Let’s face it, there’s nothing more frustrating than going on holiday and hearing about how glorious the weather is back home. Grabbing some Winter sun not only gives you something to look forward to during the shorter, duller days but also practically guarantees you better weather than if you’re stuck at home. If you’re looking for a little Winter sun this year but are unsure if you can afford it, look no further. Travelling in the cooler seasons can mean you can make substantial savings over holidaying at other times of the year. Here are a few hints and tips as to how you can find your Winter holiday for less.
Find Your Winter Holiday For Less
Think About Your Holiday Times
If you’re child-free or outside of the constraints of school aged children, check your holiday times carefully. Holidaying outside of peak times can make for cheaper flights and quieter hotels. You can usually find UK term dates online which will cover the majority of holiday periods. If you’re flying to a popular destination, consider checking other countries holiday periods – take it from someone who travelled to Disney unwittingly during Spring Break (USA)!
If you ARE travelling within holiday periods you can try being flexible with your travel dates to get cheaper flights. Unpopular dates to fly include Christmas Day, early Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve during the winter months. During a normal week, you can also travel on days such as Tuesdays. To check flight prices and how they vary on a day to day basis for your destination, Skyscanner offer you the ability to see a calendar of daily prices; allowing you to pick the cheapest to suit your needs.
Don’t Forget Promo Codes & Cash Back Sites
Whether it’s vouchers or promotional codes, don’t be fooled into thinking they only apply to day to day items. Even holiday companies offer a range of exclusive codes that can save you money with a quick internet search; including a voucher code for Expedia.
I’ve spoken before about cash back sites; I use Quidco, as a simple way to earn money with minimal fuss. Simply log in to your Quidco account, find the company you want to visit and click through from your account to their page; the magic of cookies does the rest! There are many different cash back sites available but most offer similar amount of money back to you depending on what you’re purchasing – even 1% can be a huge saving if you’re booking a holiday! Be warned though, cash back usually isn’t confirmed until after the holiday has taken place.
Once you’ve got your dates in mind, set up price alerts using Kayak (there’s also a voucher code for Kayak here if you do end up buying through them). You’ll need to set up an account first but then you can set details of where and when you want to go. Kayak will update you with the lowest prices allowing you to make a judgement call of when you book. If you’re not in a huge hurry, this can help save you plenty – just be ready to react should the price drop!
Separate Out Hotel & Flights
Although booking a package holiday feels like an easier option, you’re often paying a premium for the convenience of sorting it all at once. Instead, find packages that you like and shop around for individual flights and hotel deals. Make sure you check with the hotel directly, sometimes they’ll have cheaper pricing available when you’re not using a third party.
Think Outside Of The Box
Fancy going skiing? Try searching for less well known ski resorts such as Bulgaria. By avoiding the big name areas you’ll avoid the bigger prices and could end up having an even better time when you’re there. Why? You’ll get to see a place that’s less developed and hopefully less crowded – you might even get to experience a bit of true local culture and cuisine rather than those that have adapted to suit the tourist trade over the years.
If you’re not fussed about your location, then your open mind could be the key to some major deals. Keep an eye out for last minute deals that leave within the next couple of days – holiday companies want to fill spaces particularly with package deals so prices are often reduced at the last minute. Just don’t rely on that to happen to get your dream destination.. with last minute deals, flexibility is key!