Winter is the perfect time to book a magical, snowy vacation and embrace the cold weather. The allure of winter getaways is undeniable. Many of us crave winter getaways, whether it is snow-covered landscapes or warmer climates. December travels have a special place in our hearts.
An effortless booking experience is crucial in this context. To help with some inspiration, we’ve collected the best advice to help you offer your customers the perfect winter booking experience. It’s not just about the destination, it’s also about how effortlessly they can embark on their winter adventure.
Winter travel trends to know of winter getaways
The number of people planning a winter break has increased by 16% year on year, with 29% planning to take it this year.
For the remainder of 2023 and early 2024, extended winter breaks, which allow travellers to escape the cold for sunnier overseas destinations, are expected to be popular.
The most popular type of holidays this winter, according to The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA), are :
Peak travel dates
Christmas and New Year are typically the busiest travel periods. However, travellers are advised to explore off-peak travel options, potentially enjoying fewer crowds and lower costs.
It is difficult to predict the Christmas airport crowds since the holiday falls on a different day each year, and travel patterns are sometimes dictated by the workweek. This year, Christmas falls on a Monday.
It is extremely popular to travel just after Christmas, but relatively few people travel on Christmas Day or New Year’s Day. Peak travel days are Christmas Eve, Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve, which historically have the highest volume of flights on that day.
Based on average air travel, here are the best and worst travel calendar dates before and after Christmas:
Worst Winter Travel Dates for 2023
|Worst Departure Dates
|Worst Return dates
|Thursday, December 21
|Tuesday, December 26
|Friday, December 22
|Wednesday, December 27
|Saturday, December 23
|Saturday, December 30
|the morning of December 31st
Best Winter Travel Dates for 2023
|Best Departure Dates
|Best Return dates
|Monday, December 18
|Thursday, December 28
|Tuesday, December 19
|Friday, December 29
|Wednesday, December 20
|New Year’s Eve
|New Year’s Day
|Thursday, December 28 (for NYE)
|Wednesday, January 3
|Friday, December 29 (for NYE)
|Thursday, January 4
Tips for making travel a winter breeze for customers
Here are our tips designed to help you reduce customer stress during travel by reducing your workload:
Provide tailored winter travel recommendations
Travel agencies should focus on understanding individual preferences, needs, and budgets to provide personalised travel suggestions. This could range from luxury resorts to budget-friendly hidden gems.
Offer exclusive deals and packages
Agencies can leverage their partnerships with hotels, airlines, and local operators to offer exclusive deals combining value for money and unique experiences.
Provide hassle-free trip planning
By managing schedules, finding the best routes, and ensuring convenient connections, travel agencies can make trip planning hassle-free for customers.
Suggest insurance options
Recommending the best insurance options tailored to the trip’s specifics can add more security and peace of mind for travellers.
Create balanced itineraries
Utilising deep knowledge of destinations, agencies can create itineraries that balance popular tourist spots with hidden gems, offering an enriched travel experience.
Offer 24/7 support
Offering round-the-clock support for any issues or emergencies is crucial, ensuring travellers have a reliable point of contact.
Foster local partnerships
Collaborating with local guides, artisans, and cultural experts can provide travellers with authentic and immersive experiences.
Ask for post-trip feedback
Gathering feedback after the trip helps agencies understand what worked well and what can be improved, ensuring continuous enhancement of their services.
Offer group and event packages
Offering tailored packages for groups, families, or special events like destination weddings can cater to niche travel needs.Offering tailored packages for groups, families, or special events like destination weddings can cater to niche travel needs.
How to improve the booking experience
Read on for key methods for refining the booking experience, ensuring that customers begin their travel adventure on a positive note:
Use user-friendly payment gateways
For travel agencies, integrating user-friendly and secure payment gateways is essential for a smooth transaction experience.
eCommerce website optimisation
Agencies should focus on improving their websites for ease of navigation, informative content, and responsive design to enhance the user experience.
Implementing features that personalise the browsing experience can make customers feel more valued and increase engagement.
Streamline the booking process
Simplifying the booking process with clear steps and minimal hassle can significantly improve customer satisfaction.
Ensuring the website is optimised for mobile devices is crucial as more customers book trips via their smartphones.
Plan the perfect winter getaway
The perfect winter getaway starts with the booking experience. Travel agencies that focus on understanding their customers, offering personalised and hassle-free planning, and utilising technology to streamline the booking process are set to create memorable travel experiences.
At Trust Payments, we help travel operators reduce costs, be more efficient and have higher approval rates with merchant services for travel agencies. We ensure secure, speedy collection of guest payments such as booking fees, flight tickets and accommodation deposits.
Get in touch today and make travel booking payments seamless!