Sunday, 8 February 2004
"Last-minute travel: Does it pay to wait?"
I'm featured today in the travel section of USA Weekend , the Sunday magazine supplement to Gannett newspapers throughout the USA:
Link | Posted by Edward on Sunday, 8 February 2004, 22:21 (10:21 PM) | TrackBack (0)
It used to be a steadfast rule of travel: Plan ahead, save a bundle. But more and more vacationers are waiting until the last minute to book their trips, often with the hope of saving money. A poll taken by the Travel Industry Association of America found that nearly two-thirds of 2002's leisure travelers planned their vacation within two weeks of departure. And the United States Tour Operators Association says 86% of its members have reported an increase in last-minute bookings. So why the change?
It's largely a post-9/11 misconception, says Edward Hasbrouck, author of "The Practical Nomad: How to Travel Around the World." When travel fell sharply after the 2001 terrorist attacks, hotels and airlines reacted by lowering prices at the last minute. "This was exacerbated when travel suppliers were reluctant to acknowledge the extent of the decline in demand," he says. "Acting on exaggerated hopes for speedy recovery, they left advance prices high and kept being forced to lower them at the last minute when the recovery didn't materialize. As a result, travelers got the idea that prices will always get lower at the last minute."
Sometimes that's true, but often it's not....
The article in USA Weekend is mainly about hotels, but the same goes for airline tickets. For more of my advice on this topic, see "The Practical Nomad Guide to the Online Travel Markeplace" and the airfare chapter of "The Practical Nomad: How to Travel Around the World".