Planning to book a holiday anytime soon? Which? members have plenty of tips and tricks that could save you hundreds on your next trip.
Every month, we survey thousands of them to see how they save money on everyday items, bills and bigger purchases. You can see the full range of their money-saving tips by subscribing to Which? Money magazine.
In April 2015, we asked 1,047 members how they made savings on booking a holiday. Here’s a selection of their best ideas.
Compare packages and DIY prices
Many Which? members told us they were sceptical about the value of package holidays and liked to compare the cost with DIY options before booking.
Some used travel company brochures to pick out resorts and hotels they liked, then booked that accommodation themselves, along with flights and any excursions, which they said saved money and often meant they could use a more convenient departure airport.
Package holidays shouldn’t be written off completely, however, as some members reported finding some excellent value deals, which would have cost significantly more buying independently, so it pays to look at both options.
Our members saved an average of £200 a year by this tactic and others. Some reported price increases as they searched for a holiday, which they believed was caused by companies tracking searches with computer cookies.
If prices begin to rise it can’t hurt to clear your cookies to see if it makes a difference to the price offered.
Find out more: Clearing cookies from your PC – all you need to know about cookies
Check your flight options
Being flexible about which airline you use, as well as dates of travel and airports, saved an average of £200 a year for the Which? members that we surveyed.
Many used comparison sites like Skyscanner to check for alternative flight options and made some good savings by opting to fly mid-week or on public holidays.
Changing the departure airport helped some save money, even when factoring in the extra cost of travelling further afield. For example one member told us that it was around £260 cheaper to fly on the same day from an airport that was further away, even after including the higher cost of taking a cab to the airport.
Our survey’s respondents saved an average of £200 a year through careful flight booking.
Find out more: Best and worst airlines – Airlines reviewed in a Which? Travel survey
Save on accommodation
Using online travel agents such as Expedia or comparison sites like Trivago to find a good place to stay was popular among members. However many said it was cheaper to then contact the hotel directly rather than book through the site you had used.
Contacting the hotels and asking them to beat the price, as well as haggling over price with travel agents, saved members an average of £100.
Find out more: Haggling in travel agencies – Which? reveals how to negotiate on your holiday price
Plan your own excursions
Many Which? members told us that they felt organised excursions were often over priced. So many chose to either arrange their own or use local operators rather than those run by a hotel or UK tour operators. They said they saved an average of £100 a year by doing this.
Find out more: Holiday companies rated – find out how Which? members rate holiday companies
Pick a fee-free credit card
Using a credit card that doesn’t charge overseas fees was high on Which? members’ list of holiday money-saving tips.
Many praised the Halifax Clarity MasterCard (representative APR 18.9%) as it makes no charge for making purchases or for cash withdrawals whilst overseas.
The average saving for Which? members using these credit cards was £30. If you do use this type of card, make sure you pay off the bill in full as soon as possible as most, including the Halifax Clarity card, start charging interest as soon as you use the card to withdraw money.
Find out more: Best credit cards – how to find the right one for you
- Planning a city break? Check out where Which? members voted the best cities in Europe
- Going on a hike? Make sure you have the right footwear
- Got a financial question you need answered? Call the Which? Money Helpline