This year is definitely going to be quite an eventful year for me in terms of travelling ✈️
Earlier this month my boyfriend and I visited Paris and I have four more getaways lined up for the rest of the year. I’m also hoping to squeeze a couple of weekend breaks that don’t require using holiday days in there too, as I may or may not have already used up my allowance. Oooops…
I’m really not made of money and but what I have been doing, is being smart with each of my bookings.
I have to admit, having a sister who used to be a travel agent definitely helps when it comes to booking a super cheap holiday, so I thought I’d share a couple of the things she has taught me over the last few months…
? Be flexible
Can you go out of season?
An all inclusive holiday I was willing to pay £650 for last year is only £250 just THREE WEEKS later. It’s worth checking what the prices are like outside of peak times, especially if you’re able to travel.
Flexibility also applies for travel dates. Unless you have specific days you have to fly on select ‘I’m flexible’ when searching – it will show you the best dates and times to fly based on your search.
? Sign up to newsletters for cheap flight deals
It would be physically impossible to keep up to date with cheap flights unless you’re constantly searching for the best deals. Most sites will allow you to sign up to a newsletter where they’ll send you the best deals regularly. I’ve seen people get flights from as little as £2.99 each way just by signing up to newsletters, perfect if you’re not restricted on holiday days or the days you can fly.
? Use ‘Everything Everywhere’ tools
SO MANY sites now have a search tool where, if you’re not fussy where you go, you can search for the cheapest deal on their site. It’s great for those looking for a last minute break or for people who may be lacking inspiration. It’s also good for people like me who like to do research on the most affordable places to go…
? Shop around
This goes without saying but don’t book the first thing you come across just because it feels like a bargain. I’ve managed to cut the price of a package holiday in half just by shopping around on sites like Sunshine Holidays, Jet2 and On The Beach.
The same goes with flights – use price comparison sites like Skyscanner and Kayak to find the best offers.
? Try looking on Wowcher and Groupon for cheap deals
Until last year I thought Wowcher and Groupon were just for cheap photo shoots and MAC makeovers, but oh. my. god. It’s a minefield for cheap holidays.
If you can fly from the selected airports on the selected dates you can get 2-3 nights in a European city for less than £70. Brb while I book ALL OF THEM.
? Find cheap accommodation on sites like Air BnB
If you’re not fussy about staying in a hotel there are some AMAZING apartments on Air BnB. Basically, Air BnB allows people to rent out their homes to people, although most of the time you get the entire property to yourself. I don’t think there is a situation where an Air BnB is not a good idea – Villa? ✔️ City Break? ✔️ Beach getaway? ✔️
If you’re feeling adventurous you could even rent a treehouse, boat or castle.
? Take hand luggage if you can
If you’re only going on a short break and think you can survive on just hand luggage then it’s well worth doing. You’ll save yourself a big chunk of money when it comes to travelling, as well as saving time waiting to check your bag.
The main downside (other than taking fewer clothes and makeup) is that you can’t bring back anything over 100ml, which means no alcohol…
? Leave a holiday in your ‘basket’
This is a little trick I have learnt since I started working in Marketing. There are ‘marketing automation‘ tools that mean people that leave things in their baskets will receive an email 1-2 days later saying something along the lines of “are you forgetting something? Here’s 10% off to help you decide”.
So, if you leave the holiday you’re thinking of booking in your basket there is a good chance you’ll get a discount email a few days later.
Please note: for this to work you need to be signed up to their site already.
? Book transfers, luggage, parking and seats at the time of booking
They’re always so much cheaper to book beforehand – believe me, I have made this mistake before…
? Travel overnight
Travelling overnight makes such a difference to price because nobody wants to travel that late. In my mind it’s a flight + hotel combined in one and you can save so much.
In October me and my boyfriend will be travelling from Germany to Paris by overnight coach and it means we’ve ended up with two extra days on holiday for less than what it would have been to get the Eurostar straight to Paris. AMAZING.
? Arrange your own excursions
As tempting as it can be to book excursions at your hotel, it can be so much cheaper to look online or to arrange them yourselves.
When we were in France it was £150 each for a hotel pickup excursion to Disneyland. As that was way out of our budget I decided to shop around online and if we got the train from central Paris and our own park tickets it was around £50. More money to spend in the endless amount of gift shops 😉
Phew! That was much longer than expected and I am pretty sure I could have carried on. What are your top money saving tips when booking a holiday? ✈️