For a lot of us, going on holiday can be one of the biggest single expenses of the year so it’s important to try and save money wherever possible. That’s why we’ve put together our top ten holiday hacks to help you get the most sunshine for your sterling.
Book for the small hours and save
Not too bothered about sleep? Book your flights in the small hours and you’ll probably pay much less than flights placed conveniently during normal waking hours. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are on average the cheapest days of the week to fly too, especially if flying to the USA (you’ll pay supplements to fly there at weekends), and staying away from peak holiday periods obviously helps.
Preparation is key as research shows that booking 6 weeks in advance will save you money on transport and accommodation. Planes, trains and buses all have a certain quota of seats that they’ll sell for the lowest price. Once these seats are booked up, the next lot will be a bit more expensive and so on. This goes for hotels, theatres and ferries too.
Use the internet
For many people this might be a no-brainer, but when booking a holiday, be sure to use the internet. Whether you’re booking a package holiday or accommodation and flights separately, online deals often outstrip those available on the high street or with telephone booking services. The trick to getting the best deals is to look everywhere. Don’t just use one search engine, try as many as possible. It’s time consuming, but you must know if you’re getting a good price or not.
Make the internet work for you
To make the internet work for you when booking your holiday it’s worth signing up to online travel websites which will notify you of their special sale offers. There are quite a few different travel websites out there but at Noddle we’re big fans of Secret Escapes. When it comes to booking a holiday or finding the inspiration for where to go, Secret Escapes never let us down. They handpick their luxury travel offers to ensure their members get unforgettable getaways with discounts ranging up to 80%! Why not check out their latest offers here.
Consider group travel. Renting a large villa/cottage/holiday house with friends will save you money. The more people the place sleeps, the cheaper per head the accommodation will be and so joining up with friends and their families (as long as you can stand them for a week) will save you money. A bigger property also means better facilities like a pool or larger gardens.
Play the exchange rate game
When planning your holiday it can be easy to forget about your spending money while you’re there but this can make a real difference to what you pay. If you book your holiday somewhere where the exchange rates are favourable to Sterling you’ll see your money go further meaning there’s more left over for those extra luxuries.
For the latest international exchange rates and the best rates for your money we think you should check out our friends at HiFX, the currency specialists.
Eat like a local
When you are abroad, eat like a local and save yourself a ton. Quite often, the food shops and restaurants surrounding popular hotels and tourist areas abroad have higher prices and less cultural food. Step outside of that tourist zone and find yourself some genuine local dining spots, not only will the food be amazing, but the value for money will be too!
Be savvy with the car hire
If you intend to hire a car, make sure you do your research. A story recently hit the headlines about how some hire companies will offer you a full tank of petrol when you hire your vehicle and ask that you return it empty. But in reality, the majority of people leave ¼ of petrol in the tank which means you’re paying more than you should be. It’s good practice to pick a company that offers a full tank when you pick it up and requires a full tank when you return it, so you are only paying for what you used during that trip.
Another car tip is to take your satnav and kids car seat with you! Again, why pay for something that you already have? Also, before leaving, go round the car and check for any damage or even minor scratches and make sure you note these on the rental agreement. Don’t leave anything off, so you can’t charge you for “damage done” that was already on the car when you hired it.
Shop around for Insurance
Instead of taking the first policy offered to you by the travel agent, make sure you shop around for your holiday insurance as it’s always possible you’ll be able to get a much better deal elsewhere. Remember, when buying travel insurance you can opt for single trip, or annual cover. If you go away three or more times a year it’s definitely better to get annual insurance than to take out new cover for each trip. Your insurance premium would depend on what extent of cover you would require, where in the world you would be going, and how much excess you are willing to pay.
If you travel often, always join the hotel and airline loyalty programs which will give you a much better chance for a free upgrade. Even if you have the lowest level of loyalty scheme, you still get rewarded before someone who doesn’t have it.
So there we have it, ten holiday hacks to help you get the most from your money this summer.
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