If you’re pining for a summer vacay this year on the cheap, keep reading. We’re dishing out the latest inside scoop on how to bag yourself a bargain and pay less for your 2022 holiday!
After the last couple of years, most of us are longing for sun, sea, sand and cocktails, but with price tags rising, everchanging exchange rates and all the other extra travel costs we face, that dream vacay can feel a million miles away.
Well, you’ll be happy to hear that there are in fact plenty of ways you can reduce the cost of travel and we’re sharing out our top tips & tricks for 2022.
From booking to planning the itinerary and arriving at your destination – we’ve listed 22 ways in which you can maximise your savings and grab an unmissable deal on your next holiday booking.
1) Keep your eyes peeled for a code!
First and foremost, you’re going to want to browse for a voucher code! Why? Well, a discount code is your best bet at securing a huge saving on your booking and luckily for you, you’re in the right place to bag yourself one.
Many of the big tour operators provide discount codes for their package holidays and all-inclusive holidays on top of free child places and last-minute deals. These codes can help you save on family holidays to destinations all over the world including Staycations if that’s what you prefer. The best part? We keep our Travel Pages updated daily so you’re always guaranteed to come across the most up to date promotions.
Take a gander through our travel category here at NetVoucherCodes to find the latest codes for retailers like TUI, First Choice, Jet2Holidays or EasyJet Holidays, then simply hit the ‘book now button.
We save users on average £100 to £300 on summer package holiday bookings every year. And you’ll also find discounts on staycation cottages, log cabins, hotels, and even caravan holidays.And it’s not just codes you’ll find here either. We have over 100+ travel retailers listed here at NetVC where you’ll spot savings on everything from flights and accommodation to car hire, luggage, and travel insurance. Oh, and we can’t forget those summer essentials! Grab discounts on those all-important travel extras like luggage, insurance, bikinis & shorts for your holiday wardrobe.
2) Travel Prepared in 2022
While overseas travel is back on, there are still restrictions in place. These are changing regularly so it’s important to keep yourself up to date with the latest news both before you book and before you travel. With this in mind, see below our tips for travelling safely in 2022.
- We advise looking for holidays that are flexible if it comes to changing dates or cancelling altogether.
- Be sure to check the rules of the country you’re travelling to. You can see the list of countries on the government red list online. You will also need to check the requirements for the country you’re visiting as some may require testing.
- Always check Foreign Office country advice before booking.
- Always research your airline’s cancellation policies before booking. With travel so touch and go, it’s important you understand your rights.
- Package holidays are your safest bet if the rules were to change regarding the country you’re travelling to. However, if you were to cancel because you’d need to self isolate on your return, you will not be automatically eligible for a refund. In this case, always try to book with tour operators who offer flexible booking policies.
- Download the free NHS App to show your vaccination status. Download and register the app on your android or iPhone for your unique Covid Passport.
Find the cheapest COVID-19 tests. Everyone returning to the UK from their foreign holiday is required to take a PCR test on the second day of arriving home (subject to the government latest guidelines). The prices for tests are skyrocketing so be sure to do your research to find the cheapest available test kit.
3) Book in Advance
Now, you may be thinking ‘duh’ isn’t that obvious? But in fact, many of us get caught up in life and end up booking our holidays last-minute in the hope that prices plummet. And while you may secure a good last-minute deal, it isn’t always likely and you may not get the dates you prefer and spaces are limited.
Being organised certainly does pay off and booking your holiday up to a year in advance can be money-saving – especially if you’re travelling as a family or large group with term time dates to take into consideration!
If you’re wanting to book a package holiday, tour operators often offer special discounts when you book well in advance. Likewise, many airlines release flights 11-12 months ahead. Don’t be hasty though, prices can fluctuate soon after seats are released so keep an eye on them to be sure you get the best deal.
Lastly, we all know by now the importance of travel insurance. Make sure you take out your plan EARLY. And when we say early, we mean immediately after you’ve booked your holiday. This will cover you if for any reason you need to cancel before your holiday begins.
