It’s getting to the end of May, you’re probably thinking of taking a summer holiday if you haven’t booked already. You know, the one where you flee to the sun-kissed beaches of Spain or Italy, the floating markets of the Far East or the safari plains of Kenya. You were thinking of booking it in January but we’re all strapped for cash then but right now, you just need that little getaway to get you through the year…
So, here’s how to beat the system with my budget-friendly getaway tips that I’ve picked up from doing some searching myself:
1. Figure out the flight formula
Ok, a bit of science for you now. Economist Makoto Watanabe worked out that the cheapest time to book a flight is eight weeks before you’re due to depart, on a Tuesday mid-afternoon.
Why? Eight weeks is the critical early-bird last-minute tipping point (package deals also start slashing their prices); plus, flight sales typically start on Mondays, so by mid-afternoon of the next day, other airlines have matched their prices.
So, to get a great deal on a break, write ‘book holiday’ in your diary for eight weeks before departure on a Tuesday afternoon.
2. Join the clubs
Free ‘Members-only’ travel clubs such as WOW Go!, Living Social Escapes, Travelzoo and Secret Escapes are the Groupons of holiday shopping. Offering flash sales, book-it-now bargains and all at top hotels worldwide. Rates are only cut for a few days before they either sell out or disappear, so sign up and snap up those deals as soon as you can!
3. Stay at home
Well, someone else’s. Have you heard about the growing popularity of Airbnb? If not, then they rent out stylish rooms and apartments in over 192 countries, for much less than a local hotel. Examples include £53 per night in Barcelona or a cool £22 for a studio in Berlin – I wish I’d known about the latter! Plus, with the self-catering option, you’ll be quids in.
4. Book a brand new hotel
You wouldn’t have thought it but yes, a brand new hotel can often provide you with the best prices. Normally they’ll have ‘soft launch’ periods that help to smooth out teething problems, in exchange for cheaper rates. If you don’t mind risking your room service being a little slower, or other minor hiccups, then this is definitely one of the savviest ways to save, while checking out the hottest of hotels. Check out hotel travel sites like Red Online or Telegraph Travel for details of openings.
Have you already booked your summer holiday, if so, where are you off to? Did these tips help you out in any way?