Florida Guide > Planning your Trip
Booking a villa - Last minute or in advance?
In the past many people have looked to book a villa at last minute. With lots of villas to choose from, this was an easy option. Nowadays with less private villas as short- term rentals, choice is lower than it was. With less choice the trend has now moved to long term planning, ensuring that people secure the property they want. The same can be said for flights. With less choice of direct flights to Florida, especially from the UK, prices have risen as availability reduces. Booking a flight last minute is no longer the best option to get the best prices.
With a family of 4 travelling to Orlando from Great Britain, flights are the biggest costs a family will be faced with. This means being able to balance price against availability is paramount. Leave it too long, you will face reduced availability and an increased price per person, book too far out you might find prices are still high as they try to take advantage of those wanting to guarantee a seat. Finding the balance often causes a lot of stress and time spent on the internet trying to find the flights at a good price.
If you are travelling off peak dates the above, finding a flight at a good price might be easier as there is less supply and demand for seats. Travel in peak school holiday periods and as demand increases often prices do not change at all (apart from go up the nearer you get to you dates!!).
So how do you know when to book a flight at the right price? Well this is down to the individual really and what they want to pay. If you have a bigger budget to play with then booking as early as possible is always the best way to guarantee the seats on the flights you want. If you are looking at trying to save money, the only other way is to keep an eye on the prices of the seats and book them when they come down. Obviously this comes with some risk and prices might not come down, but looking out for the sale periods from the big operators does help. Both Virgin Atlantic and BA have 2 sales per year and these can be good if you are travelling at peak dates as some offer 10% discounts in the sale, which can equate to £100 per person if paying £1000 per seat.
Other option is to look at the indirect options and travel with these carriers. During the holiday periods when business travel is reduced, there are more seats on sale to travel to main US hub airports (New York, Philadelphia, Chicago etc). With this in mind some people can find prices during the school holiday periods are a lot less than travelling direct. You do have a trade off in that you have to change planes, but some are only short changes and places like Philadelphia and Charlotte do have fewer queues to clear customs, saving time in Orlando. Savings of up to £300 can be found by flying indirect during peak periods, certainly worth looking at.
With the trend moving towards long term bookings, looking to book a flight as far out as possible is certainly a good option. Yes you might pay a little more, but for peace of mind and less stress it certainly is a good option. Whatever way you look to book your flights, trying to find something in your price bracket is the main priority, once you find them, the best thing to do is book them before they are gone!
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