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Holiday bookings already up for 2011

20 January 2011 11:27

Holiday bookings already up for 2011

The time after Christmas has always been one of the peak times for booking holidays. After the fun and festivities of December people start planning the year ahead. While enjoying the holiday season and time away from work, people feel inspired to plan more holidays so they have something to look forward to when they go back to work in January.

Reports are showing that bookings for 2011 holidays made after Christmas are up on last year. Despite the increased cost of living, thanks to the VAT rise and the increase to 20% of Insurance Premium Tax, people seem to be keener than ever to book holidays, maybe to escape from the doom, gloom and bad weather of the UK.

Tour operators have been quick to offer travellers incentives to book, with special offers, early booking discounts, free deals for children and two for one offers, giving people the chance to save potentially hundreds of pounds on their holiday. Airlines have also launched their January sales with record discounts and price cuts to encourage people to book early.

With the increase in Insurance Premium Tax travellers now have to pay more for their travel insurance policies. Some travel insurance specialists will be waiving the increase during the month of January, passing the saving onto the customer. Even travel insurance sales are up threefold on the same time last year for one travel insurance company* showing that more people are taking out travel insurance to cover them this year.

TripAdvisor has announced the findings of its annual Travel Trends Survey of more than 6,200 European travellers, and forecasts a more optimistic 2011.

The Travel Trends Survey shows that 2011 will see Britons travel more, with a significant number (66%) of people planning to take a long-haul holiday. Only a third of Brits are planning a stay-at-home holiday in 2011, marking the possible demise of the 'staycation' trend which has dominated the last few years.

With the strength of the pound down against the euro people look set to head to more exotic destinations this year. Traditional favourites like Spain and Portugal may be overlooked in favour of places like Egypt and Turkey.

In fact, Lonely Planet's latest book, Best in Travel 2011, lists their top ten countries for 2011. The list is based on scores for topicality, excitement, value for money and…that special holiday X-factor and unsurprisingly, includes a number of unexpected destinations:

  1. Albania
  2. Brazil
  3. Cape Verde
  4. Panama
  5. Bulgaria
  6. Vanuatu
  7. Italy
  8. Tanzania
  9. Syria
  10. Japan

The increase in holiday bookings on the same period last year signifies a good year for travel. It also shows that people are taking advantage of some great offers and managing to book their 2011 holiday at a great price, thanks to the travel companies doing all they can to encourage people to book their holidays early in the New Year.

It is clear that people see holidays as important and are not missing out despite the economy being in a state of flux. It is also clear that people are becoming far more travel savvy and are making great savings across the board with their holidays.

One key area where people are making longer tem savings is on their travel insurance. More people are taking out annual multi trip travel insurance to cover them and their families for travel throughout the year, a saving of hundreds of pounds on multiple single trip policies. As well as giving great savings, it also gives families and individuals more flexibility when planning their holidays for the year ahead, making taking a last minute holiday trip even cheaper and easier.