Although money maybe tight for some of us these days it doesn’t stop us from planning a cheeky holiday abroad! Does this make us financially nuts… no! It just means we like to escape from the daily grind sometimes in order to stay sane! Trying to find the best possible deal is not an impossible task if you know which channels to tap into and if you have the patience to research before you start plugging in your card details online! So here are a few tips and helpful information to help you not only grab the best possible flight, but to also shed light on the smaller bits and pieces you may not have considered and what could save you extra cash.
1. Preparation and taking time out to think before you start scouring the internet is key. Think about what type of holiday you are looking for and for how long you will be away for. You may just want a flight but sometimes package holiday deals may work out cheaper as it wraps up all your accommodation and perhaps car rental all in one price.
2. Check that the travel company you are booking with is ATOL protected This will cover you in case of worse case scenarios where a company goes under; so you will be protected and shouldn’t lose out financially. This is applicable for package holidays, but for flights only this maybe a little different so do check all terms and conditions first.
3. Use a credit card where you can as if you spend over £100 you will protected under the Consumer Credit Act which makes your credit card company liable if it all hits the fan!
4. Do your homework and shop around when it comes to travel insurance. Do not just get all over excited and check the box on the checkout page which says ‘include travel insurance’ with the airline you are flying with. For what you pay you can often get this much cheaper for annual cover if you stop and look for a second! If you are flying in and around Europe then look into an EIHC Card which can cover you for sometimes free or discounted prices for medical cover. Please be aware that this is not in replacement for travel insurance as it will not protect you against luggage or theft for example.
5. ALWAYS have a peek at travel comparison sites such as Travel Supermarket or Skyscanner. Skyscanner is particular super duper fly as they search through hundreds of travel companies and airlines and thousands of routes… oh and it’s totally free to use! We like free! Websites like these can prove to be vital tools in finding the cheapest option for flights and hotels. So don’t be caught out and pay above the odds because you were too lazy to compare and contrast!
6. Check out packages through certain online travel agents such as Expedia who bundle accommodation with flights at discounted prices.
7. Read reviews from fellow travellers and check out the ratings for travel companies. They are there as a guide so you don’t go making mistakes!
8. Some travel companies and airlines offer price matching and boast to match any price found elsewhere on the net… so take advantage friend!
9. If you are a student then this can work wonders for finding cheap prices for flights and other holiday extras. You can usually wangle a good deal through travel companies who specialise in young people travel and Gap years like STA Travel. Even if you’re not a student but under the age of 26 you can still save yourself a few pounds, so get involved!
10. Be aware of taxes and all the extra hidden costs when you are booking flights online as it all may not be as it seems! The oh so fabulous and attractive ‘cheap’ price can be all smoke and mirrors once you take into consideration all the other costs for baggage and admin fees.
11. Check out niche travel companies who cater for ethnic groups. Just because they are smaller and not well known, does not mean they are fraudulent companies! Obviously be careful and use your common sense and such resources like www.definitivecaribbean.com can help here. They can cut great deals and discounts sometimes undercutting all the major high street brands.
12. Invest in an airline credit card like Ryanair, Flybe or BMI AMEX card. The APR varies between the top contenders but you can earn great discounts, air miles which can be transferred to flights and upgrades. Winner!