No-one wants to pay more than they have to for flights and accommodation. There’s always a great sense of accomplishment when you bag yourself a bargain. And it’s easier to get discounts than you might assume. Here are some top tips to make sure you get good value when you book:
Take advantage of early-bird offers
If you’re planning ahead, you could save yourself a small fortune. Sign up for email updates with airline and accommodation providers you’re interested in and let them know where you’re planning on going. You might get more emails landing in your inbox than you’d want, but you’ll be among the first to hear about new offers.
Check the budget sites
Alternatively, if you’ve left it until the last minute to book your flights and accommodation, it’s worth checking out all the budget sites. The likes of BestJet, WebJet, and Priceline buy up chunks of airline tickets to sell cheaply once the prices go up on the main websites. You could bag yourself a last-minute bargain.
Research with aggregators
When searching for great value, it’s always best to check more than one source. Aggregators (such as Skyscanner, Expedia, TripAdvisor and Kayak) make this easier for you by giving you an overview of the companies offering the cheapest fares and hotel rates for your trip. Always make sure you double-check their websites directly though, to see if an even better deal can be found.
If you’re willing to fly at odd times, either late at night or early in the morning, and out of peak season, you’ll save money. Not everyone can or is prepared to do it so you’ll find some great deals. Also remember to check out the flights of all nearby airports, not just the closest. If there is a big difference in price, it could be cheaper to arrange alternative transport once you’re in the country.
Learn to haggle
Knowing how and when to haggle will undoubtedly save you money. Although it won’t work for flights, try it out with hotels. Ask about discount rates, paying cash for a lower fee, upgrades for a better room or a free breakfast. You’ll be surprised how many places will be up for negotiating. With a bit of practice, you’ll be an expert at getting more for your money.
Try alternative accommodation
Hotels and hostels aren’t your only choice for accommodation. You could investigate the options available on Airbnb, for instance – where you can stay in unique places for flexible durations. Other people organise house swaps, homestays or even couch surfing. If you’re open to the opportunities available, you could have a cheaper – and more interesting – travel experience.
Avoid travel agents
One last bit of advice from – to avoid paying over the odds, avoid travel agents at all costs.
Have you saved money on a flight or accommodation? Share your cost-saving travel tips with us in the comments below.