Three top tips to reduce the cost of your holiday

by Jules on May 8, 2012

For those on the hunt for a break this summer, it is likely that price will be involved in the decision making process – especially in these times of austerity when holiday budgets are low.

If you don’t know how or where to get the best prices, trying to find the best deals can be a tediously laborious process. The price-finding aspect of holiday planning doesn’t have to absorb so much time and energy though, provided you know what to do and where to look there are bargains to be had.

Here are three reliable tips to point you in the right direction:

Book last minute (or very early)

Booking at the last minute can really save you money, as tour operators and agents eventually become eager to increase the uptake on their holiday packages in the limited time that they have left to sell.

The exact time to book in advance is more complicated than the basic idea though: economist Makote Watanabe’s formula depicts that eight weeks in advance is the best time – generally – but it really depends on individual circumstances. Sometimes great deals can appear just a few days before departure so it’s important to keep checking regularly using popular websites, such as lastminute.com, that have made an entire service proposition from the late booking rush.

Surprisingly, and a little contradictorily, booking up to nine months in advance of the holiday can also bring drastic discounts, as some operators will also offer ‘early bird’ discounts enabling them to sell some places as quickly as possible.

Haggle with a travel agent

Like tour operators, travel agents can also be keen to offload holiday packages that they are having trouble selling.

Any travel agent that you can speak to personally, either by phone or in a high-street travel agency, will usually discuss discounts and modifications that can lower the overall price.

As a negotiation tool, It’s especially empowering to research and identify travel agents that offer discounts and obtain a portfolio of prices: quotes can be competitively quoted to each agent to get the price even lower before settling on a deal.

This technique could make traditionally expensive regions and options, like Rome Hotels and far-flung breaks more affordable.

Just use the web

It is still remarkable how quick and easy it is to save money by planning a holiday using the Internet. There are many sites and services that can help you find a cheap holiday – too many to list here – but sometimes the simple act of booking online can result in superb discounts. On that front, many tour operators, such as luxury operator Sovereign, are currently offering generous online discounts on a wide range of holiday packages, from Spain holidays to Portugal hotels.

These three tips can help you find the break that you need at a price you can afford.

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