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Our Top Money-Saving Travel Tips

Rebecca BebbingtonRebecca Bebbington · Feb 16, 2021

Want the scoop on how to travel abroad on the cheap? Keep reading. There is no denying that we all love a good holiday, but sometimes extortionate price tags overshadow our longing for sun, sea, sand and cocktails, right? Not to mention exchange rates and those extra costs we face stocking up on essentials.

Well, you’ll be happy to hear that there are in fact ways you can reduce the cost of travel. From booking to planning to arriving at your destination – we’ve listed 10+ ways in which you can maximise your savings when booking your next holiday!

Always look for discount codes before booking ANYTHING!

It goes without saying that we’re big advocates of using codes to get an instant saving at the point of booking. It’s what we specialise in after all.

Many of the big tour operators provide discount codes for their package holidays on top of offering free child places and last-minute deals. These codes can help you save on family holidays to destinations all over the world including holidaying in the UK. To find the latest codes for retailers like TUI, First Choice and EasyJet Holidays check before you hit the ‘book now’ button.

We have over 100+ travel retailers listed on our website, all of which boast huge savings on everything from flights and accommodation to car hire, luggage, and travel insurance. We save users on average £100 to £300 on summer package holiday bookings every year. You can also find discounts on staycation cottages, log cabins, hotels, and even caravan holidays. As well as essential travel extras like luggage, insurance, bikinis & shorts for your holiday wardrobe, so it’s always worth checking if you can save before you complete any purchase.

Book well 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.

As for hotels, this is where you need to get smart. Online travel agents are clever and fluctuate prices continuously. This is where 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!

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.

Use Comparison Sites

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.

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.

Another great tip for securing your holiday for 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.

Choose an Apartment or Villa

So, you know where you want to travel and it’s time to start searching. 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 traveling as a large group, we can guarantee it is a much more affordable option. The larger the group, the bigger the savings per-person, so apartments or villas are ideal for groups of friends or families. Don’t believe us? Do the research yourself! 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 home or properties to you, some even rent out rooms in their home. 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 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!

Keep protected & pay on 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.

Plan Ahead

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 1, save you money and 2 make travelling with kids so much easier!

Another great tip to note is that 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 well 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. Not 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 take your own food.

Lastly, 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.

Make your own Toiletries

For some reason, us Brits feel the need to buy everything brand new when packing for our holiday when in reality, it’s unnecessary. Travel-sized toiletries can be expensive 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! Plus, make the most of complimentary toiletries in hotels.

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 which 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!

Airport Pickup Points

Avoid drop-off charges

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 which are just a short walk or bus ride away from the terminal. Arriving early and planning ahead means you can avoid these extra charges.

Car Hire Alternatives

Hiring a car on holiday can save you a fortune on taxi charges to and from the airport. 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 car hire prices. Alternatively, attempt to squash those prices down even further by hunting down cashback deals or online car hire vouchers.

Also, please 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.

Stay within your budget!

And last but not least on our money-saving tips is to please always remember to stay within your budget. 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 the ‘dream holiday’ we simply cannot afford. Travel marketing is built to sell you a dream, but be careful and try no to get too sucked in too much.

Come up with a budget within your means and stick to it. A holiday lasts a week or so – don’t mess up your finances for it.

2021 COVID-19 Travel Restrictions

2021 COVID-19 Travel Restrictions

As it currently stands (Feb 20210, coronavirus restrictions mean travel is banned for UK residents. Other countries have also forbidden Brits from entering their country due to a more transmissible strain of the virus being detected. It’s uncertain how long these restrictions will be in place and current government guidelines advise against booking any foreign travel for the foreseeable.

Lots of tour operators do have covid policies in place though so should your travel plans be affected then make sure you are covered to re-schedule to a later date or get a full refund.

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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