Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

Article excerpt


Don't believe the travel agents' scare stories, there are still plenty of holidays available, says Jeremy Skidmore

DON'T panic if you haven't booked a summer holiday yet - you're in the same boat as thousands of others. The big travel companies have for months been trying to scare us into booking early by saying there will be no holidays left in the peak season of July and August. My advice is to take all that with a pinch of salt. It's in their interest to get you to splash out as soon as possible so that they have your cash sitting in their bank accounts.

The truth is that up to two million people wait until the middle of summer before buying their annual trip to the sun and, as always, there are bargains around for those who are prepared to be flexible. The most popular hotels in resorts on Majorca, for example, may be sold out, but there's still time to book up holidays in the Mediterranean, with bargains to Cyprus, Greece and Turkey on offer.

Noel Josephides of Sunvil Holidays, which specialises in Greece and Cyprus, says: "There are a lot of deals on flights to Cyprus this year because companies have put on too much capacity. But people should be aware that it could be more difficult to find accommodation during peak season if you are not buying a package."

Bargain hunters searching on Teletext would have found seven-night self-catering packages to Greece for only [pound]99 during the first two weeks of this month. After that it gets more expensive, but Josephides says he expects last-minute deals to the Mediterranean for [pound]250 a person late this month or next, compared with an original brochure price of around [pound]450-500 each.

These days, sunseekers who want a discount either have to be prepared to travel at very short notice - sometimes 24 hours - or delay their travel plans to go during a week when the demand is low.

"To get the real bargains these days you have to go at the drop of a hat," says Josephides. …

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