While there may still be a few more months left of 2016 (they go so quickly though!), stores around the country are already showing off their festive season stock and pumping Christmas carols over their sound systems – signals that you need to start thinking about the December holidays! To ensure that your holiday allows you to recuperate from the stresses and strains that the year has thrown your way (and doesn’t create any additional stress) Group Sales & Marketing Manager for Premier Hotels & Resorts, Grant Sandham, suggests starting your planning now, particularly if you want to save money too.

He offers the following tips to help take some of the pressure out of your holiday planning:

Location, location, location

South Africa offers a number of extraordinary destinations to explore – from beaches to bush. Some areas, like the Eastern Cape, offer you the best of both.

If you want to avoid the masses this year, why not opt for lesser-frequented areas. For instance, if you’re looking for a beach holiday, instead of Cape Town, Durban and Umhlanga you could choose a spot like Richard’s Bay that offers great value for money. Or a hotel in Mpumalanga that is within close proximity to the Kruger National Park, providing a base from which to explore all that the province has to offer. One may even consider the tranquillity of Pretoria and explore the Union Buildings and Cradle of Humankind.

Accommodation Affordability

Keep a look out for hotels that offer rates per room rather than per person as well as free boarding for kids sharing. This will save on accommodation costs, especially when you’re travelling as a family.

Seek out Specials

At this time of the year, a number of hotel groups will be offering discounted rates not only at their properties but also with their partners like car rental services. For example, if you book at any of the Premier Hotels & Resorts properties during the month of October you will receive up to 50% discount on your stay over December and January.

Research Ratings

Once you have some ideas of where you would like to stay, check out popular websites to find out what other guests have said about the hotels. Reading their reviews and looking at their photos will enable you to get a balanced view of what a hotel is like. Be sure to do cost comparisons in order to make the best choice for your budget.

Don’t Miss the Deadline

To ensure that you get the accommodation you’re after, it’s advisable that you book as early as possible. The December school holiday is a peak travel time, so be sure to secure your preferred hotel before the rush.

“Once you’ve booked your room, all that’s left to do is get through the rest of the year so that you can enjoy your well-planned break,” concludes Sandham.


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