Wednesday, 28 September 2016

When school holiday comes

Another school holiday soon so we can guess the cost of going away will rocket again as well as it will be more crowded in the airports and on the roads. Let's think what we can do to make our trips easier and maybe less expensive.

Avoid first day of holiday if you don't have to go that day. The best option could be to go few days earlier before school holidays officially start, but it is theoretically illegal...
Of course we have to think about it bit earlier during our booking process. And this one is absolutely crucial. Book everything well in advance. It is not definitely decided when is the best time to book. Some say 30 days before, some others are even more specific – it can be for example 57 days. Well, it depends of the airline or providers of other services.
However we know that when they're released, they're usually priced cheaply, then this can change quickly depending on how many are booking. So one can bet that day of launching them will be cheaper than last days before flight. Accommodation can be double the price during peak seasons, flights – can cost even more. And of course it is advisable to book online. Even admissions, car parking and meal deals - everything should be better priced.

To find cheapest flights find go to Kayak, Skyscanner, TravelSup, Booking Buddy. We also heard about Easyjet's Flexifares. They let you switch dates by a few weeks without paying extra.  The original idea of saving was to book a Flexifare on the same route at a less busy time when flights are cheaper. Unfortunately we've noticed it costs much more than a standard flight (like £230 instead of £60) and it is probably not worth trying anymore.
It is possible that you will pay less for the same flight purchased via partner airlines. Yes, they can be cheaper then original airline who actually provide the planes. It may be also worth to consider indirect flights.

When it is finally your travel day, always arrive early enough to the airport. During the peak season everything will be busier, queues will be longer, and check-ins will be slower. You will notice even more intensive traffic before the airports.We reserve at least 3 hours of time before our flight.

If you drive
There is also completely different option - a self drive holiday. You will leave all that problem with abnormally priced airline tickets and crowd in airport for others. You will save a lot, for the cost of longer travel.
But don't forget about booking Eurotunnel or a ferry, but there are promotions and Flexifare tickets too. Maybe it is worth to sign up to their newsletters to be informed about such offers early enough.
Just bear in mind that as schools break up for holidays the UK's major roads will be seriously crowded. the first Friday of the school holidays - probably the worst day of the year for traffic Same when you drive back. So again avoid first and last day of school holiday and start your travel early.
When you don't go by your car but want to use one at your destination book your vehicle hire ASAP after finding your holiday. Few months before you can get it for under £10/day. Later it can be 3 times more – if you find a car at all... And in this case it is convenient to use comparison sites.

Common sense suggests searching multiple websites when booking your accommodation. So we use travel agents websites, DIY holidays websites and first of all comparison sites. Not only because they deliver so many results you can compare, but for their tools and functionalities to improve your search and find best possible deals. And by the way – do not forget about hotels' own websites. They may be still the cheapest.
And there is always an option of completely independent holidays, especially when you go with a family or group. Apartments, bungalows or villas from private owners should be better priced than hotels. It is easy to find an holiday accommodation for under £500 per week even in high season in southern Europe. Consider taking a house little bit further from a sea front. Probably you will rent a car anyway, so why not to drive for 5 minutes, instead of walking for 10?

When you stick to the hotel option and buying from a travel company, try secret hotels. They should offer serious discounts. You don't know where you will actually stay, it is little bit tricky, but you still have guaranteed certain level like 3-5 star hotels and you are still at the destination you have chosen.
One more tip about a place where you will holiday - forget about visiting the most popular places, and try to find some new location which is lesser-known and should be less crowded during peak times.

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