Wish you were tanning on the beach or cracking a cold one while fishing in the Berg? Stop wishing and start planning! Add some excitement to the longest month of the year by designing your first holiday for 2020.

Be savvy about your booking by going directly to the website of the hotel or resort of your choice instead of trawling the internet for cheap deals. Not only is it far easier, but also more cost effective says Shaun Lamont, managing director of First Group, a leading leisure company.

“Gone are the days where online travel agencies offer the best deals. Worldwide, leading hotel groups have sweetened the deal for travelers in an effort to make the overall customer experience a better one from booking through to check out. “

If price and convenience aren’t juicy enough, Shaun offers five more reasons to go direct:

  1. Seeing is believing

Companies such as First Group showcase their portfolio online so that guests can get a good idea of what each venue, room or unit has to offer thanks to galleries laden with spell-binding images and pages filled with features and services, facilities and amenities.

  1. Additional savings

Your hard-earned Rands will stretch further with online sales and early-bird specials, giving you the much-needed peace of mind to enjoy your holiday. In fact, First Group offers 15% off if you book 90 days in advance and 20% off if you book four nights or more. Plus, when you book direct, there are no hidden commission costs.

  1. Holidays with benefits

When booking online, you’ll be exposed to their exclusive loyalty programmes – for free. This means you could qualify for further discounts on accommodation, have access to express check-ins, later check-outs and a whole host of additional offers.

  1. What’s on the menu?

Vegetarian or Vegan? Seafood allergy? Or perhaps your child is lactose intolerant? Whatever your dietary needs, when booking online you can easily browse your destination’s restaurant menu as well as checking it’s opening and closing times.

  1. Changes and amendments to bookings

Life happens and, in the event you need to change guest names or postpone your stay, booking directly on the hotel’s website allows you to make the necessary amendments at the click of a button.