The trip I took to Ireland this past May was made significantly more affordable because I paid for my hotels weeks—months—in advance. Yes! Both Bewley’s and the Camden Court offered great deals on rooms—as long as I would book and pay (nonrefundable) in advance.
I was reminded of this when I read this article in Time magazine.
After years in which both snow and the economy have been iffy, skiers and boarders have been booking winter vacations later and later—or sometimes not at all. So, to lock in dollars early, resort companies are pushing preseason deals that tempt enthusiasts with access to multiple mountains for a single discounted price, as long as they buy when it’s still waterskiing season. …
Some skiers might not like the idea of paying long before snow falls, but the push is working. Once the domain of locals, season passes are snatched up by global ski tourists. Vail’s 300,000 pass holders—who represent $207 million in revenue—come from 50 states and 78 countries. Sales have nearly doubled in the past six years, accounting for about 40% of the company’s lift-ticket revenues. … The earlier you bite, the better the deal—and the sooner you can begin praying for snow.
Of course, airlines have long offered a price break if you pay in advance. The concept is the same—a business fills up seats or rooms early, which helps in budget planning. Apparently this idea is nothing new. This article from Budget Travel reminds:
Who wants to think about winter when it’s still summer? But you might want to reconsider because we’ve got 11 irresistible winter getaways that can put you on world-class slopes or white-sand beaches. There’s just one catch: If you want a price as dreamy as these trips, don’t wait for the first snowfall to make your reservation. (Emphasis mine.)
The list includes cheap airfare and rooms in Florida, Hawaii, Califonia, Montana … and Mexico, Italy, Vietnam, and more.
Remember, these aren’t off-season discounts—though great deals can be had during the off-season too—but discounts offered for pay-in-advance customers. Nonrefundable doesn’t work for everyone, but in my case, it was a wedding I didn’t want to miss. I knew I was going. So be sure to look for a lock-in price package when you make your next vacation plan!