Finding the Best Travel Deals

Rio de Janiero
Picture by Terry Dunn

In these belt tightening times, nobody wants to spend more on their holiday than they have to. But while our bank balances may be stretched, there’s no need to sacrifice those getaways altogether thanks to a competitive market place and increased demand for lowcost breaks; holidaymakers looking for cheap deals can now find some real bargains.

When it comes to seeking out cheap holidays, it pays to be flexible about when and where you want to go. You might feel like spending Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, for example, but with so many others holding the same idea, you’ll face hugely bumped up prices on everything from flights and accommodation to drinks by the beach. Head to the same destination off season and you could be relaxing in a top hotel for the same price as you’d pay for a standard one during the peak season. Plus, you’ll have plenty more elbow room on the beach.

While you will obviously have some firm ideas about the type of cheap holidays you are looking for and where you want to go, it pays to be open to new ideas. You might not be able to afford that luxury break in St Lucia, but perhaps there is a less touristy Caribbean destination that could deliver far more bang for your tourist buck.

One money saving strategy that can save you a fortune on the cost of your flights is to hold off booking flights to your chosen destination until just a few days before you intend to travel, when many prices will drop. However, you will need to exercise caution here. If you’re heading to a popular destination at a peak time of year for tourism, you would be wise to book as far in advance as possible, both for flights and accommodation. Otherwise, you could find yourself paying through the nose for your holiday.

Flexibility Is Key

If you really aren’t prepared to budge on the destination or the time of year, bargain seekers will at least need to have a little bit of date flexibility in order to bag the best prices. There are scores of sites out there that will search flight prices and hotel rates and you will usually find that being able to search a few days either side of your ideal dates will throw up some better deals.

Another thing to think about when looking for bargain breaks is whether you want to go for a package deal, or book flights and accommodation separately.

Many online flight comparison sights will offer options for both, so those looking for cheap holidays can see which type of break will work best for their budget. There are some great deals out there on all inclusive breaks, which see hotel meals and drinks included in the price, but do double check what is included before you go ahead and book some deals are not as impressive as they first seem.

If in doubt, look for word of mouth recommendations and check out online reviews. This should give you a good idea of whether your cheap holiday will really end up being the bargain you are hoping for.

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