Far from trying to give out an economy lesson, which would be a bit boring as I have studied too much about this in my life, the idea is to introduce you to little concepts that can help you plan ahead or wait for the very best moment in order to select the best time to book travel. The idea is to take a look at the way different currencies are managed in travel websites in order to get the best deal.
Which is then the way to know the best time to book travel?
Sincerely I would not recommend deep knowledge in economy but it will provide a great help to be aware of how actual currencies are growing or falling at the present moment and which kind of trends they are having during the recent months or years. Be updated on economic news is as simple as reading the newspaper or the internet news.
And why is it positive to be aware of that? Well, all travel must be booked in a determined currency and travel agencies can’t change the value of their prices everyday depending on the fluctuation of their local currency as this would cause an absolute chaos to their offers and financial statements would go wild.
Which benefits does it bring to you?
Travel agencies take a reference value for the conversion between two currencies at a point of time and from this point and on this currency may go up or down. To put it as an example, let’s take the case of the sterling pound that at the time of the article is suffering a strong fall that is expected to continue across the whole year. There is a travel agency in the UK that set a price in sterling pounds for a plane trip to a foreign country. At the time they set the offer, it was better to buy trips in Euros, as the pound was very strong in relation (about 1.5 conversion rate) Suddenly, the pound began dropping and right now the conversion rate is 1.32. Being the offer in pounds the same in the travel agency, the new price that will be deducted from my credit card when booking this trip will be converted into Euros at today’s conversion in a way that it results a lot cheaper than before.
Some numbers to this…
Let’s say that the trip I was looking to book costs 1,000 sterling pounds. At the old conversion rate of 1.5 I would have paid 1,500 Euros to get the flight. Instead, at the actual rate, I am only paying 1,320 Euros, which is a 12% cheaper. Simply for waiting for the right time to book I have saved nearly 200 Euros (about $300).
A general strategy to know the best time to book travel
Sounds simple but sometimes it isn’t and the most difficult thing is to look at what experts say about one currency. If a currency is expected to climb, I would recommend to buy as soon as possible. Instead, if the currency you want to buy with is going to fall, the best you could do is to wait until you fear to end up without places and buy at this point in time, or just before the expiration date of a determined offer.
But there are thousands of currencies out there… which one to use?
Of course you have many options. In any case, the most normal ones will be to buy in US dollars, Euros or UK Pounds. Sometimes travel engines or airlines and hotels make you select your home country. It would not be illegal to make the machine think that you come from Uganda if the Uganda currency has been going down recently, so just feel free to do it. Only remember to have a Uganda language translator next to you, as it could be pretty difficult to read and book the adequate dates!
This system is not for me, I don’t have time…!
Then I recommend you to take the easy way and use travel certificates as your mean of moving around. Everyday this industry is developing more strong and possibilities are varied. For the first time, people offering this certificates for free is appearing as part of redemption fees go for this distributors. Never buy travel certificates as you will be paying for what you don’t need to. Travel certificates will always save you from 80 to 95% in airfare tickets. No need to say more.