Want to save money on your next holiday? Travel agents know the industry well and hold all of its travel secrets.
Whether you’re booking your holiday yourself online or are planning to use an expert to plot your perfect trip, we’ve rounded up 10 money-saving travel tips, straight from the people who know best.
Travel secrets for booking your trip
1. Book early for the best travel deals
If you’re thinking about your next trip already then Melissa da Silva, president of the travel company Trafalgar USA, suggests booking it now.
According to her, early bookers get the best deals and discounts, with airlines and train companies notoriously hiking prices closer to travel time.
Don’t delay, book that trip today!
2. Or hold tight for last minutes cruise and hotel deals
That said, Isar Meitis, president of e-commerce at Turico Holidays, highlights that all good things can come to those who wait.
Meitis points out that if cruises have rooms empty before launch, they will offer them at amazing rates, so keep an eye on cruise company websites in the days before they set sail.
Once the cruise leaves port, empty rooms are wasted potential revenue for cruise companies. They’d rather give passengers massive discounts and hope they make up for it in shipboard spending.
The same goes for hotels – check out lastminute.com for last-minute bargains on rooms.
3. Discover deep discounts off-season
If you can travel outside the school holidays, then you’re likely to find deep discounts according to Rob Harper, of Namu Travel Group, a network of luxury travel agencies in Central America.
Harper points out that prices in Central America are the best value in ‘shoulder season,’ between peak holiday times when the weather is also typically good, usually in months like May, June and early December.
4. Save with suites for family hotel bookings
Another top tip from Harper, he suggests considering a suite instead of two hotel rooms when travelling with family.
A suite might seem like the luxurious option, but it can actually work out significantly cheaper than paying for multiple individual rooms so be sure to check out all the options when booking.
5. Investigate promotions and packages when staying for longer
If you’re planning to stay at your destination for more than a couple of nights, then Harper also suggests checking out promotions and packages for multi-day trips.
These are often provided directly from the hotel so check out their website or, even better, pick up the phone.
6. Use comparison websites
Let a comparison website take out some of the leg work of comparing holiday deals.
7. Sign up to travel newsletters for amazing flight deals
The same goes for flights.
Although you can’t always directly select a particular destination, the deals they find are irresistible.
8. Save on hefty luggage costs with a capsule wardrobe
Robert Miller, president of Travel Advocates, a New Jersey-based travel agency, suggests opting for a capsule wardrobe and saving on those extra luggage costs.
Many airlines are now charging for checking in a bag, with two costing up to £120 for a return flight.
Sticking to hand luggage will leave you with more money for spending at your destination and less time waiting at the airport for your luggage.
Pack a clever capsule wardrobe and make use of local laundry services – who really needs 12 pairs of shoes on holiday anyway?
Travel secrets for when you get there
9. Don’t think like a tourist in New York
We’re loving this tip from Michael Brozek, former American Express Travel destination manager for New York City, who urges travellers visiting the Big Apple to live like a local.
Suggesting that avoiding the tourist traps and hanging out where the locals do is a big money saver, he also highlights that it can be more fun and authentic.
How are you going to find these places? Michael says you should skip the taxi and go on foot for anything less than 20 blocks away.
10. Choose local currency when paying abroad
A top tip that will help you save money where ever you go, Trafalgar USA’s da Silva says always opt to pay on the local currency when making purchases.
When making a card purchase you are usually asked if you would like to pay in pounds or the local currency.
Remember that paying in pounds might seem like it makes more sense, but you’ll be subject to a charge for currency conversion.