The end of the academic year means you can expel sighs of relief at finally getting the chance to take a well-earned break, but sighs of relief are not usually the reaction when you see the cost of holidays post-term!
It’s well known that school holidays are the time when the travel companies choose to hike their prices but despite the price rises in these periods, there are plenty of ways you can cut costs without compromising on quality.
Do lots of research on cheapest times, days and even airports
Tuesday is the cheapest day to fly based on research from travel comparison site Momondo, so if you are flexible then try to aim for that day, coupled with booking around 50 days in advance to make the most of savings. Avoid Fridays and weekends as a general rule.
A different airport can save you £100s on your flight costs, if you have the option to get to another airport then it may be worth it. This is to do with the number of flights and airlines flying from a particular airport, so weigh up the extra road or rail travel costs and you could be quids in for a little extra effort.
Don’t just use your favourite website to search
Much like the insurance industry, loyalty isn’t a huge factor in travel sales, they understand that customers for the most part will go with the cheapest deal. There are a vast number of comparison websites out there now where you can check flights (SkyScanner / Momondo / Kayak), hotels (Booking.com / Hotels.com / Trivago) and package holidays (Travelsupermarket / Travelrepublic / Icelolly / Expedia). Give yourself ample time to use all of the sites as they often host separate offers to others.
If you see a great offer, always remember to check the TripAdvisor website to make sure it is legitimate!
Book activities, car hire and airport parking early
Day trips and activities can really add up if you’re away with children, booking from the UK can really help with cost reduction. In a bid to get you to sign up early, companies will offer discounted rates and offers.
If you need a car in your resort, go for an early bird rate as soon as you book your holiday. The same rule applies to airport parking as the longer in advance you book the cheaper it will be. Before booking your airport parking, also check the price of local taxi companies and public transport as it may actually be cheaper to take the train or coach instead
Some airlines offer free buggy or child car seat baggage
Try to factor in when you’re choosing your airline, do they give me free buggy or car seat carriage? It can end up saving you lots of cash if you get one, two or even three of these items on for free. Flight comparison site SkyScanner has compiled a comprehensive list of airlines and their child carriage allowances.
Don’t be frightened by “unusual” accommodation options
If you’re a group that is happy to branch out when it comes to finding accommodation abroad, then there are more places to look than the usual hotels, with savings included.
For larger parties, a villa or house could be the choice. They can tend to be a lower cost per person and with the self-catering element of “home-cooked meals”, it saves on eating out every night at restaurants. AirBnB is a popular tool for finding accommodation across the world.
Family-friendly hostels are becoming a more viable option now too, with better room choices (now en-suite with 2/4/6 beds) so if you’re not precious on space and you’re going to be out and about all day anyway, then it can be a very cheap option.
Use free apps for travel guides and maps
Save money by downloading all of your travel guides and sat nav maps whilst you’re on your phone or tablet at home. There are lots of free apps around now that will help you to find the perfect guide books, travel guides and local maps before you even leave for your holiday. The sat nav app, Navmii, for example, is free and has maps for more than 150 countries