It's January and the annual rush to bag a bargain has begun
But not everything is as it seems according to consumer champion Which? after conducting a survey of some big travel names including Expedia, Kuoni and Virgin Holidays.
They highlighted practices which hustle customers into making hasty decisions with time limited promotions, flash sales and clocks counting down to the end of a sale.
They then followed 30 'special deals' in the summer and found that 16 were on offer for lower prices two weeks later after the sale ended. Some hotel booking sites use similar hurry techniques such as 'last available room,' '8 rooms sold today' or '10 people looking at this.'
Feedback from our own customers on Trustpilot shows how much they appreciate being given a choice and not being rushed into hasty decisions. And while it is not always possible to hold flights on popular dates we try to be as flexible as possible. So here's to 2018 and safe travels.
PS. Our tip from early sales is that the US and Mexico will be big winners this year!
Author Jeffrey Archer never likes to be far from an art gallery... and he paints a wonderful picture of a teasing Margaret Thatcher
Your early holiday memories I was never far from the seaside growing up in Weston-super-Mare and I used to spend most of the summers working - either selling deckchairs on the beach or Wall's ice creams on the Grand Pier. Weston-super-Mare is still my favourite place in Britain and I visit it at least a couple of times a year.
What was you first trip abroad? I was locked in a room in my hotel in Paris on my first trip abroad in 1957. I was 17 and there to compete in the 100 yards race against French schools. All I can recall is being stuck in the room, then getting out and running in the race, coming last then going home. I would love to have been seduced by the romance of Paris, but sadly it didn't happen.
What do you need for the perfect trip? I need an art gallery or two. Over the years I have visited most of the greatest cities and art galleries on Earth. My all time favourite is the Hermitage in St Petersburg, which is also one of my favourite cities.
Your most luxurious trip? It was on the Viking Sky cruise ship in February last year. The eight day cruise started in Venice and took in Albania and Greece before returning to Italy. I'm not so good when it comes to journeys on water, but luckily the Mediterranean was as flat as a pancake at the time.
Your favourite destination? I've always had a soft spot for the Irish since 1966. I'll never forget visiting Ireland with my wife Mary for our honeymoon that year. We hired a car and visited Dublin, Killarney, Blarney and Limerick. It was the only place we could afford to go at the time and the people were so friendly.
Best and worst cities? Mumbai is very underrated as a travel destination. It's thriving, bustling, and energetic, as well as being at times heartbreaking because of the poverty you see. I love Italy for its great food and art, but I was disappointed by Naples, which didn't have the warmth and glow of other Italian cities.
Your most memorable holiday experience? I travelled with Margaret Thatcher on her tour of Japan just after she'd resigned as Prime Minister. It was a terrific fortnight of speeches, visiting parliament and the emperor and she was on top form. One night I prepared her room at the Imperial Hotel to make sure everything was the way she liked it, with the mini bar stocked with her favourite whisky. But when she arrived back after a hard day's work and slumped down into a chair, rather than request her usual tipple she said: "I'll have a double gin and tonic". That was Margaret, she loved to tease you.
A selection of customer comments from Trustpilot
Just back from Christmas in Florida and can't thank Donovan and the team at DialAFlight enough! At one point, our holiday wasn't happening - the flights were just so expensive. I don't think we had any idea just how busy that part of the world is at Christmas.
Having spoken to Donovan and discussed our requirements, he offered us some alternative flights to an alternative airport at a much better price than I had been able to source on my own. He also got us a great deal with car hire.
After the initial booking, we received regular updates/reminders to ensure that all our documentation was in place ready for our flights.
Everything worked out perfectly and I have already started to recommend DialAFlight to friends.
We will definitely be using their services again in the future!Debbie Limb gave DialAFlight 5 stars on Trustpilot. Sparkling footnote: Debbie's name was pulled out of the hat in our monthly Trustpilot draw and a case of Prosecco is on its way.
Elliot and the other staff were helpful from start to finish. Regular email updates and calls to check things were much appreciated and took the stress out of arranging a long haul flight. He booked all the seats he could as soon as they became available securing us excellent seats for the longest part of our return journey showing he knew and understood the plane layout. I highly recommend this company and will use them again the next time I'm booking a flight.Kirsten Nutman gave DialAFlight 5 stars on Trustpilot.
I have been so impressed with the service DialAFlight provided for our dream holiday to Australia. Our request needed a rapid response, involved business class travel to Perth, and hotels and car hire in Tasmania. Furthermore, our decision to travel, or not, was dictated by budget. Within three hours, DialAFlight had fixed everything and at a price we thought was for one person, not for both of us. Everything worked as planned. Just got to save up now for our next adventure.Clive Davison gave DialAFlight 5 stars on Trustpilot.
I'm so happy that a friend recommended DialAFlight to me. Having a travel manager to deal with my bookings from start to finish took all the stress out of searching for flights and hotels, trying to sync flight transfers and keep track of the itinerary. I've always done all my own bookings but was struggling to find good flights for a trip to Thailand. Otis at DialAFlight handled everything for me; it was brilliant. Everything ran really smoothly and I felt so relaxed knowing that everything had been taken care of. It was also great that I didn't have to pay in full right away. I have already recommended DialAFlight to a colleague and will definitely use them again!Emma Douglas gave DialAFlight 5 stars on Trustpilot.