1. DIY Package
Don’t assume a package deal is cheaper. Tailor making your own package – handpicking hotels and flights can work out a heck of a lot cheaper, especially with multi centre style holidays. Also, do you really want to be stuck in one hotel for your entire trip? Get more out of your experience by staying in two or three hotels in different parts of your destination. Opt for self catering hotels or smaller guest houses for a few nights alongside a few nights in a 5*.
Do a hotel only search and flight only search to get best prices for each, then you can match up the cheapest for a good deal.
Shop around different travel agents and get them to do some research for you – sometimes the literally pull a rabbit out of the hat!
Some travel agents will happily pull the package together for you (from a variety of airlines and hotels) if you don’t want to have to book all the components separately yourself.
2. New Hotels
Here lies much potential for discounted room rates and special treatment to help boost the reputation and publicity of the hotel through the first batch of guests.
3. What a Difference a Day Makes!
Scour flights to each of your chosen destination with a fine tooth comb. The same flight a few days later can be half the price or less in some cases. This persistence has seen me bag flights that would normally be over £1000 for a mere £500. If you’re flexible and booking well in advance, apply this principle to different months as well.
Apparently, flight prices are often lower when booked in the afternoon!
Friday-Monday flights tend to be more expensive, but not always.
4. Avoidance Tactics
If you can, steer clear of the school holidays (and US Spring break).
No brainer. Low season is always cheaper.
5. Eat Where The Locals Eat
This is likely to be better value for money than the hundreds of pounds extra you pay for ‘all inclusive’ food that you can only eat ‘so much of’ in any one sitting.
6. Give the Hotel Shop a Miss
Well, at least until the end of your holiday. Spend time shopping in local areas, markets and street vendors before splashing out on (often grossly) overpriced hotel shopping. Buying from locals is also more helpful to local communities.
7. Eat Out
Eating out in local eateries is usually cheaper than the difference you pay for an all inclusive package. How much food can one person eat anyway…..unlimited mountains of food isn’t really all it seems, plus you get to experience the destination, culture and people in a more authentic way by eating from locally owned businesses, step into their world why don’t you! Obviously do your research before hand and find out what restaurants etc will be in the vicinity of your chosen hotels (start with Google maps). If your’e out in sticks somewhere then I’d probably stick with the all inclusive option.
Ask around about excursion organisers and prices. Often, a hotel taxi will be cheaper than a pre-booked trip, and much more tailor made to suit you. Local people often know of the cheaper excursion organisers – remember, everything is usually overpriced when bought or paid for via a hotel.
9. Plan Ahead
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of spontaneity, but if you have a rough idea of some of the key sights you want to see and excursions to go on you’ll be in a better position to start sourcing the best deals/tour guides etc. when you land.
10. Shop Around
Particularly in markets, don’t buy the first desirable item you see (unless you’re in a hurry), the likelihood is that another ten stalls will be selling the same item and one or more of them will be cheaper.
11. Be Sure To Insure
For obvious reasons.
Annual cover is always far cheaper than single trip cover if you take more than one holiday per year.
12. Read All About It
If you’re a book lover, but not to fussy about what you read, pick up a book from the hotel library rather than buying new works of fiction for the beach. Most hotels will have a collection of books that previous guests have left behind.
13. Luxury Luggage
Don’t feel obliged to splash out on expensive luggage (unless of course this is of paramount importance to you). It will likely end up scraped and thrashed around by baggage handlers anyway.
14. Give Yourself Some Credit
We’ve all heard about credit cards that help you build air miles – well if you’re a frequent flyer it might be worth looking into.
15. All Inclusive. Well Not Always!
Be clear about whether all the drinks in your room fridge are included in your payment to avoid any nasty surprises upon checking out.
Avoid making frequent cash withdrawals abroad to avoid charges.