4) Pay the cheapest price for your Hotel
As for hotels, this is where you need to get smart. Online travel agents are clever and change prices continuously so you need to play them at their own game.
If you’re booking a hotel room, try and choose one with Free Cancellation. Monitor prices as you will notice that they eventually drop. Once you’ve noticed a price drop, cancel your room and re-book!
5) Shop around and Compare Prices for Cheap Flights
Be nifty and compare prices! Price comparison sites are a godsend when it comes to travel, especially if you’re looking for the cheapest flights. Booking your accommodation and flights separately can be a great way to save and comparison sites can help.
Skyscanner gives you flight options over a month to see when the cheapest time to fly is. It searches over 1000 airlines and travel sites so it has great coverage.
Kayak is another great comparison site that lets you filter your flight by baggage allowance so you can gauge the cost more accurately for your needs.
Check out Jack, from Jacks Flight Club! As the self-proclaimed ‘flight hacking ninja’, Jack has created an online space where members can uncover the cheapest flights in one place. They’ll keep you informed when the cheapest possible flights to amazing destinations across the globe are available and endeavour to ensure their member never pay full price ever again!
Lastly, check out Momondo for flight comparisons. Momondo shows you both the cheapest and most expensive dates to fly as well as offers insights including the cheapest airports to fly from and into.
Expedia, Hotels.com, Booking.com and Trivago are also great places to search and compare hotels and accommodation. Don’t settle at the first price you see. Be thorough and cover all possibilities before booking!
Another great tip for securing your holiday at the best price is to try calling up different agents to see if they can beat the price you have. Looking to travel to The Caribbean? Then look for specialist community-based travel agents who specialise in that destination.
Travel agents are there to sell you a holiday, they don’t create them, which means they do sometimes bump up the prices. Every travel agent is different so get your haggle on and shop around.
6) Browse through our Travel Pages
While we here at NetVoucherCodes love a good deal, we’re also clued up on all the inside information when it comes to our travel retailers. Whether you’re booking with TUI, First Choice or Jet2Holidays, take a browse through our pages for useful, money-saving tips!
For example, our TUI page advises booking in advance and flying midweek for the cheapest rates! Plus, you are always guaranteed a bargain in the last minute deals section on the TUI website.
7) Ditch the hotel for a Villa or Apartment
You’ve chosen your destination and it’s time to start searching for a place to stay! If you don’t fancy fighting over sun loungers every morning or missing breakfast times when you snooze your alarm, why not book an apartment or villa?
If you’re travelling as a large group, we can guarantee staying in an apartment or villa is a much more affordable option. The larger the group, the bigger the savings per person. Don’t believe us? Compare yourself!
Airbnb is a great place to search for villas and apartments or even just a room in people’s homes. Basically, hosts rent out their homes or properties to you, some even rent out rooms in their homes. You can choose from anywhere in the world and it’s a great way to meet new people!
Alternatively, direct booking sites like Vrbo or Clickstay.com are great for looking for properties across the globe. However, you will need to be careful as payments are made directly to the owner, so double-check the property is real!
8) Pay with a Credit Card
Choosing to pay with a Credit Card can actually be the safest way to book your holiday. If your holiday costs more than £100, paying by credit card means you’re covered if anything goes wrong. Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act means the credit card company is liable to pay out if anything goes wrong.
For example, if the airline goes bust, you will get your money back from the card company. But make sure to always pay your card off in full by the end of each month to avoid any interest charges.
9) Be organised and Plan Ahead
In case you didn’t already know, it pays to be organised! Have you ever said to yourself that you’re definitely going to plan ahead for your next holiday, but then it slips through the net and before you know it, you fly tomorrow? If that sounds like you, don’t worry, it happens to the best of us. But with these handy and easy to remember tips, that’s unlikely to happen again.
Firstly, if you’re travelling with kids, check to see if your airline allows you to take a car seat or collapsible pushchair onboard. If you plan to hire a car while you’re away, or will need a pushchair or travel cot, rental costs can be extortionate.
