With new environmental taxes, higher fuel costs and a global recession, the days of the ultra-low budget, flexible holiday seem all but over. It is still possible however to book holidays at bargain prices and the savings don’t have to stop there as it is possible to continue to make savings once you reach your destination.
Save Money When Booking Your Holiday or Vacation
Below are five ways you can save money when booking your holiday:
- Book early. Flight operators will often sell a certain number of discount tickets on a first-come, first-served basis. So the earlier you can book the better.
- Book late. All-inclusive packages will often go on offer at last-minute knock-down prices as travel companies try to fill up vacant spaces. This is not as common with individual travel fares because of the demand from business travelers.
- Shop around. Comparing prices from different websites, operators and airlines will ensure that you get the best deals available. Some websites are specifically designed to compare prices from other websites, taking away a lot of the monotonous sifting for you. Some will even let you type in a maximum budget and give you all of the deals at that price or lower. If you are feeling adventurous, you don’t even have to specify a destination!
- Pick the right time to travel. Accommodation and travel providers reduce their prices significantly during the off-season. Business people and holiday makers tend to choose to travel at the beginning and end of the week, so traveling on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday is often cheaper. Furthermore, booking travel for off-peak times of day can save a family hundreds of pounds.
- Beware of additional surcharges. Travel companies and airlines in particular, will often add on additional costs for things such as booking, paying by debit card, taxes, additional or undeclared baggage, insurance and ticket printing so be sure to be aware of this. Often these additional costs can be reduced or even eliminated by using a particular type of credit or debit card, checking that there are no boxes ticked for additional services on the payment page and reducing additional baggage by using the largest carry-on bag allowed, along with wearing clothes with lots of extra pockets!
Saving Money When You Arrive at your Vacation or Holiday Spot
When you do finally arrive at your destination, there are still many ways of making your holiday even cheaper:
- Eat at the hotel. If you are on an all-inclusive holiday, make maximum use of the hotel eating facilities. For those not on an all inclusive holiday, when eating out avoid restaurants that specifically target tourists as prices will likely be inflated and the food may not be great. Instead, speak to locals and find out where they eat; the prices will be lower and the quality of food will likely be higher.
- Plan your holiday on the hoof. In countries that are less developed than our own, our currency is worth a lot more and so will go a lot further. For those who are feeling adventurous, waiting until you arrive before booking tours and places to stay will often cut costs by avoiding the middle man at home. This is especially true if you are looking for low-budget backpacker-style options.
- Research the cost of living at your destination. Doing this will help you know when you are getting ripped off for a dinner, an airport shuttle or a room. As a Western tourist, you might expect to have to pay a little more when haggling at a street market. However, some restaurants, cab companies and hotels will charge the naïve traveler prices close to those found at home.
- Go off the beaten track. Going to places that are not perennial tourist traps will ensure cheaper prices and give a more authentic and rewarding sense of the culture and people. Finding out where indigenous people go to relax at your destination country might also reveal some hidden-gem locations.
- Volunteer. Going on a working holiday may not be everyone’s idea of a good time but it can be extremely rewarding and also very cheap.
Post by Andreas from my buddies at MoneySuperMarket