If there is one thing you can be sure of in life, it’s that nothing comes for free. This idea can be extended further still, if you acknowledge that no good deal comes for free either-- you’re going to have to be willing to put the work in if you want to grab yourself a bargain.
Nowhere in life is this truer than with vacations. If you’re trying to take your family away for a relaxing break, you’re going to want to get a good deal and stretch your budget as far as possible. You want to ensure you can make the most of your hard-earned cash, but without compromising your enjoyment of the time you will spend away. But as the saying suggests, you’re going to have to put the effort in if you want to ensure the you get the best deal you can. Here are a few tips to keep in mind that can help you achieve this aim for your next travel adventure.
1) Inconvenience Can Save You A Fortune
If you’re trying to find cheap flights, then the best thing you can do to save money is be willing to be inconvenienced. Thankfully, you’re not going to have to endure too much of an inconvenience -- you’re not going to have to sit cramped in the back row of a cargo plane, for example -- but you are going to have to be willing to disrupt your journey. You will usually find that the more layovers and airport delays you’re willing to accept, the better your overall saving will be.
While layovers and connections are irritating, they are only responsible for a small fraction of the time you’re spending away. If you can handle the occasional wait, you could be rewarded with significant savings on your purchase price.
2) Time Your Booking Correctly
There is a general rule for booking a vacation; either book far in advance, or very close to the departure date. The worst time you can make your booking is any time in the middle. Here’s a rough guide as to how this works:
- Very early = booking three months or more prior to departure
- The dreaded middle zone = six to eight weeks prior to departure
- Very late = four or fewer weeks prior to departure
The reason? Simple; everyone wants to book their vacation six-to-eight weeks prior to the departure date, so airlines and hotels put their prices up accordingly. By avoiding these expensive times, you’re sure to be rewarded with the best deals.
3) Reviews, Not Star Ratings, Are What Matter
When booking a vacation online, you will usually be able to select options via the star rating system. It’s important to remember that this system is inherently fallible, and often based on outdated information.
What is important are up-to-date reviews from holidaymakers like yourself. If there is a four-star hotel with bad reviews, and a three-star hotel with good reviews, then you should aim to pick the three-star hotel. Not only is this a better indicator of the actual standard of the hotel as it stands, but it will also save you a significant amount of money.
With these tips in mind, you can be sure to save yourself a small fortune on your next vacation-- have fun!