Something slightly different, but something I have become quite good at – saving money on holidays!
I love a good holiday, who doesn’t? So I like to have as many as I can afford, however I also like it to be a treat, I don’t like staying somewhere that is worse than where I live, whats the point? Therefore I like to spend time shopping around for the holiday I want, at the lowest price.
I could browse holidays for hours, and I do, to pick the one I want (we want, my partner has a mini say also 😉 ).
Step 1. Have a look around and see what locations you fancy and get an idea of price range. Good starting points are Tui & On the Beach etc.
Step 2. If you come across a hotel you like, get on TripAdvisor and see what people really think. TripAdvisor is an amazing site now, you can filter the reviews by time of year and by type of travellers, like families or couples.
Now this is where you can already start to save yourself some money – in the top left you can start to see what websites offer what price on that hotel, pop in your dates to make it more accurate and you should start to see better offers than you did on the main holiday websites.
Step 3. Cover all bases – have a look at booking with the hotel direct, I often get offers or discounts by booking direct. Last year it was 30% off, a spa treatment, wine in the room etc.
Check sites like Trivago and see who is offering it for the cheapest deal.
Check Expedia, they do great bundle deals for flights and hotel.
Throughout the year book your hotels (for work or personal) through hotels.com or Expedia.
Hotels.com give you a free night for every 10 nights you buy, so you could save these up for your holidays.
Expedia offer points and these can be used as money off your flights or hotel.
Check if Quidco are offering anything back on the sites you are booking through.
Step 4. Note down when your hotel is at its best price, then try match up some flights. Keep a spreadsheet of costs and see what combination works best for you. For flights I would recommend Skyscanner and the best way to use it is…
- Use it in an incognito window (the more your search for these flights and hotels the higher the price will go, so do it in secret)
- In the from destination box put UK, it will then bring back results in price order from around the UK, so you can then choose the best flight based on location and price (and times).
- It searches all providers and you can set up a price alert so it will email you when the price drops.
Step 5. Refer to your sheet and see what matches up, you could save yourself a few hundred pounds – this year for 4 adults and a toddler I saved 500+ shopping around and not going down the package route with a travel agent.
Step 6. Make sure you are still protected. Have a look into this but I tend to book on a credit card and make sure I take out travel insurance as soon as I book it – this is a mistake people make, you must take it out when you book your holiday, or if something happens before you won’t be covered.
Swap loyalty points from Tesco or Sainsburys for hotel vouchers or air miles.
Step 7. Shop around for your travel money, this link to money saving expert can shop around for you. You can even get deals such as £15 voucher off at Debenhams. Also if you order online and then pick it up, you get a better rate – the online rates are always better than in the store, I did this with Tesco.
Right I think I am going to go look at holidays 🙂