Are you planning a family holiday abroad this year?
We were planning a week in August (the only time off we all have together this year) but the prices were sky high so we ended up booking to go away in this country instead but Miss Frugal and I are having a cheeky long weekend away in the sun in April instead. It was only us who wanted to go away really as the men of the house aren’t fans of the heat or the travelling involved so we decided to get away for some girly time together – I told you I was going to do things that made me happy this year, didn’t I?
We got an AMAZING deal when we book because we were flexible with when we could go and how long for and we paid less than £500 for a four night all inclusive break to somewhere with almost guaranteed sunshine. We’re flying from a local airport with brilliant flight times and that price includes everything which I think is great. The brochure price for our hotel (4* with great reviews right on the beach in centre of the resort) is almost £700 for a full week so our four night price each is less than a third of the seven night break.
We can’t wait to go and the fact that we did get such a great deal inspired me to share a few of my tips for finding a cheap holiday with you all….
1) Personally, I’m a fan of booking early because I know that I’ll get what I want, with the flight times I want from the airport I want to travel from. It also means that I can take advantage of early booking discounts and free child places that have often been snapped up when it comes to booking closer the time. Another huge advantage for me with booking early is that it means I know exactly how much it’s going to cost so I can budget to make sure it’s paid on time and that I have enough time to set aside money for spending.
2) Be as flexible as you can be with where you’ll go, when you’ll go and where you’ll fly from. The school holidays are always extortionately priced so if you can only travel when the kids are off then you’ll need to budget a lot more than if you can go in term time unfortunately. Our holiday isn’t in the school holidays but it is over a weekend with a teachers training day one side and a bank holiday the other – just one day off school needed. Some parents find it cheaper to take the kids out of school and risk paying the fine although after the case a few week’s ago where the fine was deemed unenforceable then maybe that policy will be reviewed soon!
3) Shop around! Don’t just wander into a travel agents and let them talk you into booking what they say is a great deal as a lot of travel agents are affiliated with certain companies. I used to work in a travel agency and there were always preferred companies to book with so they would be checked first even though they weren’t necessarily the cheapest. Make sure you look online and in your local shops for the best deal you can find.
4) When you have what you think is a good deal, walk away and try another travel agency to see if they can beat it! Get them to write it down and try another one – even go back to the first and say you’d rather book with them but it’s cheaper elsewhere. Don’t feel embarrassed as people do it all of the time! There were times in my old job where I spent ages finding a holiday for someone and they’d go away and get it cheaper elsewhere. Sometimes I couldn’t beat it but sometimes I could knock a little bit more off and they’d book with me.
5) See what you can get thrown in for free – travel insurance is a good one here as the companies make quite a bit of money on this so they can afford to knock the cost down or even give it to you free.
Do you have any tips for getting cheap holidays? I’d love to hear them….
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