How to save money on your holiday
The internet is now the first place most people will start looking for their travel arrangements. It has never been easier to find what you are looking for, whether it be a luxury weekend break or a bargain family holiday. Here is a short guide on how to save money on your holiday.
More and more information is added daily to the web and you’re only ever a few clicks away from finding everything you need for a holiday, from cheap flights to the best deals on hotels to airport parking and other added extras.
However, with so much information out there, the flipside is that it can get a tad confusing. Not sure where to start? Well here are a few pointers to help you on your way to securing some bargain breaks.
Nowadays, more and more of us are forgoing package holidays and making our own. Travel agents still have their place, of course, but they offer less flexibility because your flight and accommodation options will be limited and they don’t generally offer a great range of budget hotels.
Now that you can find so many great deals on hotels and cheap flights online, the popularity of ‘DIY’ holidays continues to grow. Not only does creating your own holiday mean you can choose the exact times of your flights and the very best hotel for your needs, it almost always works out cheaper, so a little time spent researching is more than worth the rewards.
If you know exactly where and when you want to go on holiday, your first port of call should be an online travel broker, such as Expedia or Travelocity. Simply enter your requirements and they get to work, checking out scheduled airlines and budget carriers, to report back with the very lowest prices they can find.
If you are not yet sure of where or when you want to go, then you are best looking first at a traditional travel agent’s site, to get some ideas on destinations and likely prices.
Gone are the days when you need to spend hours phoning around a list of hotels. Online travel brokers, such as Laterooms, Expedia and Lastminute.com all have extensive inventories of hotels in every conceivable location.
What’s more, they’ve negotiated deals with hotels and they pass the discount on to you, so you can be sure you’re getting the best possible prices. Better still, you can now visit a hotel price comparison website which gathers deals from all of these brokers (and many more), meaning you can be even more confident of securing the best possible price for your accommodation, whether it be a budget hotel in Brighton or a luxurious lodge in the Maldives.
When to book
With scheduled flights, the key is to book as early as you possibly can. Prices tend to creep up and up as time progresses. You should ideally book at least 30 days before departure. With hotels, often the opposite is true and if you leave it a little later, you can grab a last-minute bargain as hoteliers look to fill unsold rooms.
Of course the danger here is that they might sell out before you book – leaving you disappointed – so it might be worth checking levels of room availability when you first do your research.
If you are able to be a little flexible in your holiday plans, you will probably find that mid-week flights are better value than those at weekends. With hotels, it depends on your destination.
If it’s a popular business centre, you may find mid-week prices are the same or even higher than those at weekends; however if it’s more of a weekenders’ destination, such as Brighton, then Saturday nights in particular can see prices rocket – in which case a mid-week break offers better value.
Be mindful of public and school holiday dates too, both in your country and your destination country – they can also cause prices to soar.
So there you have it – a short guide on how to save money on your holiday. All you need to know about saving money and making the most of your holiday. It may sound like a lot of effort, but in reality it takes only a few minutes and think about it this way: the more you can save now, the more you’ll have to spend while you’re away!