As the gig economy introduces greater flexibility, it is becoming more important than ever to find a holiday that not only offers what you want and fits your schedule, but also remains well within your available budget. So, here are our five favorite tricks that can help you find a cheap holiday without having to compromise on quality:
1. Using alerts
One of the most frustrating parts of hunting out an affordable holiday is discovering deals when it is just too late. Thankfully, preventing this can be as simple as setting up a Google alert for the specific type of holiday you are interested in. If you want to make things even easier, you can also sign up for email alerts with companies like Skyscanner or PriceRunner, which let the best deals land in your lap.
2. Doing your homework
Once you have secured a deal, being able to act quickly will prevent it from slipping through your grasp. With a staggering 81% of individuals now booking their holidays online and 48% of smartphone users in the US comfortable booking their entire holiday on their phones, competition is truly fierce. Taking the time to settle on the location you are keen on visiting, the type of holiday you want, and your specific budget can help you react quickly while other buyers are agonizing about the offer.
3. Understanding the value of DIY
When it comes to saving money on your holidays, understanding the pros and cons of package deals measured against simply doing it yourself is essential. As a rule, going DIY will allow you to plan your own custom holiday where you can stay wherever and do whatever you want. This can allow you to take advantage of flight deals, unique hotel offers, and chain them together to produce massive savings. On the other hand, what you save in money you will lose in time. Ferreting out the best deals can take a great deal of effort and, if one element of your itinerary falls through, you will not have a travel company helping you to secure a replacement.
4. Finding alternate options
City breaks may be undeniably popular, but they can also be prohibitively expensive. Last year saw Spain, France, and Italy top lists throughout the sector and prove too pricey for those looking to stay in Barcelona, Paris, or Rome. Going off-piste can help you save money when it is needed most and staying in temperate areas like Costa Blanca, Modena or Carcassonne can bring all the class and culture at a fraction of the price-point. Taking advantage of flexible working hours can let you stay during the offseason, term-time, or during the week; allowing you to enjoy a five-star experience at a three-star price.
5. Getting hands on
While price comparison sites can provide amazing offers, there is no harm in taking the time to get in touch with a company directly and see the other range of offers that they may be able to offer that are ‘off the books’ when it comes to online deals. This can be as simple as last-minute vacancies, room upgrades, or price-matching a potential offer to secure your custom. Being considerate, polite and patient with the person at the other end of the line can also not only result in you saving money but spark up a beneficial relationship; helping to clue you into other online offers you may not be aware of or ways to save money with them. A little bit of effort can go a long, long way.