If the Easter weekend seems a long way away now, your thoughts may be turning to summer holidays and getting booked up for a week or two in the sun.
While many families are feeling the pinch of increased food and petrol costs and massive energy hikes, this doesn’t seem to have had an effect on holiday bookings, which are up by nearly 20% this year compared to pre-pandemic rates, travel giant Tui has revealed.
More than 68% of holidays were booked entirely online last year, predicted to rise to 72% by 2025, according to Statista, so it can pay to be aware of some of the tricks and tripwires and how to avoid them to maximise your holiday budget.
Read more: Simple trick to avoid paying £4 drop-off fee at Newcastle Airport
If you’ve still to take the plunge for this year, here are some sneaky ways you can save some spending money if you’re in the know.
1. Always book your accommodation before your flight
When booking a holiday, the natural starting place for many people is flights, then the accommodation to fit in with them. If this is what you do, you’re doing it wrong, according to Andrea Knowles of vouchers.co.uk. According to Andrea, as your accommodation is likely to be your most expensive cost, it should be your priority when booking as it can generate the biggest saving. But remember when searching for accommodation to make sure that you’re looking in places served by an airport you’re willing to travel to.
2.Avoid baggage charges
The latest crafty charge many budget airlines have introduced is for carry-on luggage. The days when you could squeeze everything into a small suitcase and bring it into the cabin with you are gone, unfortunately. To make things worse, you don’t always know this until you go to book, meaning a bargain £40 return to Paris with Ryanair can end up costing more than £100 when you factor in up to £32 hand luggage fee each way. The clever way to get round this is to book via Google Flights as you can then search with a ‘carry-on bag’ option ticked, which will show you the true price of a flight. Another way to avoid the cost of adding luggage to your flights is to book accommodation with a washing machine, allowing you to cut right back on how many clothes you take with you.
3.Always book a cruise on a Thursday
The price of a cruise can fluctuate throughout the year and is dependent on several factors, such as if there’s been an increase in bookings or the total availability left. However, research from Cruise Critic has revealed that prices tend to drop mid-week, with booking on a Thursday likely to get you the best deal.
4.But book on a Monday if it’s a package you’re after
It also turns out that there’s a best day to book a package holiday. A former Thomas Cook insider revealed that they always gave their best deals on a Monday, as the prices are sometimes dropped to try and entice customers who’ve had a quote at the weekend, but not completed a booking.
5.Clear your cookies before booking to get the best price
If you’ve been searching for a holiday for a while, you should definitely clear your browser cookies before booking. These bits of data stored in your browser record the websites that you’ve visited. Travel websites can then use this information to hike up prices simply because they know that you’ve visited their site and plan on booking.
6.Pay for your holiday with a credit card
This is good advice even if you are not worried about saving money on your actual holiday. If your holiday costs more than £100, purchase it with a credit card as you’re covered if anything goes wrong under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. This means that the credit card company is liable to pay out under certain conditions if, for example, for example, your airline goes bust.