New Which? research reveals that simply asking travel agents for money off the price of your holidays can save you hundreds of pounds on your summer break.
We found you can also easily get extras thrown in for free or a better rate on foreign exchange.
When we visited dozens of high street travel agents, we found we successfully haggled for a cheaper price, free extras or a better deal on foreign currency in almost nine out of ten visits.
The biggest saving our Which? researchers managed to get by haggling was a reduction of £736 for a family of four – or 25% of the price of the holiday.
Find out which holiday companies are best and worst in our review of travel agents and tour operators.
‘I love it and I want to book it today. But it’s right at the top of my budget. Can you offer me a deal on it?’
‘Can you offer me a reduction if I pay in full today?’
‘Can you throw-in anything extra for me?’
Key haggling questions to ask travel agents
Haggling for discounts
In 46 visits to Co-operative Travel, Thomas Cook, Thomson and a selection of independent travel agents, our researchers managed to get a lower price for summer holidays to Florida and Mallorca 38 times.
Our researchers were looking for summer holidays for the first week of the 2014 summer school holidays to family friendly resorts for a family of four.
The average in-store reduction was £191 (6%) and all of the travel agents chains we visited were willing to knock some money off in most of their shops.
Key haggling phrases to use
Which? researchers used three phrases to haggle for discounts and free extras when visiting high street travel agents and when buying holidays over the phone.
We found the phrases shown on the right are the most likely to get you a better deal.
Cheaper foreign currency
In 17 of the 46 store visits we managed to get extras thrown-in for free including airport parking and hotel rooms and free child places. And we were able to haggle for a better deal on foreign exchange in 13 of the 28 shops that sold holiday money.
Phone holiday haggling
When you’re buying a holiday over the phone, you’ll also have a great chance of securing savings, if you’re happy to haggle. Of the 69 holidays that we tried to haggle for, we managed to get money off or free extras thrown in 39 times.
Which? editor Richard Headland, said: ‘We’ve found that haggling could end up saving you hundreds of pounds and in some cases even beat online deals, so while it may not come naturally to you, it’s well worth giving it a go.’
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