Alexa, put Madonna’s “Holiday” on
A sunny Saturday – the first Saturday in January – is always one of the most popular days of the year to book a holiday. We returned to work, the weather is bad, and the only thing that saves us is distant dreams.
Although many Brits left the country in 2022, this will be the first full year since the Covid pandemic that holiday travel is safe to most destinations. We can finally choose where we really want to go again in the world, instead of being dictated by traffic lights.
However, this freedom comes at a time when the cost of living crisis is really kicking in – which means we all want to save as much money as possible, and international travel can seem out of reach for many.
Do you want to book a holiday this year but don’t know how to get a good deal? TravelSupermarket has some tips and tricks to help you.
Travel off-season (if you can)
If you want and can travel off-season, you can really lower the price of your vacation. For example, September is one of the cheaper months to travel, while also offering a good chance of sunny weather.
For city breaks, consider September-November or January-March. Yes, it can be a little cooler in some European cities, but with better prices and fewer crowds, the trade-off is more than worth it. For example, if you’re traveling in October, you can get two nights in Rome for around £100 per person.
To save money for a family vacation, look at the last week of school break. Prices are also more reasonable in October or Easter time than in summer, but the weather may not be as consistent.
Higher demand during school holidays usually means higher prices, so it’s a good idea to book your holiday as early as possible. For example, there is currently a holiday for around £200 per person in Spain for Easter 2023.
Take advantage of the free seats for children
Look out for free places for kids when searching for family holidays. As it says on the tin, this means that one child in every two full-paying adults has exactly the same holiday as their adults – we’re talking about the same meals and transfers, as well as flights and accommodation.
Many holiday operators still have vacancies for 2023, whether you’re limited to traveling during the school holidays (say, mid-October) or if you have younger children and can travel outside of these dates.
Plan ahead for summer 2023 and you’ll have even more choice.
Choose all inclusive and lock in costs
While it’s not for everyone, all-inclusive holidays allow you to lock in food and drink costs by paying in advance. This means you won’t have to budget for all the little things that can add up on vacation, like those spontaneous ice cream breaks or snacks for the little ones. Entertainment is usually included – think kids clubs and live music. Choose a resort with a water park and you won’t have to consider the cost of a day away from home.
There are still some good deals this year aside from summer. For example, you can get seven nights in a 4-star hotel in Antalya, Turkey for less than £300 per person in early October. Mallorca, Rhodes and Corfu are also good places for a summer holiday for less.
Take a mid-week flight
Departing and returning in the middle of the week is often cheaper than traveling on the weekend, and Tuesday is commonly advertised as the day of departure with the best prices.
The best thing you can do is compare costs on different dates – you might be surprised how much you can save by flying one day versus another.
For example, leave on Tuesday (October 4) for two nights in Amsterdam and you’ll get it prices from £170 per person. The same offer on Friday (October 7) increases to £200 per person.
Consider different local airports
It’s also a good idea to price holiday options from various nearby regional airports, just in case you can save money. For example, if you live in the North West, you can look at Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds Bradford. If you’re in the Midlands, compare Birmingham and the East Midlands.
For this approach, any additional transportation costs that may occur should be taken into account when arriving at a different airport.
Avoid baggage fees
Knowing your baggage allowances – and sticking to them – can keep your holiday budget in check. Each airline has its own limits (so be sure to check them) and going over the limit can be expensive. If you can, be ruthless in packing and travel with hand luggage only to avoid the cost of adding checked baggage to your flight ticket.
Can’t travel with light luggage? If you know you’ll need checked baggage, consider the cost of adding it to your booking when comparing flights. Some airlines may include checked baggage in the ticket price, which may be cheaper than adding baggage. Otherwise, add your baggage at the time of booking your flight – it’s cheaper than adding one booking after you’ve booked.
Don’t forget to account for the purchases you plan to make. Leave enough room in your bag or consider sharing extra checked baggage with a travel companion.
Don’t forget your travel insurance
We hope you never need to use travel insurance, but having a policy can be a good way to protect your holiday budget. Policies can start from as little as £6.99 – a small price to pay for peace of mind. As always, compare your options to make sure you’re getting comprehensive protection. The cheapest policy is not always the best for a vacation.
For single trip insurance, buy travel insurance as soon as you book your holiday to get the most out of your money – with multiple policies, you’ll be covered if you need to cancel your holiday at any time until you leave. If you have an annual policy, double check before you go that you will be covered for all parts of your holiday.
Traveling to the EU? Also remember to bring your Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). The GHIC entitles you to essential treatment in the EU for free or at reduced cost. Access to the NHS website is free.