Now is the perfect time to book the right spot for the family’s summer break as holiday accommodation providers are starting to advertise the availability of their properties.

“This is the time of year when our advertisers are communicating the dates they have available, which makes it easy for holiday makers to research, plan and book their accommodation,” says Francois Labuschagne, product and marketing manager for Junk Mail.

Tastes differ and every holiday spot holds its own appeal. Often a family has a favourite destination, choosing to return year after year. Some families prefer a holiday at the coast where they can stay in an apartment within walking distance of the beach whereas others choose to camp in the bush, take a road trip with their caravan or rent a house for the extended family to come together over the festive season.

“I prefer going to the beach and some of my fondest memories are of our holidays at the South Coast, Jeffreys Bay and Cape Town,” he says.

Online classifieds are the ideal platforms from which to conduct research and find all the necessary information. “They can be accessed from any device via a web portal or an app and from the comfort of the couch,” he says.

Searching online is convenient and holiday accommodation seekers can scan hundreds of adverts with price details, information about the unit and pictures to find the spot that fits their family’s needs and pocket.

“Booking holiday accommodation fairly late has its advantages as great bargains can be found, but be aware of scammers placing false ads to lure unsuspecting holidaymakers,” says Labuschagne.

Holiday accommodation scams occur when vacationers respond to fake advertisements and hand over money only to discover that the unit or timeshare they paid for doesn’t exist.

“We moderate ads before they go live, proactively query and remove ads that appear suspicious and continue to evolve our policies as new types of scams are created,” he says.

A deposit is usually required to secure the unit, but remember that even though information about the unit can be found online it doesn’t mean that the unit exists or is available during the period advertised. “Only search reputable sites, do your research and make sure that the advertiser is who they say they are before you commit to paying a deposit,” he says.

For those staying at home a staycasion need not be a bore. Make the holiday memorable with excursions to local attractions or plan fun activities at home. “Hire a jumping castle and a waterslide or find second-hand trampolines and inflatable swimming pools for a steal on online classifieds. They’re sure to keep the kids entertained this summer,” he says.

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