How to Find Cheap Holiday Deals

You’ve patiently waited until the very last minute to book your summer holidays in the hope of bagging one of those cheap holiday deals you always seem to hear other people bragging about. The kennel is booked, the sun lotion bought and your suitcase has made its annual appearance out of the loft. So what’s next? How do you go about finding one of these deals? Well you could sit in a shop for hours while a very helpful travel advisor trawls through pages and pages of destinations, you could stay in the comfort of your own home and give yourself earache as you hang on the phone for ages, or you could take the bull by the horns, get on the internet and discover that the world is your oyster.

No-one said it was going to be easy though, it will take time and patience, but when you’re laid on that beach, knowing how little you spent on getting there, it will all be worth while.

Have a pen and paper handy to make notes of what you see and on which site, you’ll kick yourself when you find a great deal then can’t remember which site you saw it on!

Make a note of exact flight times, board basis, room choice and of course cost so you can compare the exact same holidays on different sites. You might think you’ve found a great deal, much cheaper than other sites, only to discover that it’s because the board basis or departure airport is different.

The more flexible you are the more choices you will have, for example if you say you will only fly from your local airport, your choices will be much more limited than if you are prepared to travel to other airports, try to put a couple of days time span for your departure date rather than just one day, and keep your options of board basis open.

Taking off or landing in the early hours of the morning will usually save you money too, it may be a bit inconvenient to take off or land at 3am, but you will find it significantly cheaper.

See what ‘extras’ have automatically been included and if it’s a short flight, consider removing the flight meals, this will save a few pounds.

Make sure you stick to your luggage allowance, usually 15kgs these days; you may be given the option to increase it up to 20kgs but will pay extra for this, so travel light.

Some tour operators automatically add a world care charity donation on, you can ask for this to be removed, usually by just unchecking the box.

Check that transfers are included and are free, if so, that’s great, if not try to find out how much a private transfer would be, there are numerous websites available to book transfers, so its worth comparing them and perhaps booking separately, or if your accommodation is not too far from the airport, just jump in a taxi when you get there.

Don’t just look for a package holiday, think about checking prices for flights and accommodation separately, this often works out much cheaper, just make sure you put the exact same dates in to your searches, it’s no good booking accommodation Saturday to Saturday and then flights on a Sunday!

Think about how you are going to pay for the holiday and always use a debit card if possible as most companies charge a fee for using your credit card, this is usually a percentage of your total cost, so depending on how much you are paying, this could save you quite a bit.

Avoiding the school holidays is always a good idea, check out the timetable on the governments education website before putting your annual leave in.

Finally, check out the exchange rate of your destination before you book, a great self catering deal could end up costing a fortune while you are there if the exchange rate is poor.

Many tour operators are struggling to fill their planes and hotels this year and are starting to cut prices, so you never know, you could well find plenty of cheap holiday deals out there to choose from, as I mentioned before, the world really could be your oyster.

The Quest to Find Cheap Holiday Coverage

It might not have happened to you, but there’s a fair chance you will know someone who has experienced some kind of misfortune while on a vacation abroad. As a result, you probably know how important it is to purchase even very cheap holiday coverage. As you congratulate yourself for being sensible, you’ll start your search for cover – but you may have something of a surprise waiting for you.

The fact is that you are likely to be spoilt for choice. You will probably find yourself facing more options than you can possibly deal with – ranging from those offered enthusiastically by your tour or travel operator, if you are using one, up to some really great opportunities from online providers.

So, how should you go about choosing? There are, of course, no hard and fast rules here but there might be a few things worth keeping in mind.

• Searching for cheap holiday coverage might be your natural start point, but remember that exceptionally cheap insurance won’t mean anything if, when you need to call upon it for help, it doesn’t cover the situation you find yourself involved in. So, make sure you carefully study the cover provided by your chosen policy to satisfy yourself that it is adequate for your needs – rather than simply how cheap it is.

• Pay special attention to health cover provisions. Medical expenses can be phenomenally costly when abroad and could easily be financially ruinous unless you have insurance assistance.

• Don’t assume health cover isn’t required just because you’re going to a European Union country. Your EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) is issued free by the NHS, but remember that doesn’t necessarily mean it will get you the same degree of free health treatment in a European Union country as you would get in the United Kingdom.

• Read your policy carefully before deciding whether or not to purchase it. Remember that the devil is sometimes in the detail and you should, for example, be very familiar with the things cheap holiday coverage excludes as well as what it actually provides.

• If you are planning to travel regularly in the year ahead, or even to take several holidays, it might be worth looking at family multi-trip cover. The savings might be substantial compared to simply buying single-trip cover every time you travel.

• Make sure you have the right policy for the type of trip you are planning. For example, some forms of standard travel insurance might explicitly exclude participation in various forms of sporting activities, including winter sports. If you’re planning to spend your break sitting on a beach that might not be a problem for you, but if you’re heading for the slopes it very well could be, and you may need special winter sports cover.

Of course vacation problems don’t always have to be catastrophic, but even trivial ones such as lost or stolen luggage can prove to be expensive. That’s why taking the time to find effective, as opposed to simply cheap, holiday coverage is always a wise idea.

Avoiding the Pitfalls of Cheap Holidays

There are many cheap holidays to choose from as travel agents look to maximise sales during this peak trading period. I have previously written about the huge discounts you can find with hotels offering tourists discounts of up to 50% on room prices and then by shopping around, comparing deals with various agents you can find many bargain holidays.

However there are several pitfalls that people can fall into when booking low cost holidays that will push up the price significantly. Especially at this time of year when families are looking to book holidays before the kids head back to school and for everyone else looking to get some summer sun before the season is over. We can rush into booking holidays as time is so limited so the advice is to double check the small print before you press submit especially when buying flights.

The no frill budget airlines will start with low prices to entice you in but then add on extras that will significantly increase the price, extras that are included with traditional airlines. The biggest of the charges are for checking in bags which can be up to £20 for each case that you want to take with you, for a family of four this is a big cost for travelling to your destination and back again.

Another one I got stung with when I was quickly booking a flight for a low cost holiday was using a credit card, which was £10 each way, making my flight significantly more expense. The tip here is to use a Visa Electron card as most of the no frill airlines won’t charge you a premium for using this card. You can ask your bank or open a new bank account to get this card; it is often give to those around 15-18 years old as their first payment card so if you are a family it may be possible to obtain one through a child of this age.

Another expense which will hike up the bill is food and drinks. Drinks are more difficult to avoid paying over the odds for with the restrictions on liquids meaning you can’t carry more than 100ml in your hand luggage. You can however buy in the departure lounge which most likely still will be cheaper than on the plane. For food it is best if you can eat before leaving if possible and if not prepare some packed lunches for the flight, sandwiches on a recent flight were £5! There is another £20 for a family taking a flight.

The extra charges can run into the hundreds with no frill airlines. Plan your flight in advance and compare what the total cost will be with traditional carriers which have these extra costs included in their price, you’d be surprise how often it works out cheaper.