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Hotels and holidays are most likely longed-for by countless people up and down the country. Who wouldn’t want to be relaxing by an azure, sun-warmed pool, piña colada in hand, rather than cooped up at home with a grumbling boiler? Luckily, while travel might not be possible right now, one can still plan ahead for future getaways.
However, a hotel expert has warned in his travel advice that holidaymakers shouldn’t rest on their laurels too much.
Waiting to book a hotel for 2021 could see you paying much more for a room.
Express.co.uk spoke to Ofer Helfman, founder and CEO of Israeli traveltech startup As You Stay.
The platform allows its customers to set check-in and check-out times and pay according to actual hours of the stay, helping them save money.
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Helfman, 44, who has worked in a number of New York hotels, explained travellers need to be booking right now.
He cautioned hotel prices are only going to rise as travel opens up again and jet-setters currently have an “amazing” opportunity to make the most of.
“Book now, because the rates will go up, ” Helfman, who is based in Tel Aviv, said.
“Rates will go up as soon as more and more people book, the hotels will have to slightly start raising the rates because now they drop them.”
In fact, data shows how much cheaper hotels are now compared to previous years.
“We just ran some searches and we see rates for summer 2021 50 percent down than 2020 and 2019,” said the ex-hotelier.
“So, this is amazing, this is a good opportunity, any hotel you dream of or any vacation that you dream of having – just book it.”
Hotels and travel companies are nearly all offering high levels of flexibility so if you book but later wish to change it won’t impact your holiday budget.
“We notice that hotels are getting more and more flexible,” detailed Helfman. “I mean, 2020 was the worst year for the travel industry and many other industries.
“But for us, for hotels and flights, it was just a disaster; so they have to adapt.”
The expert continued: “They’re just happy with any businesses that you give them and they show extra flexibility.
“The one major big flexibility that we see these days, which everyone should know about, is their ability to book today for future reservations, with no cancellation fees.
“We even removed our credit card requirement from our platform.”
Helfman added: “We encourage customers to book for summer vacations, for spring vacations, the worst case scenario, they can just cancel it.
“They don’t need to pay anything in advance.
“We just want them to feel comfortable to book and dream again.”
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