I’m all about money saving ideas, especially during the current cost of living crisis. However, we don’t want to cut out the family holiday to economise. It’s a time when we properly relax and enjoy plenty of quality time. Unfortunately, holidays have been another area to see huge inflation. Thankfully, there are ways to cut costs on your annual getaway before you even take off.
Here a few of my holiday money saving tips along with some great ones from NetVoucherCodes.co.uk.
Go incognito/search from a different device
Those pesky cookies mean Big Brother knows where you’ve got your sights set for you next holiday as soon as you start browsing. I’ve often found that flights are a certain price on my first look online and suddenly jump on a subsequent visit. Or sometimes, knowing your preferences from previous times, you’re automatically quoted something more expensive. Going incognito (privacy mode) can shave a lot of money off. I always do this when booking something; this article explains how. This doesn’t just apply to flights and accommodation it’s on lots of things.
Take early flights
This is something I’ve been doing for years and it’s saved us £100s at a time. It is amazing what the difference of a couple of hours makes to the price of a flight. This is definitely something where the pain (getting up super early) gives a lot of gain! Also there’s a lot less traffic on the roads at this time and you get more of your first day at your destination.
It’s also been revealed that Tuesday and Wednesday nights are the best times to bag the cheapest flights with midnight being the optimum time to get a bargain.
Spread the costs
Look out for options where you can put down a small deposit and then pay on a monthly basis to spread out the costs. Just make sure that you’re not having to pay a large premium to do this.
Book hotels with free cancellation
Locking in rooms where there’s a free cancellation policy ensures you’re covered and won’t have to pay large admin fees if your plans change. This isn’t the only money saving benefit though. You can also monitor the price of your accommodation. If it drops (and this happens a lot) you can cancel your room and re-book.
Book off-peak season trips
People head to well-known sun-drenched destinations at the height of summer. These same destinations, such as the Greek Islands, the Canaries, the Amalfi coast, benefit from warm temperatures and cheaper costs in spring and autumn (think half term) and in some cases even in winter. This can afford huge savings.
Be an early bird
Plan ahead and book your 2024 holiday as soon as possible before the prices begin rising. As well as grabbing a potential bargain you’ll also have the opportunity to spread the costs.
Compare airline prices
If like me, you’re pre-programmed to check the budget airlines first, you could be missing a money saving trick. Head to the comparison sites to find the best prices and deals; Skyscanner is one of the big ones. I’ve also been recently introduced to Jack’s Flight Club, a site which lets you know when flights to lots of different destinations are going really cheap.
Also take a look at connecting flights as opposed to non-stop as these are often a lot cheaper.
Evaluate your dining options
While all-inclusive might feel like it takes the sting out of eating costs, it hugely impacts the cost of your hotel accommodation. Do your research and see if there are affordable places to eat in the local area and calculate whether it’s more cost-effective to book alternative options such as half-board or self-catering instead.
Vacuum pack clothes
Adding baggage allowance to your flight really racks up the costs. If you’re paying for four people to have hold luggage it becomes a very significant sum. Whilst vacuum packing clothes doesn’t reduce weight, it does create a lot of extra space, which means you can ditch some of the bags.
Join travel loyalty reward schemes
Certain airlines and ferry companies as well as Eurostar offer loyalty reward schemes for travellers. These rewards/points can often be redeemed off the price of future travel or offer other money saving perks.
The combo holiday
Half-holidays – where you visit one destination for a week and then move on to a nearby location for the remainder of the trip – are a great way to save money and combine a beach holiday with a sightseeing holiday or city break. For example, you can book a pricier resort holiday for a week, and then book a much cheaper hotel near historical sites/city centre. This cuts down on the taxis or hire car that you’d otherwise have to fork out on to visit these sights if you did two weeks at a resort.
Hunt out travel discount codes
Take advantage of sites such as NetVoucherCodes to get money off flights, accommodation, package deals, car hire and even airport parking. They have a special channel just for travel voucher codes.
Reduce your airport travel/parking costs
Many airports have started charging for drop-offs even if your car is only there for a minute. There are however free drop-off points, which are a short walk or bus ride away from the terminal. Check the airport’s website for details of where these are and allow extra time.
If you’re driving and parking for the duration of your trip, look at parking zones that are further out as these are cheaper. Again allow extra time to get to the terminal.
If you’re not a planner and so miss out on early bird deals then go completely the other way and book last minute. This doesn’t always work, but you can often bag a bargain if hotels or flights have spaces to fill.
Don’t buy at the airport
You pay a real premium at airports for travel accessories so make sure you buy things like adaptors and neck pillows beforehand. The same goes for snacks.
The other thing that’s extremely expensive to do at the airport is buy foreign currency. I use Martin Lewis’ Travel Money Max tool to find out which local exchange bureaus are offering the best rate.
Book excursions, museums, tours etc in advance
Search what there is to see and do in your destination and plan ahead. Usually you can save a lot of money if you book activities online in advance as opposed to paying on the door. With a bit of research you might even hit upon free events and activities that are happening in the local area.
Would love to hear your holiday money saving tips. Please comment below 🙂
* This is not a sponsored post
A good article Fran. Interesting especially for families.