Travel Advice; How to Save Money on City Breaks

by Jules on July 13, 2012

The summer holidays are nearly upon us and a city break is an appealing escape. Whether you opt for chic Paris, cultural Rome or super-sporty London, follow our tips and advice for stretching your holiday budget to the max.

• Search online for the endless numbers of promo codes that exist, which can be used to save money on city getaways.
• Join travel clubs (both online and locally) as they always offer different and unique perks, sometimes with free trip or certainly vacations at serious discounts – just make sure you read the terms and conditions.
• Consider booking online as prices are proven to be lower on city centre hotels, direct flights and car and moped hire.
• Book direct and bypass the extra fees associated with going through a third party; such as booking a flight with the airline directly, reserving a stay by booking with a hotel directly and finding city tours with a local operator.
• Plan a vacation during the off-peak season as lower tourism levels within cities often equals lower prices and less competition.
• Travel smart and light! When packing clothes, try to use a “match and mix” strategy; less clothes to pack, lighter bags to carry and lower weights to carry onto the airplane.
• The timing of your booking plays a vital role, as better deals are available when booking ahead and conversely, last-minute deals can also be fantastic value. Book early or late, depending on the deals around at the time.
• Some airlines charge for the use of pillows, blankets and headphones so avoid the added fees by taking your own stuff.
• Check with your local bank as many accounts have a range of incentives or rewards (that often aren’t shouted about) that may help you save more money.
• Consider a staycation as it’s almost always cheaper to travel in your own country.
• Check out free activities in your chosen city, many places offer cheap or free museum, parks and gardens passes.
• Stick a pin in a map to decide where to go; keep a totally open mind and go where the discounts beckon.
• Head to one of the cheapest cities in Europe for a guaranteed low cost getaway this summer.
• Timing is everything and when you fly is hugely important, forget Friday and weekend flights and focus instead on midweek trips when airfares are cheaper.
• Get comparing; in fact you can never compare enough. Get a little fanatical about travel comparison sites but remember to compare like with like for true costs.
• Check whether you have accumulated enough frequent flyer miles; take advantage of any miles earned to pay less on airfares or join a frequent flyer program to start earning miles for future trips.
• Consider overnight flight or even take a train to ease the budget.
• Check the overseas fees associated with your credit card as many have hideous charges, better still, get a dedicated credit or debit card that can be used abroad.
• Ditch the hotel and consider staying at a bed and breakfast, guesthouse or hostel instead.
• Try to pack light in a small bag or luggage for carry-on to avoid paying excess baggage fees.
• The cheapest international cities have just been revealed for summer 2012 so you can hop on a long haul flight with total confidence.

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