Early Bird Discount explained
As the name suggests, an early bird discount is a discount that you get from tour operators and other service providers if you book early … and even for trips during the main season.
There are early bird offers because tour operators and providers want to fill up the contingents right at the start, so that at least part of the offer has already been sold safely.
In contrast, there are last minute offers where you can save a lot, too. In the case of last-minute offers, the service providers sell free-standing contingents shortly before the start of the trip, so that, for example, there are no more vacancies on the plane and to make as much profit as possible (or at least cover the costs).
Which is cheaper: early bird or last minute?
Both types of booking – early booking and last minute – are very profitable for both customers and service providers. They give customers the opportunity to get a cheap trip even in high season. Service providers can fill up the quotas in order to have sold at least part of the offer or to fill free-standing quotas shortly before the start of the trip. However, which of the two booking types is the most profitable for you depends on various factors, such as travel time, vacation location, hotel category or airline.
Normally, early bird trips are more useful for trips during the holidays, during vacation periods or in the high season. Last minute trips, however, for the off-season. A great advantage of early booking trips compared to last minute trips is the free choice of contingents. You can freely choose which hotel and room category and flight time you prefer and you can choose hotels with the best location.
On last minute trips you have to be satisfied with the remaining places and you cannot choose freely. However, since there is usually a lot of continent available “last minute” in the off-season, it is advisable to book your holiday shortly before the start of your trip. The closer the journey begins, the cheaper the prices become.