Since the Covid pandemic, vacation makers have been booking trips closer and closer to their departure. What started as a game of ‘wait and see’ on which countries would be open and which trips operating, became a more reactive response to vacation deals and reduced inclination to put off till tomorrow what can be done now – see Explore’s 2023 trends of ‘Carpe Diem travel’. Last year, the average span between booking and travelling on an Explore trip was on average two weeks shorter than 2019. However, as inflation really starts to bite, booking periods look set to get longer again as travelers lock in their 2024 trips to secure current pricing. On bookings for 2024, Explore has already reported a 20% increase in booking lead time compared with the same period last year.
Bray says “booking early seems an increasingly popular option for those that want to plan their outgoings ahead of time. Once your Explore booking is confirmed the advertised price is guarantee, whatever the circumstances – so travelers can rest assured that any subsequent surcharges for fuel, currency etc will be covered by Explore.”