It can take months or even years of saving to bag a dream holiday, yet with 88 percent of Britons taking some form of holiday every year according to ABTA, it seems travel is a priority. Unsurprisingly, then, more and more people are looking for ways to slash the cost of the experience while embarking on a new adventure.
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However, it seems being open-minded about making small changes to your travel plans could be the key to reducing costs and enhancing the overall experience.
Planning in advance, being aware of peak times of the year, and mixing up your methods of travel are all top tips that industry insiders shared with Express.co.uk.
One of the most well-known ways to make some big savings is to be aware of popular times for travel, particularly school holidays.
“By avoiding school holidays, travellers can enjoy exploring destinations without the influx of families that typically the only holiday at during these times,” a travel expert from RentalCars.com told Express.co.uk.
“Not only does this mean less queuing for tourist hot spots and sightseeing, but the atmosphere of your destination could be more tranquil.
“Booking in advance is normally the best way to save money on holidays – and it means you’ve got plenty of time to research and find the most suitable options for your trip.”
Plenty of airlines hold seat sales throughout the year boasting multiple opportunities to save.
However, they can pop up spontaneously, and some airlines offer the lowest prices based on supply and demand, which means travellers can miss them if they don’t act fast.
Luckily, Rentalcars.com offers a handy tip to ensure holidaymakers are always in the loop.
“Set up google alerts for ‘holiday sales’ to get the best deals and sign up to booking sites to receive their latest offers too,” they advise.
“Sale periods throughout the year can also be the best time to look into trips away, particularly if you’re on a budget.”
Though spontaneous travel can add excitement to the experience, the experts warn it could come with an added cost.
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“While we may all like the lure of spontaneity, holidaymakers can save money by planning in advance,” a spokesperson says.
“Researching restaurants, you want to visit can be a big help and can mean you avoid expensive ‘tourist traps,’ where the food and drink are often overpriced. Finding smaller establishments away from the main streets in your destination will not only help you save money, but they are bound to offer more authentic cuisine too.
“Use google maps to search for places in the locations you’ll be visiting and read the reviews in advance. “
Furthermore, an insider from booking platform Musement, part of the TUI group, warns of unnecessary last-minute expenses that can leave tourists out of pocket.
“Don’t fall into the trap of spending money you don’t have. Ahead of your trip, create a savings pot and aim to contribute a set amount of money each month. Saving small amounts over a longer period will help go towards spending money for your trip without feeling too much of a pinch.
“And remember to plan and book certain trips and activities in advance, keeping an eye out for any deals or promotions to help you save money. Plus, if you’re able to pay for a few things in advance, it’s also less to worry about when you’re away.”
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Though spontaneous adventure-seekers may feel dulled by all of the pre-planning, mixing up your method of transport could inject some much-needed excitement into the trip, while also slashing costs even more.
Hiring a rental car can mean less money spent on coach trips, buses, train and public transport, and allow for more freedom to go off the beaten track.
“When it comes to car hire, insight from Rentalcars.com booking data reveals that customers travelling to some of Europe’s most-loved destinations could end up saving up to 36 per cent on car hire costs when they book early, and it’s likely the figures are similar for booking activities and excursions ahead of their holidays,” says a RentalCars.com spokesperson.
“A hire car can be the best way to explore a destination on a budget.
“For locations where public transport isn’t available or is unreliable, a hire car can be a great alternative if you’re strapped for cash.”
In fact, according to the experts, the average cost of hiring a car in Spain during peak summer season is just £21 a day, and most British holidaymakers choose an economy car, like a Ford Fiesta or Vauxhall Corsa, which comes in even cheaper at under £15 a day.
“Rather than having to allocate part of your holiday budget to transport costs, such as trains, buses or taxis, once you’ve booked your hire car the cost is taken care of and you’ll just need to factor in fuel costs,” the expert continues.
“Renting a car is one of the best ways to discover and do more on holiday. Driving not only gives you more freedom to explore, but it also means you can be more spontaneous with your travel schedule. “
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