I am good at a large handful of things. Being able to read a 500+ page book in a day; breaststroke swimming for hours on end until I am about to puke (thankfully I never do) + cooking up a storm in the form of a not-so-lean-but-insanely-mean tagliatelle carbonara, are just three of my use(less)full talents. Another thing I actually have a hidden knack for is saving wads of cash on my holiday booking.
After achieving a seminal deal for my upcoming, all-inclusive trip to Morocco, I thought I would detail my tried and tested money-saving tips for yourselves to use, abuse and muse over when booking a summer holiday. Hopefully, the result will be an A-grade find like mine.
Get out of your airline comfort-zone with KAYAK
I cannot help be an easyJet fangirl when it comes to booking flights. Although they are insanely affordable, reliable and fly to pretty much anywhere I could ever set my heart upon, they are not always at the number one spot when money saving is on the agenda. Shocking, I know.
Online flight comparison site, KAYAK, is always my go-to tool to find *that* money saving airline. Spending less money on flights = more dollar to spend on pastries and iced coffee once abroad. Now that is the kind of maths I like!
It is so easy to use – pop in your local and interested airport, click the dates and hey presto, we are onto a winner. KAYAK can also compare hotels and package holidays simultaneously, from the likes of Opodo, On The Beach and Kiwi. Feeling savvy yet?
The Package can sometimes be best
My Airbnb referral link – here. Get £25 off your next trip by signing up with Airbnb!
Give me the privacy and freedom of an Airbnb (click here to see the insane Airbnb we had in Madrid) every day of the week on an adventure, sightseeing affair. But, when the idea of margaritas on the seafront, dipping in the pool and always walking with one foot in the complex is all I am concerned about, sometimes the package deal wins.
When package deals are an option, occasionally the 4* hotel stay with return flights, airport transfers and specific board options can actually work out significantly cheaper than Airbnb + flights + transport etc. Package holidays can take both the hassle and cash-splashing out of your vacation, so never fob them off immediately for the freedom of an Airbnb.
Count your coupons with Honey
Sign up to Honey to start reaping discounts across the internet – here.
We are not shy about saying we love anything with a price reduction sticker on it. Instead of not-so-fresh-fish being on offer, instead, imagine being able to uncover secret codes that would take a chunk out of your Amsterdam hotel bill for next year? Introducing: Honey.
Honey is a browser extension, designed to save you big bucks on flights, hotels, clothes – whatever floats your boat. By electronically racing through a variety of online and hidden discount codes, Honey will automatically apply legal money-off novelties and highlight the best price available for your item. A sneaky lump-some off that hotel bill you say? Don’t mind if I do, Honey, don’t mind if I do…
Be more than flexible
Forget about the ‘3+/-‘ or ‘5+/-‘ days of flexibility when summer holiday booking is concerned… Try to be entirely flexible for the longest period of time you can manage.
Attempt to avoid choosing a specific month or a designated holiday date if you can. Instead, opt to go freelance with your time and save money by picking to visit and fly when the price is at its lowest. Everything is sweeter when it’s cheaper, and sometimes it is worth compromising a few degrees at a later date for a much lighter transaction.
Keep your eyes away from the unobtainable prize
This last one is a simple one: do not tempt yourself with what you cannot afford. We are all engulfed by the ‘extra £100pp for a bigger room’ or ‘extra leg room for £16pp’ but stick to your budget!
You did not need it before you were offered it, and you would not have thought about it unless you had been offered. So, as hard as it might be to steer yourself away from all the little luxuries – they do add up. Treat yourself to one thing – perhaps it is that bigger room, the more spacious seats or even hotel-provided breakfast – but pick one and one only, if you must.