Everyone loves a bargain and bargain holidays are the best in my opinion! I have found a few gems in my time and as someone who like to travel a lot, I have to be frugal. I am also someone who loves luxury so if I can combine frugality and luxury, I am one happy chappie!
Here I am going to share my top tips for finding bargain holidays, where I look and how I book my trips. I am even going to share some links with you for hot deals right now.
Bargain Holidays – Tip 1
Time of booking
This is one of the most important factors. Package holidays are cheapest either a year before or as late as you can leave it. Booking it as late as possible, no earlier than 8 weeks before, can either mean big savings or not getting exactly what you want. The later you can wait the cheaper rooms can become as operators don’t want to see them empty.
I have booked a 5-star room for half the room rate by booking it 2 weeks before going.
Flights follow the same rule but I you can run the risk of them not reducing closer to the time. So, my advice is to book flights when they go on sale and wait to book a room, or wait as late as you dare for package holidays!
Bargain Holidays – Tip 2
Be careful how you browse
Many websites increase prices based on the number of visits and can even increase the price only for you. Websites can track the amount of times you have searched a flight or location and use this data to increase the price.
Use incognito pages in Chrome, private browsing pages or a VPN to hide your IP address and limit tracking of your searches.
Bargain Holidays – Tip 3
Look for offers
There are lots of sites that sell last minute deals. Holiday Pirates is my favourite. If you can be flexible in terms of dates and location, you can get 11-day holidays for as little as £175pp.
Booking.com also do flash sales on rooms. Not advertised, so you have to look in each hotel listing to find them. They do also have a sale page at the moment which has some great deals on it.
Hotels.com give you a free night for every 10. It averages out your spend so to get the best deal make sure all the rooms you book are the same price.
BA are known for doing holidays for the same price of the flights alone, so it’s worth checking them out too.
Bargain Holidays – Tip 4
Pick a less popular destination, preferably that isn’t in the Euro (the exchange rate is terrible at the moment) and research holidays there. If it’s not popular it will be cheaper to go there, Bulgaria and Croatia are cheaper than Greece for instance.
If you want to travel somewhere that does have the Euro, try go all-inclusive so to minimise the amount you will need to spend there. All-inclusive can be more costly upfront but can save you a lot in the long run.
Going to South East Asia can mean expensive long-haul flights but once you are there accommodation and living expenses are relatively cheap. Two weeks in Thailand can be cheaper than 2 weeks in Greece if you plan it right.
Before booking do visit the Foreign Office website to check it is safe to travel there.
Bargain Holidays – Tip 5
Time of year
City breaks in summer tend to be cheaper than in winter and package holidays tend to be much cheaper out of school holidays. It is worth thinking about switching the rhythm of your holiday plans. Taking a long weekend in the summer to a city and a classic summer holiday in May, June or October can save you money.
If you can, late September/early October is the best time to take a longer hot holiday, prices start to go down in September and the weather is still pleasant, well worth looking at going at these times.
Even if you are bound to the school holidays book it for the end of them, not the beginning and you will save money. The last two weeks in August are less popular and therefore cheaper.
Bargain holidays – Tip 6
Get more than one price for your trip. You can end up paying double by not shopping around. It’s worth getting a few prices and calling up a travel agent or broker to see if they can beat it.
Bargain Holidays – Tip 7
These soon add up, I have used mine to pay for flights, get discounts and upgrade my trips. It’s a good idea to use one provider to collect them, I use Avios. You can also earn airmiles with certain credit cards, this is worth looking into. I know people who go on expensive flights for free through airmiles.
Top finds this week (27th June 2019)
- Corfu for 11 nights in October, flights and accommodation from £174pp. See here Corfu
- If Cruising is your thing you can get a full board 12-night cruise around the Mediterranean from £558! That’s with stops in France, Spain, Italy and Portugal. See here
- Mallorca in October for 7 nights flights and accommodation with BA from £179 pp see here
- Split in Croatia is beautiful and not in the Euro. You can get flights, luxury accommodation with sea view and breakfast included for 7 nights in July for £619 pp. See more here
- Flights to Bilboa in July and August from £34 return Flights to Bilboa
- Vienna in September or October from £38 return Flights to Vienna
- Eurostar have one-way tickets for as low as £29, you need to have a good look, but you can go to Paris for a few days for as little as £58 return pp. See train tickets here