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How soon to book?

Kadina, Australia
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How soon to book?

Hi we plan to go to bali in august 2012, and im just wondering what the earliest we can book things like hotels is?

also is it better to wait till its much closer or to book as soon as possible? we plan to stay at kuta, ubud and also the gili islands.

thanks in advance.

Perth , Australia
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for Denpasar
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1. Re: How soon to book?

Many people wait for the cheap air fares to come out.

If you are in SA you don't have Air Asia.

Their flights come out about 10 months before the date.

Waiting until Dec would be OK for hotels.

Kadina, Australia
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2. Re: How soon to book?

thanks for that, yes we are in south australia, so no air asia.

would you go through a travel agent or book everything yourself on the net? is it worth paying a bit extra for the agent? and then not have to worry about doing all the messing around yourself?

Perth, Australia
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3. Re: How soon to book?

Its really personal preference as to wether you do it yourself or use an agent. I dont see it as a hassle to organise it myself as I really enjoy doing it. I have organised our last 4 trips to Bali and one through thailand myself and it certainly is cheaper

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Newcastle
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4. Re: How soon to book?

I agree with the previous comments. The main downfall with booking through agents (I tend to still use agents) is that when you book your holiday a % has to be paid withinn 7/10 days but the airfares have to be paid not long after you book but you have heaps of time to pay for the hotel. I think that its about 30 days before you go that the hotel part has to be paid so if you just book your hotel you might do well that way ?

Cheers Ian

Gawler, Australia
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5. Re: How soon to book?

I also live in SA and always book all my flights and accommodation online myself.

I would look at booking accommodation about 12 months in advance as some of the more popular options can and sometimes do book out very early now with return guests etc.

Flights will not be released until about 11 months prior. It is worthwhile keeping an eye on prices for August 2011 so you can get an indication of what prices you could expect for 2012.

Although we do not have Air Asia in SA never discount any option. In August 2010 we flew Pacific Blue direct to and from Adelaide as we were able to secure return flights for $550 each.

For 2011 we were looking for flights in July and although some of the period we were looking at was school holidays the difference in price was enormous. The cheapest we could find with Pacific Blue was about $1400 return.

As I was not prepared to pay this much I began looking at other options including via Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and Darwin.

In the end we have booked Virgin Blue to Perth and then Air Asia to Bali and for the return trip we will fly Jetstar to Darwin and then back to Adelaide. We are lucky that we do have friends in both Perth and Darwin so there was no need for extra accommodation. If travelling via Perth you can actually get the morning flight with PB to Perth and then the afternoon flight from Perth to Bali with Air Asia.

By exploring all options we have reduced the price of airline tickets to approximately $800 return each so therefore we will be saving about $600 each.

With accommodation I always investigate prices with the hotels direct, websites such as Asia Rooms etc and sometimes even an agent to see who can offer me the best price. I usually find that booking direct with the hotel is the best option as firstly you are charged by room whereas agents will charge you per person.

If you are willing to take the time to investigate all options available you can save considerable amounts of money.

Hopefully sooner rather than later Adelaide will get another direct airline option and encourage some competition with Pacific Blue's pricing as with them having a monopoly on the service here they can ultimately charge whatever they want.

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Greater Perth, Australia
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Kadina, Australia
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6. Re: How soon to book?

thanks everyone

MadJacqui72 thanks for such a detailed reply. we certinly dont have as many choices here in SA. I have checked prices on flight augst 2011 to get an idea and so far the cheapest i have found has been $755 each return. i will deffinatly look into going via perth, melbourne etc.

i havent contacted any hotels yet as im still looking and havent decided on any yet.

Will i have to use a credit card if i book online? or wil i be able to transfer money? i dont really like using my credit card unless its an emergency

thanks marley

Gawler, Australia
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7. Re: How soon to book?

Hi marley

Some hotels will want a deposit when booking direct with them and some will not. Most will also have an option to do a bank transfer. Depending on which hotel/s you choose others here may be able to advise on their experiences with supplying credit card details for deposits. I also don't like to supply cc details unless I really have to however have paid a deposit for accommodation in Ubud for July 2011 with a reputable hotel without any problems.

When using booking sites such as Asia Rooms you will need to pay in full at the time of booking via credit card.

In regards to air fares, I recommend registering with each airline for email updates of their specials etc. This will enable you to keep in touch with what specials come out and when and also give you a better idea of cheaper ticket prices.

Air Asia have many specials per year and you can snag some fantastic specials. Pacific Blue don't tend to have as many specials for flights to Bali but are still worth keeping an eye on. It is sometimes not worth the hassle of going via Perth or elsewhere for the sake of saving $100.

When checking airline options I tend to try and stick with Perth or Darwin as I don't like the feeling of going backwards as you do with going via Melbourne or Sydney.

Pacific Blue tend to have their cheapest fares around the same time as the seats are released (ie if looking at August 2012 start keeping an eye out everyday from end of August 2011). You want to get the Go fares as soon as they are released

If trying to snag cheap tickets you need to be able to book them very quickly upon their release as they will go extremely quickly.

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Kadina, Australia
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8. Re: How soon to book?

madjacqui72

thanks for that. sounds like booking direct with the hotels themselves is the way to go.

i plan to book everything by christmas so at least i have the time to plan etc. im hopeing to have enough money to pay for flights and hotels by this august so that i have a year to save for spending money.

sounds like you have been to bali afew times, if you have any recomendations id love to hear about them

marley

Somerville...
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9. Re: How soon to book?

Hey Marley.

Very good choice when choosing Bali for a holiday, it's a great destination!

Personally I like to go through an agent when booking flights. Don't know why, probably just to take some of the hassle out of it. Also, they occasionally can get you cheaper prices.

A couple of suggestions:

- Try to choose flights which are direct to Bali. Unless of course you want to have a quick look at a stopover destination.

- When booking accommodation, you may want to look at staying at more than one resort/location. As this sounds like your first trip to Bali, you may want to experience a couple of nights at the beach, and a couple in the mountains?

- Occasionally you can get some cheap fares with full service airlines. If this is possible I STRONGLY SUGGEST it. I usually fly with Garuda, and they are terrific. Look for cheap flights from them too! (I got mine for about the same price as JetStar!)

If you want any suggestions about accommodation, or which activities you should look at, just let us know! Good luck with your bookings!

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Kadina, Australia
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10. Re: How soon to book?

BaliAussie

im thinking that i will go to afew travel agents and get quotes. and try get them to bet each others prices until its the cheapest i can get. (we did this last year for a phuket trip and got a great deal)

yes i will deffinatly be trying to get direct flights as my partner doesnt like flying as it is so the less time in the air the better.

we plan on going to three destinations, kuta, ubud and then over to the gili islands. my partner Stuart is a very keen surfer so he wanted to stay in kuta for a bit, then i wanted to try ubud inland and then gili islands for snorkling.

if you have any accomadation suggestions im open to any ideas.

for kuta we hope to be very close to the beach, have looked at santika hotel and discovery kartika plaza so far. In ubud maybe a little villa of somesort. and then for the gillis we have looked at hotel villa ombak.

if you have any suggestions for activities that would be great, im an animal lover so anything animal related would be great and id like to try river rafting.

thanks for all your help