Price, extra choice and having more time to look forward to your holiday are among the “driving factors” encouraging travellers to book early, Abta says.

The Travel Association commissioned YouGov to produce a study which found that 41% of people said the reason to book early was because they feel they bag a better deal.

Results also suggested that 28% of people believe they get more choice by booking early, and that one in four people book early so they have more time to look forward to their holiday and daydream about new places to discover, the weather, local food and drink and time to relax.

A number of tour operators have announced early booking deals in the peak holiday selling season of January and February. Abta says these deals can save holidaymakers hundreds of pounds and is encouraging early booking this year.

It has produced tips to help customers spot an protected package holiday and is urging travellers to take out insurance early to ensure cover from the day of booking.

Victoria Bacon, Abta’s director of brand and business development, said: “Many people take great enjoyment out of looking forward to their well-earned break. While the holiday itself is clearly the best part about the whole experience, the excitement of anticipation – from planning what to see and do – can be incredibly exciting.

“During the festive period and with the start of a new year, many people turn their attention to holidays for the year ahead. It’s a great time to book – there is an abundance of deals and offers available, and an endless amount of choice too. So booking early helps you get the best value for money for the holiday of your choice.”

Abta’s says booking early can help customers find deals in the peak selling season of January and February, which could include a limited number of free child places; that leaving booking late can “drastically” reduce choice; that package holidays offer the most protection in the case of companies going out of business or if the holiday is mis-sold; that early booking can include buy now, pay later options; and that taking out insurance early ensures you are protect from the day of the booking.

It also warned against holiday fraud, which it says leads to millions of pounds being lost each year.