Advertorial – Have you booked this years holiday yet? We haven’t, but we are already in the planning stage and excited to get it booked. So in conjunction with aqua card Holiday Hacks campaign, we want to share our holiday hacks to save you money.
By saving money on your holiday, it frees up spending money for when you are there. Once I started looking at ways to save money on your holiday I realised it was all about research and planning. All these money saving tips will have you jumping for joy!
Holiday Hacks to Save Money
Are you bound by the school holidays? We are with the boys now being 10 and 11. The last week of August and the first week of September are usually the cheapest for holidays during the summer period. However, like we did last year you may want to choose half term (we did both May and October) beating the crowds and securing cheaper holidays.
Consider taking out a Credit Card
I always pay for my holiday by credit card for the extra protection that credit cards offer and also find that they are handy to have on holiday anyway for life’s emergencies. aqua card can help you manage your credit responsibly and will only give you a credit limit that you can afford.
Time your Booking
Make sure you book your holiday at the optimum time. Flights are at their cheapest 11 months prior to your trip. You may also get cheap flights and upgrades last minute but this depends on availability.
Sally from Who’s the Mummy? says to always use Skyscanner. They will track prices for you, identify the lowest price and airline to book through – sometimes the exact same flight will be cheaper – so her recent flights to New York cost £600 less booking onto a United flight via Lufthansa than it cost for the same flight on the United website
Time your travel
If you are flying avoid early flights as they will be weighted for business travellers. Also if you are travelling long hall consider a stopover. Indirect flights are often considerably cheaper, so consider having a day or more at your stopover destination.
Find a relevant Facebook Group
Always find related Facebook groups if you can. My friend Karen from The White is taking the trip of a lifetime to Orlando this year and has joined several to do with Disneyworld and the tips they have given her have been invaluable. Including lots of money off information, places to visit off the tourist track, coupon information and much more.
Do not be afraid to haggle or even see if companies will price match. Do your research and you might be able to show a potential tour operator that you can find the same deal elsewhere for a better price and then there might be room for negotiation. Helen from Actually Mummy recently saved over £1800 on flights for her family this way.
My brother is excellent at this. He puts in the research time, checks prices for different dates and time and different companies. He also checks whether he gets a discount with his loyalty cards. He also compares the cost online to bricks and mortar travel shops.
A lot of my friends are savvy travellers and always work hard at getting the best value, so I asked them for their top money saving tips for travellers. Some of these are genius.
Other fab money saving tips for travellers:
Look at purchasing annual travel insurance instead of a one trip insurance as it often works out cheaper. Also if your bank provides travel insurance as part of your bank account, double check what it covers and any exclusions or restrictions – Sarah from Boo, Roo and Tigger Too
Collect Air miles and use them to reduce the cost of your holiday – Sarah from Extraordinary Chaos
When searching flight prices use the incognito mode on your search engine – now I am sure if this is right, but the theory is that with cookies flight companies know it is you and have your search history. Kate from WitWitWoo
Book excursions, transfers and lots of things in advance online. Prices on Viator will often be lower than booking once you arrive somewhere. And get city destination cards if you plan to visit attractions and you’ll typically get at least 20% off – Sally from Who’s the Mummy?
For some of the best deals on accommodation, book direct. This is what my personal friend Adele does. Many hotels, B&B’s and cottages offer guests an incentive to book direct rather than through a booking engine or agency. In addition to being cheaper, you could get a room upgrade or complimentary extras.
Use a cashback company. Cashback sites give you a percentage of your final purchase back if you book via them. Quidco currently offers 13 per cent cashback with Expedia and Topcashback offers 13% off Hotels.com.
Always factor in the cost of travelling to an alternative airport before booking it because it’s cheaper. There’s no point travelling half way across the country for a good deal when it will cost you as much as you saved for petrol/hotel/parking – Cass from Diary of a Frugal Family
If you fly with one airline regularly, signing up for their rewards program is usually really worthwhile. You earn free flights eventually but also get access to their lounges and speciality guest services – Jen from Mama Papa Bubba
Try Airbnb! You usually rent an entire flat for the money you would spend on a nice hotel and having a kitchen and shopping at local markets and grocers means you can easily eat a couple of meals in each day, which is a big money saver. With Airbnb you also have the ability to contact the host directly before booking says Jen. Although Toni reminds us “If you go this way, be sure to read as many reviews as possible on the villa/flat owner or the management company”.
Do your research and save money in maps/tour guides/travel books by borrowing from your library. Many also do extended holiday loans too – Liz from Me and My Shadow.
Don’t bother booking speedy boarding if you have kids under five as they let you on first anyway – Lottie from Oyster and Pearl
Book immediately after your last holiday. Sarah from Mason Cupcake always books her French caravan holidays early, Al Fresco often have 30% discount in the previous autumn which you can combine with their awesomely generous loyalty bonuses of up to a further £200 off. For two weeks in August she saved a combination of around £700 in early discounts, loyalty bonus and early ferry deal off a trip that would otherwise have cost £2000. And if you book via Quidco there could be 7-8% cashback too.
Consider driving rather than flying. Monica From Mum on the Brink drives across Europe- She saves by bulk booking ferry tickets with friends and family with DFDS makes each ticket flexible and just £30 each way.
Disclosure: Post sponsored by aqua Card (credit provided by NewDay Ltd, 18s and Over, Subject to Status, UK residents only), but as always all thoughts and opinions are my own and honest.