Remember the end of last year, when we thought we’d had the Christmas to end all Christmases? Well, it turns out that last Christmas wasn’t Christmassy enough, so we’ve got to Christmas all over again this Christmas until there’s no more Christmas left to Christmas. Because Christmas.

Now that’s out of our systems, let’s talk about your 2019 summer holiday.

We know, it’s hard to think that far ahead with Santa Season looming over our heads like a festive, tinsel-dripping atom bomb, but there are good reasons to make your plans early. The travel agents will tell you it’s all about “having more time to build up anticipation” or “being the first” to stay at their newest locations and hotels. If that’s the sort of argument that appeals to you, then fair enough. While you’re busy building that anticipation, though, you’ll be scoring a few more tangible benefits by booking your summer getaway now.

How much of a deal can you get by booking in advance?

Booking several months ahead of time can actually get you a better deal. According to Tripadvisor, for instance, you could save up to 23% on your Barcelona hotel price by buying it 3-9 months in advance.

A stay in Paris could be 19% cheaper if you book 2-7 months ahead, while 5 months notice could net you 15% off your Orlando hotel bill. Getting the timing right can make a big difference to what you end up paying.

Do I need to pay a deposit if I book in advance?

It’s not just about hotels, either. Booking several months in advance could bring down your deposits quite a bit.

On top of that, and perhaps more importantly, you’re giving yourself a nice, long payment run-up. Depending on the company you book with, you might find yourself landed with the bill weeks or months before you set off. Booking early gives you the most time to spread that cost out.

Will I get more choice by booking early?

Depending on the type of holiday you’re planning, booking early for next summer could have plenty of other advantages. If you fancy organised tours or events, there might be limited places available, for example.

Some companies offer things like free kids’ places on a strictly limited basis. Wait too long and you’ll risk missing out and coughing up more. You’ve also got to consider the time it takes to shop around for the best deals. Again, a good take-off is all about the run-up.

What's the risk of missing out on deals for late bookings?

What if the prices go down after you’ve booked, you wonder? Well, that’s obviously a possibility. “Last-minute” booking schemes can sometimes offer amazing deals at short notice. You’re losing out on all the potential benefits of longer-term planning, though. When you book in advance, you’ve got the best shot of securing a solid deal. Even if the prices drop in the meantime, you’ve saved yourself a lot of frantic bargain-hunting.

So while you’re chewing all of that over, spare a second to think about how you’ll be footing the bill next summer.

A tax refund from RIFT could be just the ticket for your 2019 holiday – and that’s just the start of what we can do for you.

With our Refer a Friend scheme, you can earn cash rewards for recommending RIFT to friends, family and workmates. You’ll get a payment for every person you send our way with a valid tax refund claim, plus extra bonuses for every 5 referrals you make. What’s more, you’ll also get entered into our prize draws, with our current Star Prize being £1,000 of Christmas spending money! Give us a shout to get your tax rebate claim rolling, or to find out how much you could claim back just try our free online tax refund calculator today.