How to find the best holiday deal | NatWest

 

 

 

How to find the best holiday deal

Whether it's a safari in the Serengeti or sunbathing in sunny Spain, we've rounded up some top tips to help you find the best holiday deal.

Early bird booking or last minute bargain? 

Does the early bird catch the worm when it comes to booking a holiday, or is it better to wait for a last minute deal? It all depends on your situation. If you got children at school, or a job with limited holiday periods, booking as early as possible can often be your best bet.

 

Lots of travel agents release great value package deals for popular destinations well in advance of the peak season and these prices can actually go up over time, meaning you don’t have to wait to make a late booking to grab a bargain. Some travel websites also let you spread the cost of your break over several months to help you budget.

 

Booking early is often the best option if you know exactly where and when you want to go on holiday, but if you’re more flexible with your holiday planning and happy to compromise on a couple of things like flight times and hotel choice, you could take advantage of last minute discounts to grab a bargain getaway. Tour operators and hotel owners would rather strike a deal than risk an empty seat on a plane or hotel room, so don’t be afraid to haggle for the best price.

Package holiday or DIY break?

Choosing a package holiday can help keep costs down if you’re looking to getaway to a beachside resort, with your flights, connections, accommodation and food all wrapped up in one price and one easy booking. You could book through a high street travel agent, direct with a tour operator online or use a price comparison site to compare the best value breaks.

 

If a package deal isn't for you and you’d prefer to plan your own break, it can pay to shop around – especially if you’re willing to avoid mainstream holiday destinations and peak travel times and book your flights, connections and accommodation on separate websites.

 

Holiday price comparison sites like Expedia let you search for the best price for each part of your holiday and build your own package that’s perfect for you. When you find the deal you want online, it's always worth giving the company a call to see if you can haggle a better price. Empty rooms mean loss of profit, so channel your inner salesman and go direct.

 

It’s not only when you go, but also when you book that matters. Different deals vary from place to place – check out Trip Advisor’s study for the best times to book depending on where you’re going.

All-inclusive or self-catering? 

Before you’re tempted by the all inclusive option, think about how you and your family like to eat when you’re on holiday. If you love finding authentic local restaurants or shopping for fresh foods at market stalls to have a go at cooking the local specialities in your apartment kitchen, you’d probably prefer the freedom of self catering.

 

If cooking is the last thing you want to do on holiday, an all inclusive or half board option might work better for you. Make the most of all your meals and drinks at your hotel or resort, and try to resist spending extra money on lots of meals out, or cocktails at the bar down the road. 

Central location or off the beaten track?

While accommodation further from the centre of your chosen city or resort is usually cheaper, check how much it’ll cost to travel to the sights before booking. If you love exploring new places on foot, you can soak up some of the local culture as well as saving yourself a bus or taxi fare. You might be able to get a cheap travel card, but if you’re very far out, travel costs could soon add up to the same amount as a stay in a more central hotel.

 

If beach holidays and tourist traps aren't your thing and you're looking for something off the beaten track, you could save money on a trip to a long haul destination. The flight might be more pricey than a short European hop, but you could find prices for things like accommodation, food and transport are cheaper once you get there. As part of your holiday research, you could look at where the pound is strongest against different currencies to help your cash go further while you're away. 

 

 

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