Getting away during the holidays in December, referred to as “festive season” in the travel industry, is popular for many reasons. From ease of taking vacation time due to the holidays to winter school breaks, December is an incredibly popular month! Festive season is unofficially identified as December 20th to January 4th and within those two weeks, there are more restrictions in place compared to other times of the year. From blacked-out dates to minimum night stay requirements and extended cancelation windows, festive travel can feel daunting. As always, Team Ourisman is here to assist; we have outlined a few of our top tips for successfully planning festive travel!
When should I start planning?
We advise clients to start thinking about their festive travel plans as early as possible! Knowing that demand for December, in general, is always high, particularly over the dates of December 20th through January 4th, it is always best to think ahead. Tackling planning for travel over the holidays early will give you more options to choose from rather than having to choose from what is leftover. Also, hotels usually give guests who have previously stayed with them over festive, first right if they would like to re-book for the following year. Otherwise, festive availability typically becomes available in early February, so mark your calendars if you want to get a jump on planning!
Are there deals during the festive season?
While some properties may have specials running through the festive season, most hotels and resorts at the 4 and 5-star level will have higher than usual rates during the holidays. Again, this is due to high demand. Don’t count on discounted rates during December and make sure you budget accordingly to avoid disappointment!
How will festive restrictions come into play?
Because the demand is high for festive, many hotels and resorts lean on stricter policies to ensure their inventory sells and stays sold. It is very common for resorts to have minimum night stay requirements ranging from 7 to 10 nights, higher deposits or even prepaid stay requirements depending on the size of the property, blacked-out dates that can only be seen by travel industry professionals, and extended cancelation windows. These policies are important to remember and understand as you are planning your festive vacation. Our team is here to help break these policies down for you and make sure you have the full picture before making your reservation!
How can I protect my investment when strict cancelation policies are in place?
Whenever a client books a trip with a cancelation window of 30 days or more, we recommend travel insurance. We are partnered with Travelex, a leader in travel insurance, and our team is trained to quote the best plan to give you the most coverage and include your airfare if necessary. We are also able to offer travel insurance through our partners Ultimate Jet Vacations and Island Destinations as a package with your hotel reservation for ease and to make the claim process more straightforward.
Are there any fees involved when booking festive trips with Ourisman Travel?
In cases when rates and availability are readily available, we do not charge a fee. However, we do require a festive fee of 100 USD per hotel if rates and availability are restricted.
Many times, clients have an idea of where they want to go and what they want to spend but have a hard time finding viable options that fit their needs. This is where Ourisman Travel can be a huge asset to you in your planning process! Festive trips can engage with our Hotel Plus service for an additional $150 and our team will present you with several options that fit your needs. Spare yourself the headache of sifting through thousands of Google results and leave it to the professionals!
What else should I consider when planning festive travel?
Because hotels are at capacity over the festive season, it is important that you make all of your transfer arrangements, dining reservations, and spa appointments ahead of your arrival to ensure you secure the times you want. Ourisman Travel is happy to assist and can make these arrangements on your behalf through our Hotel Plus concierge service!
To learn more about how Ourisman Travel can assist with your festive travel or other trips, reach out to the team via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or submit a Travel Request Form. We look forward to hearing from you!