As we come out of the recession, it’s hard to forget the years of financial hardship. The rise of price comparison and voucher code sites like Groupon are evidence that consumers are looking for ways to save on everyday purchases. So where does this leave luxury purchases, such as holidays? The good news is that you don’t need to spend a fortune to get some time away, simply follow these tips and tricks.
Use a Price Comparison Site
We’re all familiar with insurance comparison sites and the cult characters that represent them, but in recent years there has been an increase in travel comparison sites too. Whether it’s comparing flights or hotels, cheap holidays needn’t be bought as a package deal. You can even use sites such as these to find out when it is less expensive to travel, but make sure you research your destination first. I learned this the hard way after getting a cheap flight and 4 star hotel in Brussels, only to find myself in one of Europe’s most boring and expensive cities.
Leave it to the Last Minute
Although the mantra states that if we fail to plan we plan to fail, leaving our holiday arrangements until a month or so before you plan to travel can result in cheap holidays. Last minute deals are offered by numerous package holiday companies; which are usually cheap enough to begin with. If you’re feeling brave enough to leave your plans until two weeks before you’re due to leave, package deals can also be picked up through a variety of last minute travel portals.
Join Discount Code Sites
If you’re a savvy money saver, you probably already get emails from a variety of group buying sites such as Groupon and LivingSocial. Sometimes voucher sites offer holiday deals from the UK to locations in Europe and North Africa, but another good tip is to think of the destination you want to go to and look at their local voucher codes. Rather than signing up for a huge number of sites that you may never use again, try an aggregator such as DealZippy which pulls results from every voucher site for your chosen city. This way you can save money on experiences and meals whilst you’re away, and may even pick up on a deal on a hotel. Travel Clubs like Voyage Prive and Secret Escapes are similar to Groupon; they email daily with the latest travel deals and you can save up to 70% on luxury getaways.
Be Open to Surprises
Brave travellers who are looking for a new experience can save money by agreeing to a holiday in a mystery location. A growing number of companies offer this service, where site users can opt to stay in a ‘secret’ hotel in their chosen destination in exchange for a discount. Generally these hotels are pretty good; the last time I used it I found myself in a four star Sheraton. As well as saving some money, this can add some excitement to your holiday.
Go Off the Beaten Track
Where there are tourists there’s money; and you can bet the locals know this too. Instead of staying in a holiday resort with over inflated prices, try going off the beaten track a little and try out an independent guesthouse instead and explore the local countryside. You don’t have to go too far away from the beaches, however; in Tenerife it is possible to find great little Tipicas (country pubs) which offer local drinks and tapas at great prices. Far better atmosphere than the grease scented English and Irish theme pubs littering the town squares!
Jennifer Adams is a part of the digital blogging team at digitalcrosstalk.com who write about subjects like cheap holidays on behalf of a growing number of travel brands. To keep up to date with the latest in travel and destination news, check out my posts at Digital Crosstalk or visit my Twitter account, @dcrosstalk.