Why Your Villa Holiday Doesn’t Have To Suffer Because Of The Recession

Many people will be spending less on travel, but those who can afford it will still be taking villa holidays. In previous recessions, people gave up their holidays first as an unaffordable luxury, but the experience of the 2009 market is that people now see their holiday as a necessity: unless they are personally very badly affected by the recession, they will still go abroad. But the future of the Euro (and its exchange rate with sterling) remains uncertain, so many people wait until the last minute before booking villa holidays. Here is a guide to turn the recession into your advantage:

1. DO YOUR RESEARCH. More than at any other time, you will be rewarded if you get a good idea of what things are worth. When there is uncertainty, some owners of holiday villas will put their prices down to ‘take the market’, others will not, and some will even put them up to make up for the expected shortfall. You will find that some houses become more expensive if the Euro rate goes down because the owners are expecting payment in Euros. Do your research by shopping around and you will know a good deal when you see one.

2. BE FLEXIBLE. The simplest way to make savings is to make your dates as flexible as possible. If you have to book time off work bear in mind that the most affordable flights can be found on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, whereas Fridays and Sunday are the most expensive. It is worth remembering that it is cheaper to book villa holidays mid-week and not over any school holidays if possible.

3. BOOK EARLY. At the last minute there is a rush but you need to be very nimble to get in there. Leave it until summer and you will be facing limited options and hiked up prices.

4. When you know what good value looks like, GRAB THE OFFER. Many owners are having trouble selling their houses, so more and more properties are coming onto the rental market. Consequently, the villa holidays market will become oversupplied in a recession which means you have plenty to choose from. Don’t ask for a discount; the villa is the discount, not the holiday. If it is good value it will go to somebody else while you are still haggling. If a villa owner is willing to discount then it is too expensive in the first place. If it is discounted 10% then it was probably 20% too expensive to begin with. If you like a house and it is priced right then go for it. If it isn’t priced right then there will be plenty more villa holidays to choose from, so keep looking.

5. CONVERT TO EUROS BEFORE YOU GO. Airports, tourist kiosks and hotels tend offer worse exchange rates than currency exchange retailers over here. Shop around for the best rates before your villa holiday, and be aware of 0% commission deals; the commission is usually buried in the exchange rate. Some banks treat exchanges into Euros as a foreign transaction, even in this country, so visit an ATM first and pay in cash rather than on your credit card.

How badly things are hit by this recession will depend on consumer confidence, but the thing that becomes really important during a downturn is value for money. So it’s not all woe: turn the recession to your advantage and you will have a better than usual holiday and save money.

Palmer & Parker offer some of the most luxurious holiday villas in the world’s most exclusive destinations. With the recession underway, now is the time to enjoy the holiday of a lifetime and make the most of the value for money offers in place.

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