8 Insider Tips For Scoring A Deal On Your Next Holiday

We say this loudly; you deserve a break from all the stresses and strains of the last two years.

But with the cost of living crisis and rising inflation putting a record-breaking dent in the average household’s disposable income, financing a holiday that’s full of fun and frivolity rather than constant concern about cash can be difficult. 

Fortunately, for those in the know (that’s us, and, shortly, you), there are things you can do to reduce the cost of your holiday. From discounts to upgrades, here are 8 insider tips for scoring a deal on your next holiday.

Work In Travel

When people consider a career in the travel industry, most think about airline or hospitality industry jobs. However, travel encompasses so much more than that, with the industry as a hole contributing some £237 billion to the UK economy in 2019 before the pandemic. In the same year, 4’268’000 jobs were attributed to travel and tourism.

Sure, this is certainly a case of playing the long game in terms of scoring a deal on your next holiday, but deciding to work in travel can certainly open up avenues to the best discounts in the industry.

There isn’t a one-stop solution for finding travel deals when working in tourism, as each company will have its own perks. However, if a significant amount of your disposable income is spent on travel, consider pivoting your career to one where you are privy to:

Business-class travel: You might be able to claim the air mile points for personal use.

Hotel networks: Large chains offer their employees significantly cheaper stays, often worldwide.

Bleisure: Combining a business trip with a few extra days of leisure travel, sometimes called Alternative Weekend Travel, Alt Travel or a Workation.

Trade Exchange

Are you an SEO expert, an amateur videographer, or a writer? Do you own your own restaurant that specialises in vegan cuisine? Do you know how to fix a mean Martini? If you have a particular skill, don’t be surprised if smaller companies are keen on a trade exchange. 

For example, a family-owned boutique hotel may not have the funds to hire freelancers to help with an element of the running of their business, but they might happily provide a complimentary stay in return for your services for a day or two.

Be Flexible

Prices for flights and accommodation can vary immensely from one day to the next, subject to availability and demand. 

It’s crucial to have a little flexibility in your flying, both in destination and date. We’re not saying tear up your whole itinerary and start from scratch, but by utilising that ‘whole month’ feature on most ticket sale websites, you can check which day is cheapest, and make your plans accordingly.

Daily Price Fluctuations

Not only that, but daily fluctuations in prices are common practice in the industry.

It’s often said that Sunday is the best day to book a reasonably priced flight or hotel room. But the reality is a little more complex than that. Until recently, insiders suggested that, in fact, Tuesday at midnight was the hour when you could bag the cheapest rates. 

Now, that too has been contradicted, it’s actually Thursday. Wait, it might be Wednesday. Or Friday. Basically, it hinges on a vast range of factors which can’t simply be boiled down to a single day of discounts. Instead, keep your eyes open and always compare meticulously.

Read: Tips for cost effective travel

Last Minute Smarts

If you’re happy to wait until the last minute to decide on your trip, you can also score five-star accommodation for less by using sale sites like Holiday Hypermarket or Last Minute to score 70% off of flight and hotel packages. Reductions tend to get juicy six to eight weeks before departure date, but if you can hold on until the very last minute, operators who are keen to fill empty seats and bedrooms can offer you luxury getaways for the price of a typical camping trip.

Compare, Compare, Compare

Speaking of comparing meticulously, where once a cursory search on Skyscanner, Agoda or cheaphotels4uk.com was believed to give the best results in terms of flight and hotel deals, now the market has changed somewhat, and it takes a little more scouring of the internet before the best deals reveal themselves.

Those much-mentioned comparison sites are definitely useful, and often unearth the cheapest deal. But they definitely shouldn’t be treated as the be all and end all, to be trusted implicitly and completely. Instead, compare prices across the comparison platforms (for instance, check if the cheapest flight on Skyscanner is the same as Opodo), and also go straight to the source (the airline website) rather than following the booking through a third party, to check if the price is different. It often is.

Club Together

Consider reaching out to the resort, cruise, or company of your choice and asking about a possible group rate (you’ll need a group of friends or family, of course!) You then use your network to fill up the spaces at a potentially significantly discounted rate.

Sign Up For Newsletters

Everyone in the travel industry is aiming to retain their customers, particularly after two years of major turbulence. Most airlines, hotel groups and price comparison websites will bestow you with price drop alerts if you sell your soul (your email address, actually) to them in return. 

If you can bear a barrage of promotional material for the rest of time, you might just notice a deal you fancy amongst the debris. Newsletters are one of the ways that they do this by offering specials, deals, and promotional codes, which are only available via email. If you don’t mind filtering through your spam folder, you could quickly find yourself a travel deal.

Joseph Gann
Joseph Gann
Chef and food writer, with an interest in mental health and mindfulness

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