The Travel Factory Blog
When Booking Travel, It's Never Too Early
I use that headline to make the point that when planning a vacation, wanting it to be the best for the least amount of money, the best tip I can give is to start making those plans early for the best rates.
I make that point after a phone call yesterday from a potential client who wanted to take a short trip to an all-inclusive property over the Memorial Day holiday.....that's about 5 weeks away, and he was blown away at the trouble I was having trying to find availability, and blown even further away when I announced the price at the resort on which I was finally able to find space.
One thing you can't do with any certainty is to make air reservations more than 330 days before you intend to go and return. Some cruise lines, Viking for example, can quote a rate more days than that, but that is because they've arranged contracts with the airlines that will help them sell their space with a good valued price on air kicked in.
An example of that is a group booking I have made for anyone interested in a river cruise next summer, June 19-29, 2020. The name of the trip is “Elegant Elbe”. It has a fascinating itinerary: fly to Prague from DFW, stay for two nights in Prague in a 5-star Corinthia Hotel, take a bus transfer to the port, cruise to Dresden, Meissen (European Porcelain factory), Wittenberg (Martin Luther's home and Castle Church which is a UNESCO Site), stop at Potsdam before you get to Berlin and stay two nights at the 5-star InterContinental Hotel. Total of 10 nights; 4 nights in outstanding European hotels and 6 nights on a river ship.
Speaking of the river ship, it is the Viking Beyla. She only has 49 staterooms; only 98 persons can board. That definitely means booking in advance. We already have 5 of those rooms reserved this week, and would like to have about 20 more so we could say that half the ship is held by guests of The Travel Factory!!!
Because of the paucity of rooms, Viking will not give me any blocked space. They hold the inventory to the staterooms, so it's a first come, first serve, and the earliest you can make a reservation the better chance you have of getting this great vacation experience. And you have to make the $500 a person deposit at time of booking. Even on Viking's other river cruises, they hold only 190 passengers, so they fill up really fast too. Every Viking group I've ever escorted (3 others), they have been sold out 8-10 months in advance.
And why not?....Viking has won every award for their cruising product that is surveyed, and most of them, more than once. Included in the price are all meals, accompanied with wine and beer and soft drinks at lunch and dinner, a shore excursion in every port, if you take their air then transfers are included, unlimited WiFi, 24-hour specialty coffees, teas & bottled water, port taxes and fees. What a deal!!!!...and on their ocean-going ships the floor in the bathroom is heated and they have the best bathroom lighting on the seas!!
So...that's why I say that you can't plan too early to take a vacation. You'll always get the best value the cruise line offers the earlier you book, and the same goes for booking an airline seat. The experienced travel advisors at The Travel Factory are dying to visit with you, so call Russell Berry as soon as you can to get on one of your trips of a lifetime. You'll never regret it!! Come by at 4150 Southwest Drive, or call at 698-1421. We'd be happy to help with this or any other vacation idea you might have.