Last minute booking is a thing of the past for travel bargain hunters.
(PRWEB) January 17, 2013
At a time when many are looking to beat the gloom by planning summer holidays, Buyometric shares its top ten money saving tips to help stretch budgets.
Tip 1: Forget last minute booking!
Ten years ago, last minute booking was the way to get the best prices – but those days are over. Due to finely-tuned discounting throughout the year, booking at the last minute can result in being left with the accommodation no one wants. And nobody wants to be held to ransom by budget airlines for last minute flights.
Ever since Boxing Day the leading tour operators such as Virgin Holidays, Thomas Cook, The Co-Operative Travel and Expedia have been advertising 10-30% off their holidays. And even more deeply discounted deals are already here, with savings in the 30-60% range.
To help keep track of deeply discounted holiday deals from Groupon, Living Social, Wowcher, Secret Escapes and many more, here are some special pages that are constantly updated. Choose from Europe and the Med, Longhaul or UK breaks under £100. There's also a discount travel search section – just enter the search criteria and check back regularly.
Tip 2: Know the school holiday dates – and avoid them if possible
For those that don’t have kids this knowledge is priceless as it can save hundreds of pounds.
This year, for England at least, Half Term is likely to be 18th-22nd February, and the Easter holidays are likely to be the first 2 weeks of April. Summer Half Term will be the 27th-31st May, and the Summer holidays are likely to start from 19th July and right the way through to the end of August. Holiday dates are different in Scotland, with the summer break starting as early as the end of June until the third week of August.
Up-market all-inclusive Mediterranean beach-based activity holidays with companies like Mark Warner can be fantastic value if – but usually only if – traveling at either end of the season and avoiding the school holidays.
Tip 3: Don’t fall for pricing gimmicks – look at the total price
Check the full cost really stacks up against the competition before falling for headline prices that seem too good to be true. Offers such as ‘Kids go free’ which sound attractive, aren’t always what they seem and the overall price can sometimes be even higher than comparable alternatives.
Tip 4: Consider countries which might sound a bit risky
For instance Croatia is a well-kept secret but many don’t consider it because of the war that took place there over 20 years ago.
Today it’s just as stylish as Greece or the Balearics and has wonderfully well-preserved coastal towns. The island of Hvar is a stunner and only a short hop by ferry from Split.
Another well-kept secret is Slovenia, the only country in Europe that combines the Alps, the Mediterranean, the Pannonian Plain and the Karst.
Tip 5: Go to the mountains, not the beaches
In the mountains near the Med the climate is wonderful during the summer as the extra altitude takes away the worst of the heat. Once the snow is gone, many European ski resorts offer cheap summer accommodation.
The chalets and ski resorts of Europe offer some of the best value holiday accommodation out of season like Grindlewald in Switzerland, The Burgenland in Austria or Luz Saint Sauveur in France among others.
Tip 6: Find a specialist holiday company which strips out unwanted features
For instance, if traveling alone, save money on single supplements by booking with a specialist tour operator such as Solos Holidays.
If looking for a walking holiday but don’t need a guide, choose a self-guided walking specialist such as Macs Adventure, who offers many European trips including the Tour du Mont Blanc.
On the French Atlantic island of Ile de Ré, find some great-value apartments. This is a great budget choice, offering superb beaches, a long summer season and great cycling across flat paths that crisscross the island.
Tip 7: Go outside the Euro zone
Northern Cyprus is a great destination for cheap holidays because it’s outside the Euro zone – it uses the Turkish lira. Prices on the ground are remarkably low and there are some great special offers.
Similarly Turkey and Bulgaria offer affordability and a fantastic destination for culture, food and activities, while Budapest and Warsaw are the cheapest cities. Be wary of Oslo, Zurich and the most expensive European city Stockholm.
The cheapest Euro zone destinations are Athens, Prague and Rome, but be wary of Venice if looking to watch the purse strings.
Tip 8: Go a little further afield
For cheap sun on a one-week or two-week package, Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt is a five-hour flight from the UK. Tunisia also has great beaches, delicious food and good-value hotels, though it can get a bit chilly in the mid-winter months. It’s better in October or March.
The Canary Islands are popular choices and with good reason. The flight is 4-5 hours but the climate is excellent. Tenerife has a great variety of destinations from lively package resorts to charming country hotels. For nature lovers try La Palma, for walking, culture and quiet beaches.
The Gambia on the west coast of Africa – six hour flying time from the UK, with excellent beaches, friendly hotels and plenty of excursions on the doorstep. The Cape Verde islands are also great value.
Long haul options include Thailand where it’s possible to get by without spending too much at all.
Tip 9: Take advantage of the shoulder seasons
The Aegean coast of Turkey has a very long season, as does Malta. A little further afield, Egypt has superb autumn and winter weather with near guaranteed sunshine, even in January.
Also Morocco, which combines great weather with cultural treasures and fascinating street life.
Tip 10: Go overseas without going abroad
The Isle of Wight is often overlooked, but it has a great diversity of sights, beaches and great-value places to stay, ideal for families.
Steeped in history with 60 miles of stunning unspoilt scenery and a wealth of attractions, the Isle of Wight has something for everyone. From historic sites to music festivals and major national events, it’s a unique holiday destination