The rising cost of living is making everything more expensive, but these tips can help you book a holiday that won't break bank
After the past couple of years we’ve had and general pandemic burnout, we all need a break more than ever. But thanks to the rising cost of living, spending money on a holiday can feel at best indulgent, at worst impossible.
The cost of living in the UK has been rising since early 2021, but in December inflation reached its highest recorded level in decades — more than 5.4% higher than the year before.
“Air fares have risen in general due to inflation, but the actual impact the cost of living will have on individuals’ holidays really does depend on where they fall within the income spectrum,” says Eve Obasuyi, co-founder of Money Medics, a platform that provides money management information and advice to millennials. “Since most people haven’t been able to holiday abroad for a while, it’s ramped up everyone’s appetite for travel and to escape the current cost of living crisis.”
Luckily, there are tricks to make booking a trip online to your ideal holiday destination a little easier on your bank balance.
7 holiday hacks to save money hotels, flights and more
1. Turn on private browsing when you book flights online
Airlines and booking sites record your search history by installing cookies on your browser, which is why your total package price may suddenly surge in price as you approach the checkout (or if you sit on it and decide to try and book later).
Avoid this by turning on your private browsing before you begin searching for deals online.
2. Book flights online in the off-season
The average Brit books their summer holiday between June and August and because the airlines and hotels are aware of this, they hike up prices significantly.
So, instead, try booking your summer holiday in, say, May where the temperatures are still hot but it’s less busy and prices are typically up to a third less. Another good shout is to check out the best Black Friday holiday deals if it’s the season (yes, even travel companies get in on the fun).
3. Download an app so you’re not charged for using your card abroad
Don’t accumulate fees for using your card abroad or end up getting a rip-off deal from money exchange shops – instead, download a free account from an online bank like Revolut or Monzo where there are no fees for spending or sending money abroad.
It’s as easy as that: you just get the exact exchange rate going and there are no hidden charges.
4. Fly at night for 30% less cost
Did you know? Evening flights will typically cost 30% less than daily flights and they will tend to have less passengers on and the queues at your arrival airport will also be minimal — score!
5. Fly into a different airport
Most countries have multiple airports, so before you book, double check prices for tickets to other cities.
“Use Skyscanner to compare landing in different cities in your chosen destination and also explore booking non-direct flights,” says Eve.
6. Sign up to air mile programmes
Take advantage of air mile programmes like British Airways and Virgin Atlantic for discount flights, priority boarding and reduced prices for flight snacks and drinks. Signing up to air mile programmes is always free and will only take you a few minutes to complete online.
While it’s not an air mile programme, it’s also worth signing up to Jack’s Flight Club — especially if you’re open minded about where you’d like to travel. Through an email newsletter, Jack’s Flight Club shares often unbelievably cheap flight deals, discounts and hidden offers.
7. Consider a staycation
Eve explains that now Covid testing rules for travelling abroad are relaxing, it’s likely more people will be leaving the UK this summer. “This may have a knock on effect of reducing staycation demand in the UK, allowing people from lower income groups to still experience travel domestically,” says Eve.