While the price of flights may have come down in the last few years and sites such as airbnb have made accommodation a bit more cost effective, holidays can still put a hefty dent on your bank balance. These tips are intended to help save you from being ripped off and include some clever ways to save a few pennies (or even hundreds) without having to sacrifice anything, before you’ve even left the country!
From researching and booking your getaway, parking and exchanging your travel money, everything can add up. – It’s not about being stingy, I see it as making your hard earned money go further.
A few small changes could either save you money or help you get the best bang for your buck.
Booking flights can be very stressful.
You look up your dates and the price seems reasonable.
A friend is waiting to find out if they can get time off work. So you check again and the price has gone up by twenty quid. “I can live with that, it’s only £20” you think to yourself.
The friend’s annual leave is approved, yay!
But wait.. pay day isn’t until next Friday.
You check to see if the flights are still available and.. Ughh they’ve gone up to the next hundred now!
To make matters worse, she’s not even coming now because it’s too expensive!!!
Been there? I certainly have on more than one occasion.
Don’t let this happen to you.
Airlines and booking engines track how many times you visit their site which basically means that the more you look, the more you are inadvertently driving prices up.
You’ve probably noticed this pop-up warning about cookies on almost every website? Well, that’s how they track what you’re up to. The solution is simple; Go into your browser history and clear your browsing data and cookies. This means that when you go to book a flight you’ll seem like a new user and reap all the benefits. Yay!
As I mentioned in this post, the cheapest days to fly are usually Tuesday, Wednesday and (sometimes) Saturday. The cheapest time to book flights is a Tuesday afternoon. – I don’t know why that is, it just is.
My third tip is more of a ‘trick’ really, but did you know that you can tease companies into giving you a discount code? This is commonly known as the ’Abandon your basket trick’.
It isn’t guaranteed to work every time, but it’s definitely worth a shot if you have some time and want to save a few pennies in the process.
I’ll use Expedia as an example and here’s how.
Sign in to your Expedia account/Sign up for an account if you don’t have one.
Add something to your basket – the flights/hotel that you want to book.
Leave the site by closing that tab on your browser.
Check your emails the next day – you may find they have sent you a discount code as they ‘saw you window shopping’ and want to entice you to book with them.
If this has worked, yay!
Remember to clear your cookies as mentioned in my first tip and then all you need to do is log back in to their website and use the code!
I have saved up to 20% on flights using this trick on Expedia and Ebookers, saving me hundreds of pounds. Though I should say, be prepared to get nothing as this is far from guaranteed. If it does work, it’s a win-win; You get a discount on something you would have purchased anyway and the company gets the sale!
Airport parking is so much cheaper when booked in advance, and almost always cheaper than taking an Uber! Don’t be put off by the long term parking options, the buses are always regular and will get you from your car to departures within about ten/fifteen minutes usually.
My preferred company to use is always Purple parking – I have used them for years and their customer service is incredible. Their entire service runs smoothly and the transfers are always quick and prompt. It’s the perfect stress-free start to a holiday, knowing that your car is in a secure location while you are away – I honestly cannot recommend them enough.
Tip – Sign up to their newsletter for offers and discounts on parking or enquire about bundle packages if you’re a regular traveller.
Currency. We all know holiday money is like monopoly money – it isn’t the same as ‘real money’, but it certainly feels real when you get your bank statement the following month.
When looking to buy travel money, find somewhere that doesn’t charge commission like the M&S Bureau de Change for example. If you’re in London, I have always found that Best Foreign Exchange generally have better exchange rates than any where else and they don’t charge a commission. They also do a postal service if you can’t get to London, but I have never used it myself to be able to recommend it.
If you need to change a substantial amount of cash, it’s always worth remembering that if you change more than £1000, you will always get a better rate – it’s something I like to keep in mind when buying Euros or Dollars as it’s currency I will always use.
It may seem obvious to many, but the airport (and banks) usually have the worst exchange rate and they’ll charge you a commission so I would steer clear of those!
Many people also like to use their credit card abroad as it usually has the lowest charges. I always take mine for security, but have never actually used it, but keep in mind that different banks and credit card companies vary wildly so always check T&Cs first.
If I’m travelling within Europe or to the US, I swear by the Caxton FX cards – I have both cards and they’re perfect for a shopping break in New York. You never know how much money you’ll actually need; no amount is ever enough, especially if you’re like me and somehow the entire contents of every Sephora store just keeps falling into your basket! 😉 How do they do that!?
I hope you found this post useful and picked up at least one tip that you may not have already known. If you enjoyed this, then you may enjoy my ‘how to make money online’ post that I wrote about a year ago.
If you have any money-saving travel tips and tricks up your sleeve, then please do share them down below!
If you enjoyed this post, you may want to check out this fab post I discovered on how to save money on flights!