Save Big On Your Next Holiday

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Long term planning could help you save a small fortune on your next holiday, and if you aren’t in a hurry then it’s much easier to research locations, hunt down the best earlybird offers and discounts, and shop for everything you’re likely to need.

Here are six of the best ways to save on travel when time is on your side.

1. Consider a package holiday

If you’re going on a 7-day or 14-day break to a fairly standard destination, package holidays are usually cheaper than booking flights and hotels separately. Sometimes package deals can even cost less than the cheapest flights alone, and if you want to fly in to one city and leave from another then check to see whether there’s a fly-drive package that will help you to keep costs down. As a plus, these trips may also be ABTA or ATOL bonded, giving you extra consumer protection in case a holiday operator goes bust.

The same deal can vary in price between different sites and travel agents, so take the time to shop around. Expedia, Opodo, and ebookers are good places to start for deals and cashback (remember to clear cookies from your web browser after doing research, so cashback isn’t affected when you make your final purchase).

You may also find an all-inclusive deal works out cheapest, where food, drinks and entertainment are all included in the price. Have a look at lowcostholidays for an overview of what’s available.

2. Save on flights

Short city breaks and holidays to far-flung or unusual destinations tend to be cheaper if you book flights and hotels separately. Some flights are available up to a year in advance, so if you have a specific destination in mind then start looking as early as possible to snap up an earlybird deal.

If you’re willing to be flexible with days and departure times, it’s easier to hunt down a bargain. There’s also a useful feature at EasyJet that allows flexibility after you’ve purchased your flights, allowing you to book at rock-bottom prices then switch to a more expensive flight on the same route at no extra cost.

Another way to find a good deal is by flying to airports that are slightly outside the usual big city locations, then taking public transport to get to the city centre. To take advantage of this, search for flights by city rather than by a specific airport.

Keep in mind that the same seat on the same flight can be priced differently according to where you make your booking, so again it pays to shop around. Try merchants such as Avro for a wide range of options, including both standard flights and charter flights.

Some top deals come directly from the airlines themselves, so if you aren’t in a rush then sign up for their newsletters and alerts and wait for the offers to come to you (for example Ryanair, Jet2, Flybe, British Airways). Read the small print when booking – some airlines have unexpected additional charges, and you need to be sure you’re comparing like with like.

3. Save on hotels

Price comparison for hotel rooms is easy with trivago, and larger sites such as hotels.com are useful too. Double check any accommodation with TripAdvisor reviews and search for pictures on social media so there are no nasty surprises, and remember that if you’re mostly out sightseeing then you might not need a fancy room. Also consider alternatives to hotels such as self-catering apartments and villas, which can be as well appointed as a quality hotel but much, much cheaper.

If you’re feeling brave, name your price for a room in any given city on priceline.com. The company may be able to match your bid, but you won’t get to choose the specific hotel.

4. Get your paperwork in order far in advance

Don’t take the travel insurance that the travel agent offers you at the time of booking, but do buy some of your own quickly so that you’re covered in the event of cancelled flights and so on. Shop around with TopCashback Compare and the main price comparison sites such as Confused.com, and consider exactly what level of cover you need, and whether annual or single-trip insurance is the best option.

If you’re travelling within Europe, also remember to apply for a free EHIC card for help with unexpected medical costs. Learn about your rights in the relevant country too, as you may have to explain your entitlements to local hospital and health centre staff.

Passports are about 50% cheaper if you renew them far in advance, so it’s better not to leave that until the last minute. Check whether you’ll need an International Driving Permit too, and if you’re taking your own car it’s a good idea to find out how much cover your existing insurance provides, and top it up if necessary.

5. Collect, boost and use Avios points

Avios is a rewards scheme where you get points to put towards your travel, which can mean free or upgraded flights. These points can be boosted by looking out for regular Tesco Clubcard offers, and TopCashback can also pay your cashback out to you in Avios if you select this option when it’s time to withdraw your earnings.

6. Plan ahead for all the extras

Don’t buy or hire anything at the airport or you could end up being hit with premium prices. Take your time looking for offers and discounts, and get better prices on everything plus cashback. This includes airport parking, train fares and other public transport, currency deals, car rental (try carrentals.co.uk for price comparisons), and more.

The same is also true for your travel accessories, toiletries and medicines. Plan ahead and enjoy the best deals on swimwear, luggage, adaptors, neck pillows, sunglasses and sun cream. Then relax, knowing that you got the best deal on your whole trip.

Do you have any tips of your own for making big holiday savings?

Posted on 29 May 2015  |  Posted in  Cashback Diary
Comments
domravioli
Lowcostholidays are plagued by complaints; a quickk google will tell you all you need to know about those numpties. And whilst occasionally a packagoe holiday may be cheaper, it is usually not the case. I get mine from Sunshine Stacey, she's fantastic, and thanks to her I end up going away multiple times a year.
  06 Jun 15 - 16:25

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