Still wanting to go on holiday? Thinking about how you can afford it? Wondering how to get the best deal and save money? Here are our top ten tips for getting the best holiday for you and savings on the cost, before you go:
1. Spend time doing your research to find the holiday for you and use the internet for your search. Use more than one search engine and different price comparison tools and sites. Do your own comparison to get your own best value arrangement – list your wants and needs and then list and check each offer that interests you against these before making a choice.
2. Do your booking on the internet. Whether it is for a package holiday or if you’re booking flights and accommodation separately, you will find that online deals are almost always cheaper than those available through high street travel agents or telephone booking services.
3. Package holiday or do it yourself? The internet has opened up access to all the bookings you need to make for a holiday, home or abroad. Flights, hotels, motels and car rental are all accessible through a variety of on-line websites for the would-be DIY holiday planner. One simple example is that with online access to flight comparison sites, chain hotel/motel sites and car hire sites you can put together a DIY tour package to the US or New Zealand for around half the price or twice the length of a tour company package.
4. Shop around for your travel insurance on the internet. If you need travel insurance for more than two trips a year, get annual cover rather than single trip cover – it works out cheaper. You can also get cover better tailored to your needs and your purse.
5. If you are flying on your holiday, there are always discounts on airport parking for booking in advance. Think also about a hotel and parking deal available at many airports – stay overnight if you have an early flight and a week’s parking may be a free add-on. If you are on holiday for two weeks or more abroad, research taxi travel to the airport, which can come cheaper than the car parking. Reputable local taxi firms usually offer fixed price airport travel deals.
6. Shop around and check for foreign exchange rates with different currency exchange companies. Buying last-minute on the high street at the airport or abroad may not give you the best value for your pound. It’s a bit of a gamble with yo-yo fluctuations in exchange rates, but buying in advance when rates are favourable saves money. Don’t forget to check commission rates and offers like buy-back.
7. If you are prepared to travel outside peak times money can be saved. Fares early in the morning and late at night can be cheaper than those that are conveniently provided during normal waking hours – by rail, ferries or airlines.
8. Planning your own holiday carefully in advance can also enable you to take advantage of variations in standard costs for travel and accommodation. Return flights to and from the same destination are generally much cheaper than single fares in and out of different airports. Rail fares booked in advance online are generally cheaper. Hotels like bookings of more than one night and often discount additional night stays. Staying for a week and using one accommodation as a base for local exploration is usually cheaper than shorter bookings in several locations.
9. Research holiday experiences on ‘independent’ websites like Trip Adviser to look for tips for getting the best out of your holiday in enjoyment and value. Just be aware that like any other information source, including friends and neighbours, opinions expressed by respondents are individual – so read a lot, discount the absurd and trust your own judgement to know what you want from a holiday!
10. Check what will be available for your comfort and enjoyment and at what cost, wherever you choose to stay. Every one of us expects or takes those items we need and can’t do without. Buying or renting when on holiday can be pricey – so if you cannot live without your hair dryer or a hot water for a cup of tea, make your own arrangements!
There may be a recession on, but we all still want to go on holiday – home or away!