How & Why Do You Book Your Travel?

Booking a holiday or short break is one of the greatest pleasures in life. Motivation can range from desire to “get away from it all”, to seeking new activities or experiences, stimulation and fun.
Top of the list of goals – whatever your perfect holiday looks like – is making memories to enjoy for the rest of the year. Or for a lifetime. Team Merino thought it would be interesting to review the recent state-of-play around changes in motivation and methods for booking holidays.
For example, what are the benefits of booking your holiday to England early? And how do people now research and arrange the best possible holiday for them?
We have focused primarily on leisure vacations as we know that business travel (including Bleisure travel) has very different criteria around booking and this would and should be an entire blog of its own.
Planning ahead for “bucket list” holidays 
What is clear is that holidays and short breaks are now more important than ever, in the “pressure cooker” times we live in. In an informal survey of friends and colleagues, we determined that even having a holiday booked, regardless of how far in the future; has a significant positive influence on both the quality of their life and work and overall mental state. By planning well ahead, you can savour every minute of this important break, including the joys of finding the best possible arrangements.
According to one piece of research into holiday booking trends, 45%* of people develop a “bucket list” of places they want to visit. Of those, 82%* work hard to tick another destination off their list each year.
This sort of holiday usually requires extensive pre-planning. This is rarely a “snatched” break in a busy year. Typically; a ‘bucket list’ holiday is likely to include; new places – countries, cities etc, enjoying new experiences and soaking up the local ambience with once in a lifetime activities.
If you’re planning your ‘bucket list’ vacation to London, we would suggest booking well in advance. Booking 3-6 months in advance will ensure you find the perfect central London accommodation you need, alongside tickets for the best shows and tourist attractions and table bookings at aspirational restaurants. London is a busy city if you are planning your trip during the high-season and like the idea of ‘winging it’… pack a tent.
Why come to London for your much-anticipated bucket list holiday, unless you can do it in style and comfort!

Retro holidays to the UK
Other people booking holidays in London are often motivated by nostalgia. Around 34% of holiday makers questioned in the research mentioned above spend time putting together vacations to revisit childhood magic or other previous life experience.
This could include for example, staying in central London while you journey out to theme parks and the wonderful British seaside resorts.
These days, looking backwards for holidays is sometimes part of forward thinking!
Saving money by planning holidays in advance
Economic pressures are on everyone’s mind, including the more affluent travellers.
The common rationale for booking in advance for many people is that it can mean saving money on all elements of your holidays. Even if the holiday isn’t going to be that much less expensive it will often provide the opportunity to amortize the payment over a longer period thus reducing the impact of the financial burden.
In the research referred to above, 47%* of travellers admitted that the exchange rate influences their global holiday plans. The economic climate of their destination country was felt to be important too, according to 48%* of those surveyed.
These are some of the significant advantages to booking holidays months ahead of time, if not a full year in advance.
This includes substantial savings on air fares, which tend to go up nearer to travel dates. You also have more chance of paying published prices for such things as theatre and event tickets in London, rather than inflated costs through ticket touts/scalpers.
Living like the locals
Another factor in booking holidays well ahead of time, is the modern trend for preferring a more immersive experience.
Growing numbers of travellers are realising that the best sort of holidays are not ones in which you are isolated from your surroundings. Instead, you can live with the locals to see and experience your holiday as if from their point of view.
This is why staying in serviced accommodation properties in London and other destinations is such a growing trend. In fact, around 1/3 of all travellers now prefer the option of renting serviced accommodation while on holiday rather than staying in hotels. Advances in digital accommodation solutions, like AirBnB have initially driven this change.   The resulting change in booking habits, has led to a massive increase in the serviced accommodation industry in London specifically but also globally.
While hotels will likely maintain their sway for the time being, based on amenities and on-site services; the serviced apartment/house offers the chance to immerse the traveller in the local culture while maintaining their privacy and security.
The increases in digital technology has allowed holiday bookers to visually experience their accommodation prior to booking, often taking the guesswork out of the equation. Usually with hotels, one knows what one is getting but historically that wasn’t always the case with a serviced accommodation.
AirBnB has opened the door and made serviced accommodation much more acceptable, even ‘cool’  and when combined with the digital revolution this has taken all the guesswork and existing hang-ups out of booking serviced accommodation.

(* source: booking.com).

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