5 tips to help you get a good deal on your holiday

Now that the worst of the winter weather is over our attention is turning towards the summer holidays.

However, with the cost of fuel rising rapidly – oil prices are now at their highest since 2008 – some airlines have introduced fuel surcharges to protect their income and pass the fuel burden on to passengers.

While not all airlines have added fuel surcharges, air travellers will end up paying for the fuel price increase one way or another, either through increased ticket prices, or as airlines reduce services and therefore reduce capacity flight prices will naturally increase.

With a possible increase in air travel prices it becomes more and more important to secure a good holiday deal as best we can. So how can we look for ways to save money on our summer holiday?

Below are some tips to help you save money when you book your summer holiday:

Avoid school holidays
Demand for flights and accommodation increases greatly during school holidays and with it prices, so, if at all possible, book your holiday in school term time. If you are uncertain when the school holidays are, just do a search for a school in your area and check their website for dates.

Shop around for currency deals
One of the worst places to exchange foreign currency is to do it at your holiday hotel, so always make sure you buy your foreign currency in advance. Shop around online to get the best deal and don’t just compare rates, work out what you will actually get for your money.

Book your airport parking early
Booking your airport parking early you can save up to 60% on the gate prices. Also, as car park spaces fill up, airport parking companies often increase their prices, so for the best possible price always book early.

Travel insurance
If you plan to take more than one holiday this year, consider buying an annual policy as this could work out cheaper than buying several single-trip policies.

Regional airport versus busy hub
Landing charges are often cheaper at smaller, regional airports compared to busy hubs, and consequently flights to these smaller airports are often cheaper. Check all your options, but be aware that although an airport may be named after a major city, it may be 60 miles or more away and the cost of transportation to and from the airport may outweigh the savings.

8 tips to help you book cheap flights

Okay, the recession is officially over, but that doesn’t mean that we are all feeling the benefits just yet. When we’re looking to book this year’s holiday we’re still looking for the cheaper options: cheap flights, cheap accommodation, cheap car hire etc., but we don’t want to compromise on quality.

So what can you do to save money and grab a bargain flight? The following tips will help you to save money when booking flights without compromising on your comfort:

  1. Book your flights early
    The old days of bagging a last-minute bargain are long gone. Nowadays, airlines release a fixed number of cheap tickets early, then, as the seats are sold and you get closer to the departure date, the price of the flights increases. Check it out now: find a flight booking engine and check the price of a flight next week compared with a flight on the same route in three months’ time and see the difference.
  2. Be flexible in your choice of destination
    Holidaying in a less fashionable, or up and coming location, could save you money on flights as high demand for the traditionally popular resorts will be reflected in the higher price of the flights.
  3. Be flexible on dates
    If you don’t have children, try to book your flights outside of the school holidays. Demand for flights rises during the school holidays and with it the prices. You are much more likely to find cheap flights outside of the school holidays when demand slows. Just a couple of weeks either side of the school holidays can make such a difference to the price. Consider flying midweek too, as flights are often cheaper during the week.
  4. Check out the flight options online
    Do your research and compare flight prices online before booking. It’s well worth shopping around and checking various websites to see what is available and what is included in the price so you know what represents a good deal.
  5. Travel with hand luggage only
    If you are travelling with a budget airline that charges for checked-in luggage, consider travelling with hand-luggage only. This doesn’t work for everyone, me included, but many people are able to travel light and save themselves money in the process. Alternatively, a family of four can make significant savings by taking two suitcases instead of four.
  6. Check in online
    Some airlines now charge you to check-in at the airport so, if your airline is one of them, check-in online. It’s quick, easy and saves time at the airport.
  7. Compare airlines and their charges
    Just because the flights are cheaper with one airline does not mean the total cost will be cheaper. Factor in all the charges added by individual airlines to accurately compare flight prices. What may look more expensive at the start could work out to be the cheapest flight option when you add on check-in charges, luggage charges, onboard refreshments etc.
  8. Consider a package holiday
    Package holidays are becoming much more flexible, so booking your holiday accommodation and flights together could work out cheaper than booking accommodation and flights separately.