Book long winter-sun holiday to beat high bills, says TravelTime World

TravelTime World in Berkhamsted will unveil a marketing campaign on Friday to encourage clients to book long-stay winter-sun holidays – and avoid sky-high heating bills this winter.

Last week, energy regulator Ofgem hiked the price cap on household bills by 80% so a typical household gas and electricity bill will rise to £3,549 a year from October – up from about £1,971 currently.

Ashley Quint, travel agent at the independent Berkhamsted agency, said his strategy is to turn a negative into a positive by launching the initiative, called ‘The Heat Is On’.

The marketing highlights costs per day for long-stay winter-sun holidays and offers advice about visas, passports and other requirements.

Quint will promote land-based holidays, cruises and escorted tours to offer much choice as possible to a wide range of potential clients.

He said many holidays will appeal to older, retired clients while others will attract those who have sold their holiday homes because of Brexit issues; those who can work overseas; and travellers who are taking a sabbatical.

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“This winter will be expensive for lots of people, even those on reasonable incomes,” he said.

He said two clients, who are teachers, have taken a sabbatical to travel around South America for a year with their pre-school children.

Sample packages include 28 days in Malta with easyJet Holidays from £24 per person per day; the 28-day Grand Tour of Indochina with Wendy Wu Tours, departing on January 28, which costs from £178 per day; and a 140-day Seabourn cruise from Miami to Barcelona, departing on January 6, visiting the South Pacific, Australia, Far East and India. It costs from £361 per day.

Operators include Mercury Holidays, cruise lines such as Ambassador Cruise Line and Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, escorted tour brands such as Intrepid Travel, Cox & Kings and Titan Travel, and long-haul luxury specialists such as Caribtours and Beachcomber.

Quint said TravelTime World moved into smaller premises in January 2020, cutting costs such as rates and its lease, which will help this winter.

“I have seen other agents who have gone down the same route and made the move during the pandemic,” he added.

“You do not necessarily need a big shop but you can still have a presence, where people can come to you.”

His campaign echoed the sentiments of Julia Lo Bue-Said, Advantage Travel Partnership chief executive, who said on Twitter: “With energy prices rocketing working from home during the winter may not be as appealing, but I’m convinced for those that can, there’s a market for packing up with laptop to warmer climes to save money!”

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