The Extra Mile
Will I save bucks if I book my December holiday to Mauritius now?
Shanthini Naidoo shares advice that'll help you bag a bargain deal
Q. We are thinking of booking a trip to Mauritius for the December holidays. Is it better to book early or are we likely to find better prices if we wait for last-minute deals? - Hope Gladwell
A. Mauritius offers reasonable flight and hotel prices off peak but the trouble with going in December, when everyone else is on holiday, is that people from all over the world are competing for the same room - and some are willing to pay a high price.
If you have kids under two, that is fantastic for flight deals as they only pay a small portion of the fees.
Many resorts will allow kids under 12 to stay for free until around December 7, so if you can go earlier you should take advantage of these. There are even stay-and-fly-free offers for kids, at certain times of the year, though you won't find these during the school holidays.
You should book your flights as early as possible for December. If you don't want to wait for a package deal, you can only score here. Flights to Mauritius average around R6,500 per person off-peak, but in December you're looking at double or three times the price if you don't book early.
If you know when you want to travel but are undecided about where to stay, and your budget is tight, keep your eye out for flight specials and nab one when you see it. You can achieve great savings that way.
To be honest, waiting for a last-minute deal is a bit like Russian roulette. You might score but you might also end up paying much more. I would book earlier and take a reasonable rate on a property that is known to be popular and expensive at peak.
Waiting for a last-minute deal is a bit like Russian roulette. You might score but you might also end up paying much more
Remember that most Mauritian resorts charge in euros for everything, so if you are not on an all-inclusive package, things can get expensive quickly, especially if you are big eaters (and drinkers). It's often worth extending the basic half-board package, which includes dinner and breakfast with no drinks.
Tours can cost about R2,000 per taxi for a half day. If you are interested in exploring the island at all, it's a good idea to find a package that includes a tour or two.
Mainly though, you are going for the beach and the spoils of your chosen resort, so, especially if you choose an all-inclusive package, I'd recommend you simply stay put and make the most of the sand, sea and (hopefully) sunshine.
Your amazing beach and accommodation are what you came for.