Deciding how to spend a well-deserved summer holiday can be exciting. Should you go back to a favourite location, or try something new? But there can be tricky trade-offs, such as whether to decide early and book ahead or wait as long as possible in the hope of finding a better deal.

Which is best?

An ING Twitter poll gathering 4,194 responses suggests that opinions regarding the best approach differ. Out of the 646 persons who answered the question in Luxembourg, close to 43% stated that booking early is best, while 29% replied that they prefer waiting for last-minute offers. And 28% said that “there is no difference” – of course, holiday deals can be made available at different times.

Perhaps the best advice of all is to set a budget and research all the possibilities – one way to counter the effect of mind traps, such as familiarity bias, on the decision-making process.

Take your time

There’s no need to rush when planning your holiday. As behavioural economics has shown, not only can getting emotional – in a “hot state” – affect your decision-making ability, but taking the time to plan well and think about an upcoming holiday can be very enjoyable in itself.

Of course, if you wait too long, it is possible that you will miss out on the accommodation or destination you prefer.

Think different

If saving money is important, remember you don’t have to do what you’ve always done in the past or what other people are doing. People are quick to think that peers who spend more money are having more fun on their holidays – but this isn’t necessarily the case. Travelling out of season or to less popular destinations can be cheaper; while the environment and activities on offer may also turn out to be a pleasant surprise. Do your thing with economic and financial analysis.


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