Summer is well and truly over but that doesn’t stop almost 34% of people in the UK from wanting to leave the UK for a winter getaway. Whether you’re planning on partaking in winter sports or you just want some cheap sun to escape the colder months, follow these tips and tricks to save money on your travels.
Choose the Right Date and Time
Being careful about which dates and times you choose to get away will save you a lot of money. If you choose to travel at weekends for example then expect to pay a premium. The same applies for travelling during peak times. If you’re looking to save money then book all flights, rail or ferry trips for midweek, and preferably either early in the morning or late at night.
Booking your trip early means that your travel or accommodation won’t be in high demand. This means that the price will be considerably lower than if you decide to book your trip at the same time as everyone else. As flights and hotel rooms become booked up, travel agents know that they can increase the price and get away with charging a premium for the remaining ones.
Look for Deals
Just like with your favourite online clothes store, all the leading travel agents and airlines will have deals at particular times throughout the year. If you subscribe to the email newsletters of travel agents and airlines then there’s a good chance that you will be among the first to find out about and deals or promotions that they might be running. If you book early then you will be getting the best deal and not somebody else.
It’s also worth checking for voucher codes as a quick and easy way of saving money whenever book online.
Book Last Minute
If you’re fortunate enough to be very flexible on dates, times, destination and virtually every other aspect of your trip then you can save a considerable amount of money if you wait until the last minute to book. Travel agents and airlines will be keen to sell, so the closer you get to departure date the better the deal will be. The disadvantage of booking late is that you won’t have much of a choice, and you can often be disappointed. If you’ve already booked there’s no harm in trying to get yourself a cheap upgrade at the very last minute though.
Use Smaller Airlines
If you’re looking to save money on the cost of a flight, then it often works out cheaper to stick to the smaller and lesser-known airlines. People in general are incredibly loyal to companies that they know, and the companies take advantage of this loyalty by upping the price of their services simply because it is in higher demand. New or lesser-known airlines will be keen to get your business so will probably offer you a much better deal.
Volunteer to get Bumped
Again, you have to be relatively flexible and there’s no guarantee that you will get lucky with this method. Airlines often overbook flights and if you volunteer to get on the next plane then you will likely be rewarded for doing so. Getting ‘bumped’ is a great way to get a free upgrade or get money off the total cost of your trip. You can expect to get a number of rewards such as free meals, free hotel stays, and even cash just for extending your holiday and catching the next plane.
Use a Rewards Credit Card
Reward cards are much bigger business in the US, but when it comes to travel there are some excellent rewards credit cards here in the UK too. Earn points on your everyday spending throughout the year and you can get money off when you book flights with particular airlines or accommodation at certain hotels. If you’re happy to tweak your finances a bit you can live completely on your credit card (and pay it off in full every month of course) and earn thousands of pounds worth of free travel, or ‘air miles’ every single year.