Holidays are usually the first things to suffer when the purse strings get tightened, a luxury that can save us thousands of dollars simply by ditching it. But for many of us a holiday is the chance to unwind from the stresses and strains of everyday life and work and have fun with our nearest and dearest. Holidays don’t have to blow the budget; there are ways that you and your family can still have that sought after vacation without dreading the credit card bill through the post on your return or compromising on comfort.
Bide Your Time
Late bookings are one of the easiest and best known ways to get a cheaper holiday deal. Around 8 weeks before departure, any leftover spaces on package holidays or flights will start to come down considerably. The flip side of this is that you must be ready to leave, ensure that you all have passports up to date and holiday from work that can be booked quickly. If you are travelling as a couple and just want somewhere hot and cheap, you could push it until a week before departure for the ultimate bargain.
Book In Advance!
This may seem contradictory to the previous advice, but when it comes to getting a good deal you really must book it late, or extra early. According to travel operators and brokers the best time to book a holiday is 11 months before your departure date, as there are plenty of cheap rooms and seats still available.
Do It Yourself
Going through a travel operator seems a headache free way to arrange your holiday, but their cut of the holiday budget accounts for a whopping chunk. Get yourself online and see what deals you can get by booking flights and hotels separately. With online companies you can shop around for the best deals.
Get To Know The Economy
Look into countries which offer a good exchange rate for your dollar and which countries have the reputation for cheaper eating out and entertainment. Aside from travel and accommodation, food is the next big expense.
Timing Is Everything
Those travel operators really have us in a financial headlock when it comes to our favourite time to travel. School holidays see a massive price hike, as does mid-summer. Be a bit more inventive with your destination choice and timing.
Travel operators have a certain amount of leeway when it comes to the final holiday price they give you. Shop around and be prepared to tell them that you have been quoted cheaper elsewhere, if they want the sale they’ll be prepared to drop the price.
If you live in a holiday destination, or near a large city, take a look at the online holiday home trade websites. A great way to avoid accommodation costs, simply swap homes with another holidaymaker for the duration of your holiday and gain the benefit of local knowledge on your destination.