Many airlines let you check in a car seat, or pram for free in addition to your regular luggage allowance. Rules can vary with each airline but for example, Easyjet allows 2 free items on-board. Simple research could save you money and make travelling with kids so much easier!
Secondly, don’t splash out on expensive sun cream that does that exact same job as the cheaper counterpart. Some brands claim to offer better protection when in reality they’re the exact same as cheaper alternatives, many of which you could pick up in pound shops or places like Aldi.
Another great tip to avoid getting stung with expensive ticket prices is to book your excursions before you jet off. Theme parks, water parks, zoo trips and more can be much cheaper when you book in advance and can take the hassle off planning when you arrive.
10) Avoid costly Airport Prices
Once you arrive at the airport, you’re going to be stuck there until your flight departs, which can be anything from 2 hours to 24 and counting. With this in mind, be aware that they’re going to charge you premium prices for pretty much everything – even a bottle of water.
However, you can tackle these costs by being savvy. Many airports have free water facilities. You may be thinking, so? But as you know, no liquids are allowed past the check-in desk, and again, as we all know too well, the cost of food & drink is extortionate!
Be proactive and hunt down free to use water fountains to fill up your empty bottles. (Note that some airports don’t have these facilities so always check first).
That leads us nicely onto mentioning that although liquids aren’t allowed past security, food is! If you’re really frugal, avoid hefty airport price tags and pack your own food and snacks.
11) Create your own Toiletries
If you’re guilty of stocking up on brand new toiletries before jetting off, we’re here to help. Travel-sized toiletries can be a lot of money, as retailers know they’re convenient, therefore charge more. In fact, full-sized versions are often cheaper than the measly 75ml travel sizes.However, your bathroom is probably stocked up already with shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and all the potions you need to stay clean while away. Why not invest in some inexpensive refillable travel-sized bottles and fill them up! Or, just make the most out of complimentary toiletries in hotels.
12) Get a Specialist Overseas Credit Card
Now, it’s time for the nitty-gritty, and by that we mean money! If you use your card abroad, most banks add a 3% exchange rate, which effectively means you’re paying more. Avoid this by using a specialists card that offers near-perfect exchange rates. Remember, you will need to pay in full to avoid interest charges.
The Barclays Rewards card is a great choice, as it has no interest (when you pay back in full), offers near-perfect rates, includes no fees on spending or withdrawing cash abroad and you even get 0.25% cashback on spending worldwide! Bag one of these up to 3 weeks before you fly.
The Santander Zero card is another great option. Again, this card includes no fees on overseas spending or withdrawals. However, withdrawal does include an interest-free, so better for spending than withdrawing!
13) Don’t pay for airport drop-offs
Airports have caused some stir in recent years since launching drop-off charges with 19 of 30 UK airports making you pay for 10-minute drop-offs with prices ranging from £1-£5.
However, there are free drop-off points that are just a short walk or bus ride away from the terminal. Arriving early and planning ahead means you can avoid these extra charges. See your airports website for specific details on free drop-off options.
14) Hire a car!
Hiring a car on holiday can save you a fortune on taxi charges to and from the airport, not to mention the freedom to explore your destination. If this is something you think would benefit you, be smart and use our tips and tricks to help you hire a car on the cheap.
- Firstly, work out what kind of vehicle you need and what amenities you need in your car. For example, will you need air-con or a sat-nav? These add-ons can be costly so be sure to plan what you need and forget the rest.
- Compare quotes! Skyscanner, Kayak, and TravelSupermarket are all great places for comparing hire car prices. Alternatively, attempt to squash those prices down even further by hunting down cashback deals or online find car hire vouchers.
- Also, be aware that if you are planning to hire a car, you will need to get a ‘check code’ before you go. You will need your driving license and national insurance number to obtain this. Bear in mind this expires after 21 days.
