22 October 2014

Posted by Discount Insurance on Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Share this on

To help you save potentially hundreds on your next holiday, these travel industry experts have revealed the top tips they use when looking for a bargain break, from setting up flight price alerts to booking on a Wednesday.

1)      Wednesday


Instead of leaping on the nearest Saturday, think with a more-mid week mind. Less people tend to fly on these days so flight prices drop to attract buyers.

Filip Flipov at travel search site Skyscanner says, “Starting your trip on a weekend can make a huge impact on the price of flights. Try comparing travel from a Wednesday rather than a Friday to Friday.”

2)      Book online or through apps

Often holiday agents reward you for booking online or via their app. The usual amount tends to hover at 10% but it can be much more.

Expedia’s mobile app offers up to 40% savings on last minute hotels booked via the app.

3)      Set up price alerts

Some websites offer to keep you in the loop when the prices of marked holidays or flights drop. This is something you should want to be a part of, as long as you aren’t in a rush to book.

Skyscanner let travellers sign up to their alerts and they will email you when the cost of a specific flight route drops. You can track up to 25 flight options at once.

4)      Book out of season

Rebecca Baines of Mr & Mrs Smith says, “While you do need to be careful about travelling out of season when obviously weather can be less reliable, you do get the best rates.”

If you are booking a Caribbean holiday go in May or June, when you can save 30% on rooms compared with December to April. It might rain, but it never gets cold.

“In Europe, travelling in May, September and October is often best – you miss the peak crowds, and hotels usually lower their rates,” says Rebecca. The general rule is to travel a month before or after peak times so that the weather is still fine but the rates substantially lower.

5)      Book early

The earlier you book your travels the better. For most popular European destinations that means booking as much as nine months in advance, room rates are usually at their highest when availability is at its lowest. Many hotels offer non-refundable early bird bookings.

Bob Atkinson, travel expert at Travel Supermarket, says it’s even more crucial to plan ahead for school holidays. “These dates sell out quickly and will rarely go down in price. Don’t travel in the first or last weeks of the school holidays – these are the busiest and most expensive.”

6)      Book late (especially in May and September)

I know this goes against the previous point, but if you aren’t booking a trip during school holidays – and like living dangerously – gambling by booking late can pay off.

Atkinson says you can often save as much as 50% on last minute hotel and flight deals as holiday providers drop prices to get you on board if tickets haven’t sold.

“These tend to occur just before and just after the main holiday periods with the best late deals usually in May and June and also in late September and October. Last minute travel in January is also often cheap.”

7)      Mix & Match

Skyscanner's Filip Filipov says, “It pays to mix and match your airlines, you can often save money by flying out and back with different airlines or from different airports.”

It’s worth taking the time to have a look around and doing your homework – it could save you hundreds.

8)      Don’t pay extra at check in

When booking flights, use online search tools that find the lowest fares and show you what extra fees might be added, so you aren't surprised at the gate or check-in.

Trip Advisor has a flight search tool which helps you find low fares, view baggage fees, compare legroom and view previous passenger photos from inside the plane.

9)      Be flexible

Instead of searching by location or date, search by price. On Skyscanner you can view all the prices of one flight path over a full month, so you can cherry pick the cheapest day.

Or search by location if you are uncommitted to the final destination and check what the cheapest place to fly to on the day you want to travel.

10)   Get travel insurance!

Get your travel insurance with Discount Insurance and see how much you could save!

It is important to make sure that you and your family are protected against any unforeseen circumstances that could not only ruin all those well laid plans but leave a scorching hole in your pocket.