When it comes to booking holidays, we’d love it if money was no object. For many of us though, the price tag is our main concern when clicking through endless pages of travel deals and flights.
Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be that way. Finding the best holidays is a lot easier when you know where and when to look. Let us help you take the stress out of booking with these simple tricks of the trade.
If you can be flexible with when you travel, try to book your holiday during your chosen destination’s off season. In general, most off seasons are in the autumn and late-winter months, before picking up momentum during spring. Booking in an off season means there is usually more availability when it comes to hotel choices, quieter pool and beach areas, as well as cheaper rates when it comes to airfare.
There are a few things to look out for though, including closures in some resorts. Some restaurants and bars will shut their doors during their off seasons, as they make enough profit during the summer to keep them running – especially in the busiest resorts.
Book at the right time
If you’re not sure how far in advance you should book your next holiday, we have some good news –someone has crunched the numbers so you don’t have to. Research shows that on average the cheapest holiday deals from the UK are seven weeks before your departure date, but this depends on your destination. All Inclusive deals to warm destinations can be found close to your departure date, while long-haul flights are usually cheapest around three months before your trip.
If you aren’t set on exact travel dates, a great way to find cheap deals is by searching for the whole month instead of specific dates. Plus, you’ll be able to compare prices between weeks. Generally, you’ll find that flying out during the week is cheaper than at the weekend and Wednesday has the best prices.
Oh, and check if there are any bank holidays in the month you’re due to travel. As a rule, more people like to go away over these dates so the prices go up.
Do your research
Googling your holiday destination of choice and choosing the first link that appears doesn’t mean you’ve found a bargain. Take your time and shop around. Sometimes the best deals aren’t necessarily the first ones – and you could find your dream holiday on the second or third search page of search results.
Traveller reviews are often your best point of contact for knowing the pros and cons of a given hotel or area – especially if you’re holidaying during the off season. Reading their reviews will also let you know exactly what you’re getting for your money. For instance, while the hotel and package are a bargain, you might find that the resort itself is expensive. That means you could spend more than you expect while you’re away, making that deal a little less cost-effective.
Be picky with whose advice you take though. Some holidaymakers have unrealistic expectations and their comments can be off-kilter while other reviews could be too good to be true and written by hotel representatives. Don’t let that put you off though, the majority of reviews are written from the average traveller’s experience, and could have some useful insights into the hotel or resort area you’ve been researching.
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