It is no secret that holiday prices are increasing especially when children are off school, so here at In2town Travel Magazine, we have put some tips together to cut down the price of a holiday. Some of these tips high street travel agents don’t want you to know about.
First of all, let’s look at how to save money booking a holiday online
- Be flexible with the dates that you can travel. – If you are flexible when you can travel, then you can save money by looking for the cheaper days to fly out on. Tuesday is often a cheaper day to start a holiday. By doing this, you could see your holiday price drop by a few hundred pounds.
- Don’t always fly from your nearest airport. One of the biggest mistakes people make and an expensive one at that is thinking flying from a local airport is the best option. By comparing the prices between different airports, you could find even after petrol costs that you will save a few hundred pounds, and even more if you are booking a family holiday.
- Don’t book your holiday straight away. If you are looking for a cheaper holiday, then let time be on your side. Travel Agents work on a live system where the prices can increase and decrease each hour. By waiting, you could see the price of the holiday drop. It all depends on how much of a rush you are in. When I book a holiday, I often give it 48 hours.
- Clear your cache on your computer. Online travel agents are very clever, they track your visits to their site, and know how interested you are. With their tracking tricks the holiday price may not go down, but by clearing your cache, you are to them a new customer.
- Use a cash back site to book your holiday. Cash back sites are a great way to save even more money on your holiday. A cash back site is where you use their services to book a holiday or buy a product, and you get a share of the profits they make. Some sites offer you 4.5 of the total booking cost of a holiday. I recently booked a holiday for two people and got back £92, which with my methods of booking a cheaper holiday made it even more affordable. It’s very important to check different cash back sites. Some are good, and some are bad, so choose the best ones.
- Phone the travel agent call centre. When you have found a holiday that you want online then give them a call. Tell them you are looking for a holiday and cannot decide which travel agent to use. Ask them what their best deal is. Some agents depending on how well they have done will try and offer you a discount, but some won’t, it all depends on who you deal with. If you are not happy with the deal, then tell them you will book with the other travel agent and see if they change their mind. A lot of the time they will.
By using these tips, you could book a cheaper holiday. I travel a lot, and I always use these methods. Sometimes when booking a family holiday I have saved £700, but on average I will save around £300 when booking a holiday for two people. The money is better in your pocket than the travel agent.
Now, let’s look at how to save money with a high-street travel agent. First of all, you need to know a couple of things. A high-street travel agent is in direct competition with their online travel sites, it sounds stupid, but it’s true. Even more incredible, a travel agent such as Thomson is in competition with a sister shop which could be down the road or in the same town, so use this to your advantage. Oh, and before I forget, don’t believe everything you hear when going into a high-street travel agent.
- Be flexible with the dates you can travel
- Compare how much it would cost from different airports
- Check the price online before you visit a high-street travel agent. Travel agents are there to make money, they need to meet targets, so it is important you go there fully armed with information. They will offer you a price which will most likely be more expensive than the online price. They will use the excuse that they offer a personal service that you don’t get online, but let’s be honest, we are not interested, we are there to save money.
- Tell them to match the price online. A lot of travel agents hate it when a person comes in and tells them the price is better online, but that is not your problem. You are there to book a cheap holiday. If they tell you that they cannot match the price online, tell them you will go elsewhere.
- Watch out for the hidden fees. A manager of a travel agent is allowed to set their own rules on how they run their shop, well within reason. One of those rules is if they charge a booking fee and if they price match. If a travel agent tries to charge you a booking fee then tell them you will book online. They will spend time telling you all the reasons why they charge a fee. Some will say they will price match but will have to charge a booking fee. Well, let’s face it, if they charge a booking fee, then that is not price matching. If a booking fee is mentioned, then get up and pretend to walk off. They will soon change their mind.
- Now, here is the killer punch. When you have got the price you want, tell them that you can go online and book the same holiday and get money back using a cash back site. They won’t like it, but they want your business. Ask them what’s the best deal they can offer you as you can get 4.5 back in cash by booking online. Some will say there is nothing they can do, others will offer an incentive, while some will knock some money off. I did this last week. They asked me how much I would get back and I told them £84.50. They said they could not match that but if I were to book there and then she would knock off another £50.
Holidays are like any product, the person selling the product wants your business, that means you are in the driving seat. So, if you are looking at booking a cheaper holiday then follow my tips and let me know on our official Twitter page @In2townmagazine how much you saved.