15) Get free or cheap access to Airport Lounges
Activate holiday mode with a visit to an Airport Lounge. If you fancy a bit of luxury before you jet off, an Airport Lounge is the perfect place to sit back with a tipple to settle those pre-flight nerves.
And these hot spots aren’t just reserved for the first-class, some airport lounges can actually be free of charge with certain credit cards or bank accounts! And with most available from just £20 offering free food & drinks, they’re definitley worth the hype.
And if you’re a frequent flyer, some airlines offer discounts and even free access to their lounges with their frequent flyer schemes.
16) Keep within your budget
And last but not least on our money-saving tips is to always stay within your budget. Set a budget for your time away that is affordable for you and stick to it.
Many of us can get lost in the dream that travel companies sell to us, and often find ourselves in debt or spending over the odds on our ‘dream holiday’ that we simply cannot afford.
Travel marketing is built to sell you a dream, but be careful and try no to get sucked in too much. Remember, a holiday lasts a week or so – don’t mess up your finances for it.
17) Check if your EHIC is still valid
The last thing anybody wants is to be stung with healthcare bills if and when you need to seek medical attention abroad. So, if you’re off travelling in Europe, you’re going to need a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) or an in-date European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). These will give you access to treatment at state-run hospitals and GP services at the same cost as locals.Check to see if your EHIC is still in date before travelling as if expired, you will be denied access to any treatments or health care services. If expired will need to apple fo a GHIC instead (they do the same thing). You can get one of these for FREE on the official NHS website. Please be aware that copy sites are out there charging you fees.
18) Get cheap travel accessories
Let’s face it, sitting in a small seat for multiple hours during a flight is far from comfortable. Neck pillows and cushions, eye masks and earplugs can help alleviate some of your discomforts but you’ll pay top whack at the airports. Not to mention the cost of other travel essentials like adaptors and sun creams.
Stock up before you fly in pound shops or discount stores for the cheapest prices! You could pay up to triple the amount in airports so be nifty and shop around.
19) Don’t always trust the Star Rating
Found a ‘too good to be true’ deal on a 5* hotel? The likelihood is that it is most likely just that, too good to be true. Hotel ratings aren’t standardised worldwide and many are just an indicator of the facilities rather than the quality.
Package tour operators tend to be the most overly generous offering a star higher. Don’t fall for a faulty star rating and check out the real-life reviews on the likes of TripAdvisor.
20) Get compensation for flight delays
There is nothing worse than a delayed flight which is why it’s important you know your rights if you were to fall victim.
If your flight is delayed for more than three hours or is cancelled altogether and it is the airline’s fault, you are entitled to between £100 and £600! The EU court of justice declared passengers were entitled to compensation for long delays and this has not changed since the end of Brexit.Head to Citizens advice for the latest and up to date information regarding compensation claims.
21) Get the best exchange rates!
Exchange rates can fluctuate massively depending on where you shop for your holiday spending money, so to avoid being stung with false rates, the TravelMoneyMax tool created by Money Saving Expert, Martin Lewis is great for tracking down the best rates! They feature all the big currencies and compare prices for you. It will also let you see who is the cheapest for exchanging any leftover currency back to British pounds!
22) Wear your luggage
And last but not least a great tip for saving on your luggage fees is to wear it! It may sound silly, but this is a great way to cut down on the amount you need to check in. Wear your heaviest clothes and shoes and put other heavy items of clothing in your pockets!
Brexit Impact on EU Travel
Brexit means changes in the way UK residents can travel to the EU. Here’s what you need to know:
- Stricter border checks will be in place. You will need to show a return or onward ticket, prove you have enough money and use separate lanes from EU citizens.
- You can now only visit most EU countries for up to 90 days in a 180 day period.
- Travelling to the EU for a holiday will require a visa-waiver. These will be available from 2022.
- Your passport will need to have at least 6 months left until it expires and be less than 10 years old for you to travel.
- If you have a valid EHIC, you can use this until it expires. After that, you will need to apply for a Global Health Insurance Card.
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