay the holiday off six months before departure you can often benefit from further discounts.
The other option is to book very last minute. This means you have to be flexible with your travel dates and even the precise location and origin airport and be ready to book and pay in full seven to 14 days before the departure date.
Finally, don't think that you can always find the best deal yourself. In the first days of online travel, consumers could buy separate components i.e. airfare and hotel and package them together themselves to save money. But now, thanks to favourable deals with hotels, car rental companies and airlines, tour ops and travel agents often offer the best value for money with their package deals, especially if you are after an all-inclusive holiday that can be paid for up front.
Thomas Cook is an ATOL licensed travel company that offers great value package holidays which you can book last minute or well in advance.