While flight prices are on the rise this summer it’s still possible to find cheap holidays online. It’s worth keeping an eye on price alerts and being flexible with dates.
Try not to book at peak times such as school holidays, bank holiday weekends or half term breaks as tour operators really hike up prices then.
1. Look at a range of dates
When it comes to flights, prices are often cheaper when travelling outside of peak times. Leaving it until the last minute to book can mean paying more for your flight or having to fly basic economy.
Travel search engine Momondo has found that booking your holiday 56 days in advance is the best time to get a bargain. You can also look for flexible dates when you search online to see how much you could save.
If you’re not too picky with your dates, try searching for a holiday package instead. These tend to be a bit cheaper, especially around holidays like Christmas. They can even include accommodation and transport costs, which can be more expensive when booking separately. Visiting high street travel agents can also be a good way to find cheap holiday deals. However, remember that they are trying to make a profit so be aware of their tactics.
2. Look at a range of hotels
While holidays abroad have become more expensive in the past year, it’s still possible to find bargain breaks by shopping around. Generally, the cheapest time to book is around six months in advance. However, last-minute deals can also be worth considering. These are often offered to fill up empty flight seats and hotel rooms.
Many travel sites will let you sort deals by facilities, board-basis, budget and TripAdvisor rating. Some also offer a secret price feature that shows hidden discounts that aren’t advertised anywhere else.
If you’re flexible with dates or don’t mind where you go, an all-inclusive holiday could be a good way to keep costs low. These include all meals, snacks and drinks in the package price, meaning you’ll have more cash to spend on activities and excursions.
3. Look at a range of flights
Flight prices can fluctuate wildly, so it’s always worth searching for a range of dates when looking for a holiday online. This is especially true for long-haul destinations. Prices can shoot up during popular school holiday periods, while skiing holidays tend to get cheaper in winter.
You can also save money by booking your flights on the day of the week that’s cheapest to fly, rather than at the weekend when more people are travelling. Sites like Skyscanner and Momondo (managed by Kayak) can help you with this.
If you’re flexible on destination, try searching for a package deal with First Choice or Tui, both of which are protected by ATOL. Otherwise, check if you can book flights and accommodation separately using sites such as easyJet and RyanAir.
4. Look at a range of destinations
Not everyone can jet off overseas at the drop of a hat or spend six months backpacking. However, you can still nab an amazing trip for less when you’re prepared to be flexible with dates and destination.
Flights and package holiday prices tend to go up and down depending on the time of year. So you might be able to get a bargain break to hot destinations in summer, but not so much in winter. It’s also worth booking in the off-season if possible, for example in late August instead of July.
Clearing your browser cookies can also help you find deals, as travel websites often use these to hike up prices. You can also try downloading a free tour guide app like Foursquare to help cut costs on organised tours.
5. Look at a range of prices
When booking a holiday you should always look at a range of prices. This is especially true for package holidays, as comparing packages can help you find better deals. Also, you should consider booking an all inclusive holiday to save money. These include all meals and drinks in the price, which means you can spend less on food while away.
You should also consider flying non-direct to your destination to save money. This can be a little inconvenient but is often much cheaper and gives you the chance to see another country on the way.
Finally, don’t be afraid to haggle with the travel agents when you book a holiday. This can sometimes work, although it’s best to be polite and charming. Also, it’s worth looking for deals online first before going to a high-street travel agent. book cheap holiday online