Millennials are spending more money on experiences and less on material things. Plus summer is just around the corner and many of us are starting to think about booking a trip – without breaking the bank. So, we asked search platform Holiday Pirates for its top travel tips, to save you time and money…
Know when to book for both long and short haul
For long-haul flights it is advisable to book two to four months ahead, while for shorter trips you can look closer to the travelling date, keeping an eye out for airline sales, as airlines will begin to worry about filling up all of the seats. Midweek flights are usually cheaper than weekends.
Look around for flights
When it comes to flights, you may be eligible to take advantage of the 24-hour rule; many airlines allow you to cancel or change airplane tickets within 24-hours of purchase. Have a last-minute check online before you settle on your final tickets, just in case there’s a better option available.
Leaving your car at the airport can cost a fortune but if you plan in advance and book the right way, you can make sure to cut the cost by up to a third. There are lots of different car parks around airports, so take some time to research your options, including on- and off-site parking, valet, and local car parks. Typically, off-site and local car parks will be the cheapest, but keep in mind that their security and availability might be limited. Also, make sure that you check the transfer time to the terminal, security, and late charges, so that you are not hit by any surprises at the end of your travels.
If you decide to not use parking, but instead park on a road close by, then make sure that you check the council’s website for upcoming roadworks and suspensions that might happen in the area while you are away.
Finally, don’t forget to check out comparison sites such as Looking4Parking and SkyPark Secure for the best deals. Groupon and Wowcher sometimes also offer discounts on airport parking, so give them a visit before you book to see if you could make any savings.
Booking your hotel
If you have a specific hotel in mind, then make sure to follow its social media accounts for offers, and join their loyalty programme to receive discounts, special offers, and even free nights. If you do not see anything on their personal pages, then do a quick Google search to see if there are any discount codes in circulation that you could use before booking.
It can be cheaper to book flights and hotels separately, but be aware that this means that you will not have the added security of being ATOL protected.
Keep your shoes in a plastic bag or in a shower cap to prevent them making your clothes dirty or smelly. Pack two tops for every pair of bottoms. Instead of taking a whole guidebook, just take photos of the pages you need to save the valuable space.
How to avoid jetlag
On the day you are travelling, it’s a good idea to start by setting your phone or watch to the time of the destination you are travelling to, in order to get yourself into the psychological mindset of that time zone early on. Once on board your flight, try to stay hydrated as this will help you to feel more refreshed once you land. If you’re arriving to your destination in the evening, then it’s a good idea to try to stay awake during the flight, however, if you are arriving in the morning then try to ensure you have slept, sticking to this will help your body adjust to the time zone and lessen the effect of jetlag.
Where to go, when
Holiday Pirates has analysed its data to find the best locations to visit with the most sun, for the least money.
When to visit: May or late September – early October
When to book: Less than one month before departure
Sharm el Sheikh
When to visit: April – May
When to book: Less than one month before departure
When to visit: May – June or November
When to book: November (as this is ‘low season’, airlines have more seats thus great offers)
When to visit: Late May – early July or late September
When to book: 10-12 months in advance for Mykonos or Santorini. Other locations, less than one month before departure
When to visit: East Coast: May – June. Other locations: November – December
When to book: Six months in advance
Extra advice from DOSE’s own Shara Tochia, a travel maven
“My best advice is to travel after bank holidays – it’s usually the cheapest time to travel when booking flights/hotels. Also – if you enjoy a bit of negotiation, call the hotel and book directly and ask them to knock off 10 – 15 per cent from the booking.com price as most hotels pay that commission to these third party aggregator sites.
“Use incognito browsers, as websites like Sky Scanner save your cookies and remember your search history, making it easier for them to increase prices based on what you’re looking for.”
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Charlotte is a London girl through and through. She sweats through spin and puffs through Pilates to justify trying the latest restaurants and devouring copious amounts of sweet potato fries, burrata and bread – preferably on holiday. Her favourite destinations include Italy, the Maldives and anywhere where the sun’s shining and there’s a strong breakfast buffet. She’s obsessed with walking, visiting farmers’ markets and reading. She’s also learning to cook. Wish her (and her husband) luck.