“Budget” appears to be the buzz word in the travel industry at the moment. Whether it’s no frills airlines, “minimalistic” hotels or anything else that saves the traveller money – we’re all on it. However, there are certain factors that slip under the radar. Many travellers simply forget about them, or don’t realise that there’s a big potential to slash the total cost of your holiday.
Therefore, without further ado, we’ll jump in and take a look at five issues that you should be looking to take advantage of when it next comes to booking time…
Ditch the traditional “7 day” escape
All of the travel agents advertise them and if you are looking to book through one of these third parties, then it’s probably advisable to stick with the standard holiday duration. However, if you are opting for the DIY approach and booking everything from flights to hotel separately, it might be time to get a little creative.
It’s common knowledge in the industry that the airlines seem to take advantage of those travellers looking to get away for seven days, or even the weekend. The prices between these typical durations are usually inflated, and in these instances it’s a good idea to check alternate days. Look for a six day or nine day break – you’d be surprised at just how different the costs look. It doesn’t work all of the time, and it won’t be a suitable option for everyone, but there can be occasions where this approach will reap significant savings.
Sway away from cabin luggage
Again, if you’re opting for the Thomas Cook (or insert whatever major travel agent you desire here) approach, this won’t be necessary. It’s only applicable to the DIY-holiday-goers and if you can manage it, you simply much ditch those cumbersome 20kg suitcases.
It can add hundreds of pounds onto the total cost of a flight for the typical family of four and nowadays, you just don’t need all of the extras you used to ram into your giant cases. There are countless resources which will tell you how to pack your bag efficiently, and more importantly, what you can leave at home. Most resorts now hold everything from hairdryers, to washing machines – so there’s really no need to take everything that’s currently stuffed in your wardrobe.
Never use the “spur of the moment” approach to transport
The phrase “fail to plan, plan to fail” couldn’t be more appropriate here. Unfortunately, if you haven’t performed the necessary planning, you’re going to be almightily tempted to simply flag the nearest local taxi driver when you touch down in your exotic destination. Similarly, when the mad rush ensues to make sure you get to the airport in time in the first place, you’re going to be hit with another bill for an arm and a leg.
It’s for this reason that you must book any transfers well in advance. By using a firm such as Alpha AirPort Taxi Service for the domestic transfer, you’d be amazed at just how much you’ll save in comparison to the metred taxi. For the transfers, make sure you tap into a transfer comparison service – it’s your best bet to save the pennies but perhaps more importantly in this case, find a reputable provider.
Forget standard insurance methods
Travel insurance is something that all of the travel agents will try and flog us. At this point, it’s worth staying strong, and firmly declining any advances though. By booking with the first company that’s sent your way, you’re asking to spend a small fortune. A much cheaper method is to use a third party broker, with one of those trust comparison sites almost certainly slashing the costs in comparison to the initial quote you will have been provided.
Get a cash advance
And finally – sort your finances out. Don’t head out to your location of choice armed with a couple of credit cards – you’ll be in for one hell of a shock when you return and see all of the international fees that your provider will have added on.
Instead, you’ve got three options. The first is the typical trip to the currency exchange before setting off, which is probably what most readers will do. The second is slightly more expensive and involves just taking your local currency, and hoping for a decent exchange rate when you land. The third and final is to obtain one of those debit cards that are specifically designed to combat the nuisance of international fees. It’s probably the option with the most hassle initially, but it can prove to be very useful and ultimately cheap when you do land and need an on-tap supply of cash.