The summer is here, which can only mean one thing: a vacation! Yes, the summer holidays are the time to hit the road or board a plane as a family and spend quality time together. The only is the cost. Unfortunately, paying for you and your family to go away for two weeks is expensive, and it rules some people out of a vacation. So, are you just supposed to accept this as fact and stay at home all year? No, you are not! What you are supposed to do is get creative and find ways to lower the overall cost. Come on – everyone needs a break from time to time.
To make sure that you do, it’s time to peruse the tricks of the trade. Here are the hacks that contribute to an affordable family holiday. Enjoy!
The internet is an excellent place to find a bargain, yet it also works against you at times. You may not know this, but companies can view their customer’s searches. So, they will know as soon as you start looking for cheap flights and accommodation. And, the savviest ones use the information to hike up the prices. As a result, the cost can fluctuate from minute to minute, and that is not an exaggeration. The key, then, is to be as quick and decisive as possible. Now, that is never easy, especially when you have a big decision to make. But, it is necessary if you don’t want to splash out more than the original price. A tip: think about all the variables beforehand. That way, there is less to consider before pulling the trigger.
But Be Thorough
Just because you need to act quickly doesn’t mean you should forget about the research. Simply put, the only way to secure a bargain is to check the prices across the industry. Why? It’s because only then can you be sure that the deal you have is the cheapest on the Web. To do this, don’t assume that the first price you see is the best one. Instead, head to Skyscanner and Kayak and search the same terms. Hopefully, these will come up with cheaper alternatives and save you a small fortune in the process. If they don’t, at least you can be safe in the knowledge that your holiday is the cheapest version. Just make sure you don’t dawdle or else the price will skyrocket.
Look For Partners
Partner sites usually apply to airlines only, so accommodation is out of the mix for now. Still, flights for multiple people aren’t cheap, and cutting the cost could take a significant chunk off the final bill. With that in mind, research the airlines that have partner companies. It turns out that they often sell the same flight or similar ones, but the price isn’t the same. Virgin Airlines and Delta is a primary example. Both companies share resources, and that means their services overlap. For obvious reasons, the airlines don’t like to advertise it, but a little digging is all you need to uncover the truth.
Go Old School
Nowadays, opening a web browser and searching Google constitutes finding a good deal. And, it does work most of the time. However, it is worth noting that the surprise factor doesn’t exist any longer. People all over the world use this tactic, so the bargains are less conspicuous than before. It’s for this reason that you should consider going retro. In the past, people used coupons and voucher to get a good deal, and you still can today. With Coupon Sherpa – Coupons, Promo Codes & Printable Coupons – there are plenty of opportunities to cut costs. All you need to do is type in your search and browse all the different deals. Or, head to the holiday section in the paper and see what they have to offer. Newspapers are a dying trade, and they use promotions to boost sales. As a result, there is always an advert which is worth viewing.
The temptation to book a package deal is pretty attractive. Not only do you get everything in one deal, but the company shoulders all of the responsibility. It sounds like bliss, right? It does until you find out they charge a lot extra for the privilege. To be fair, you can’t blame the company because they do all of the hard work. However, you do have to contemplate what you value more: time or money. If money is the biggest issue, it’s time to be independent. Instead of letting a business do all the heavy lifting, you need to take a holiday by the scruff of the neck. That means researching and booking everything separately. You will find that there are plenty of bargains using this method, even if it is a little more stressful. Just make sure you have the right times and print all the tickets off in advance.
Buy Travel Insurance ASAP
Doesn’t travel insurance only increase the cost? Yes, it does if you don’t have to use it while you are away. However, it saves families a lot of cash if anyone has an accident. Sadly, medical procedures abroad are more expensive than at home, not to mention the cost of transportation. Anyone that doesn’t have insurance is personally liable, which means you have to pick up the check. Of course, tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars is usually out of the average family’s budget. Thankfully, insurance companies don’t have the same problem. Also, buying it advance could save you money if there are unforeseen circumstances. Sometimes, airlines cancel flights, or people can’t go because of illness. In most cases, this makes you liable for a refund via your insurance policy.
Speak Over The Phone
The World Wide Web has ruined the art of negotiating. Too many people are happy to accept the price they see online and don’t challenge the cost. This is what suppliers want because it means they can sell their products and services close to the retail price. And, that means there is a better chance of maximizing profit. Talking to an advisor over the phone is a great remedy because you can haggle over the price when you have someone on the phone. As long as you know how to haggle, you should get a better deal. Even if you don’t, simply asking for a discount can be enough to encourage a firm to lower the price. Use the internet as your base, but don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and give them a call.
Change The Date
As the kids are off school, there is only a small window to get away. Normally, this means that the summer holidays are the most expensive time to go on vacation. But, who said anything about going in the summer? You see, schools have a lot of vacation time over the course of a year, including in September. Now, the beginning of autumn may not appear like a good choice, but it is an excellent time to go away. For one thing, the prices are significantly lower as it is no longer the peak season. Plus, the weather is still warm and there is still a buzz, which creates a nice atmosphere. In fact, some people prefer it because it is not too busy and not too quiet.
Book Last Minute
As a rule, it is better to book way in advance. However, there are bargains for those of you that want to wait until the last minute. It is worth saying that this method is a huge gamble, mainly because zero deals may become available. Still, if there any discounts, you should profit from them the most. The key is to keep an eye on flights and accommodation and strike when you see something you like. With the help of Lastminute.com services – flights, flights and hotels & holidays – there is no need to miss anything. All you have to do is get ready to leave at a moment’s notice, which isn’t ideal, but it is the way the cookie crumbles.
Don’t Vacation Abroad
Let’s address the elephant in the room – foreign holidays are the most expensive. People know this, yet they ignore it because they want to go abroad for one to two weeks. Well, you shouldn’t ignore it any longer. The truth is that vacationing in your country of residence is as good a family holiday as any other. Sure, there is going to be arguments and a lack of space, but how does that differ to any other holiday? What you also have is the freedom to hit the open road and stay wherever you choose. The result is that the cost is lower thanks to the low-tech nature of the vacation. After all, gas and motel rooms are pretty cheap, as is a campsite.
If your vacation looks steep, try using a handful of these tips and tricks. You won’t regret it.