Travel tips

January blues: How to save money when booking a holiday

By Zuzana Hajska | Marketing Officer at ICE

It is no coincidence January is the busiest month when it comes to booking a holiday as people are trying to beat the gloomy January blues. With holiday offers popping up everywhere, it is easy to get swept under the excitement and rush into booking a vacation without considering the all-important finances.

Don’t worry though, you can still beat January blues by booking a holiday and be money savvy about it at the same time. Here are our tips on how to get a holiday deal that will leave you with a smile on your face, but also with some money in your bank account.

1. Look outside the Eurozone

As it is still not set whether the UK will leave the EU with or without a deal at the end of 2020, the Pound might be facing more ups and downs in the next few months. For this reason, it might be a good idea to look into destinations outside of the Eurozone where the Pound has remained strong or has even strengthened. Countries like Turkey, Morocco, South Africa, Romania and Poland offer an excellent value for British travellers with the Pound stretching further thanks to good exchange rates. 

2. Book with a credit card

2019 saw one of the biggest travel companies, Thomas Cook, go into liquidation, which left thousands unsure of what would happen with their holiday. Recent news reports showed that tens of millions of pounds were still owed to customers. Booking with a credit card will give you additional financial protection if the company does go bust. If something goes wrong, the credit card provider will be as liable as the retailer for refunding the card holder (always check the small print with your credit card provider first).

3. Opt out for a DIY holiday

Remember the days when we had to rely solely on package holiday deals and book flights with the same airline there and back for the best prices? With the boom of price comparison sites, such as Jack’s Flights, Trivago and HolidayPirates, you can shop around to get the best travel bargain without getting sucked into the first deal you see. And if you do find the perfect package deal that ticks off all your boxes, go for it as these deals actually offer great customer protection from any changes (e.g. if a travel company goes bust beforehand, you’ll get a refund, or if you’re flights are cancelled while abroad, you’ll get different ones).

4. Be flexible on holiday dates

If you have the option to be flexible about the day, time or even the month you fly, you can save some serious money while hunting for the best travel bargain. Flying midweek is your best bet at saving money, with research finding that Friday is now the cheapest day of the week to fly. Booking an early morning or a late evening flight can also save you a small fortune if you’re willing to get to your destination later in the day. Check out comparison tools like Skyscanner to see where the biggest savings are.

5. Get the best deal on your currency

With Brexit on the horizon, it’s likely that there will be lots of fluctuations for the Pound in the next months. There is no need to panic though as there are many ways that Brits can be savvy about their travel money. You can hedge your bets, exchanging some money now and some just before you travel. Also, avoid buying your holiday money at the airport where the fees are much higher. Instead, opt for convenience and security by shopping for your travel money at home using a click and collect or home delivery service.

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