We’ve all seen the adverts, agoda, travelsupermarket, trivago... just about everywhere seems to offer the ‘best’ deals. Yeah, sometimes you’ll find that $5 is saved on your hotel or find a 10% sale on somewhere, but the savings aren’t how the ads make it out.
By all means, I’m not saying they’re useless- they don’t spend thousands on their ads for nothing. But there are better options out there for those looking to save more than a few dollars.
When you’re always looking for your next adventure, you become accustomed to various deals and websites, but there’s always more to learn. Here are a few tips that have proven successful for my own travels:
Do your research!
Sometimes you’ll find the perfect price straight away, but it’s very unlikely. Particularly as the January blues set in, its easy to think ‘this’ll do’ or ‘I just want to have something booked’. Take those ideas out of your mind and shop around, you wouldn’t buy the first car you drove or first house on Rightmove?
Set out a list of exactly what you want to get out of your trip: is it a beach holiday or city break? What’s your budget? When do you want to go? And most importantly, what are you willing to sacrifice, if anything? No place is perfect, you might have to take a night flight or spend a little more to get what you want and it’s essential to recognise that before you get your hopes up!
Travel out of Season
This doesn’t necessarily mean travelling to Spain for a beach holiday in January, but travelling mid-week (if you can) will bring the prices down: in fact, the cheapest day to travel is a Tuesday!
Top tip: If you’re travelling to somewhere in Asia, I have found that you’ll get a lot more done at a lower price if you travel slightly out of the tourist season: I visited Thailand in April, with half price flights and had no worries about tours fully-booking before I got a look in!
Try a new Destination
We all hold various locations very close to our hearts, and for good reason! Perhaps you had the holiday of a lifetime there or you fell in love with the food, but be broadening your horizons, it’s possible to find a new place to fall in love with and create new memories at a lower price.
For summer holidays: Turkey is making a comeback as a desirable holiday, whilst Croatia appears to have hiked up its prices after experiencing a tourism ‘boom’ in recent years. Spain and Portugal remain firm favourites for Brits and so prices are ever increasing: to the point where you can take a trip to Cuba for the same price if you look around!
Work out Logistics in Advance
You’ve found the perfectly priced trip for your budget: but does this mean you have a longer transfer time? Or are you staying half board to save £50? Certainly, at the time it’s nice to have something booked at the price you can afford, but more often than not, this might cost you more in the long run.
Amsterdam is a classic example of this: If you fly into Eindhoven, it’s possible to get £20 return flights, but it takes upto 3 hours to get into the centre of Amsterdam from here and will cost you an additional £30. It’s possible to fly to Amsterdam from £40 return from the UK and would save you both time and money, although it may not seem like it at face value.
Book Last Minute
This is perhaps the riskiest thing you can do, since you could come up short, but it depends how late you leave it. Owners on AirBnB are well acquainted with this and often offer a last minute discount and travel deal sites use the last minute prices to entice customers for a reason! Of course, you are left with a limited choice, but backpacking trips especially benefit from these deals as often you won’t know where you’ll be one day to the next!
Don’t leave it too late though! I travelled to India in May 2018 and booked a last minute flight to Goa, even though I needed to be in Mumbai the following week. Whilst I bagged a bargain to fly to Goa, the flight to Mumbai was 3x the original price because I left it until 48 hours before I had to leave.
Think about Alternative Transport
In more remote places, you’ll need to make sure you can reach your hotel, simple. Although when Amsterdam you’re usually better off flying directly, that rule doesn’t work everywhere. If you’re travelling around Asia, trains, taxis or even tuk-tuks could save you hundreds!
In Sri Lanka, most flights will head to Colombo International Airport, but most backpackers or holiday makers will want to travel to the Centre or South. Try taking the train from Colombo to Ella for £8, it takes around 10 hours but travelling through mountains and tea plantations is an experience you’ll never forget!
What tips have you found helpful when you’re travelling? I would love to know, comment below or tweet me!