8 travel booking hacks to make your next trip a lot cheaper
Ever feel like you're paying over the odds when booking holidays?
Well, you probably are.
Airlines, accommodation websites and even travel agents will always try to squeeze whatever cash they can out of customers - but that doesn't mean you can't make a few sneaky savings on your next getaway.
Here are a few tactics to try before you book.
1. Two months in advance is the key timeframe
You might think that booking really far in advance is preferable but our resident office travel guru Áine reckons booking two months ahead of your intended travel dates is the way to go.
2. Go incognito
You know your phone knows more about you than you do, right? If you've been looking into certain destinations online, your browsers will remember and will probably prompt travel providers to hike up prices.
Clear your cache and cookies and use an incognito tab in your browser. If you're signed in on Google on your laptop, it'll show you the same prices on other devices so if you can, check on someone else's laptop to see if you can get a better deal.
3. Use comparison tools and be flexible with dates
Skyscanner and Kayak are great for finding the best price. Searching for prices for an entire month rather than specific dates will also help you figure out when is cheapest to go.
Once you've found your best price, double-check the airline's own site to see if it has a better price.
4. Fly at off-peak times and consider layovers
Flights tend to be cheaper late at night (especially a Saturday night) or early in the morning. If you're strapped for cash but have plenty of time on your hands, flying via a layover instead of directly to your destination could help you save quite a few euro, even though you'll spend longer getting there.
5. Choose your destination airport wisely
Can you fly to somewhere near to where you're going for less? Make sure to factor in the cost of being slightly further away though - I once flew in to Paris Beauvais Airport rather than the more central Charles De Gaulle in an attempt to save money but the cost of getting into the city from there made it just as dear.
6. Consider paying in another currency
Some sites will let you pay in another currency, which could save you money depending on what it is.
Make sure to check that your bank doesn't charge you for this though!
7. Don't pay for accommodation straight away
Booking.com lets customers book their accommodation without paying and cancellation is usually free, allowing you to lock down somewhere to stay while still hunting for something better (and cheaper!).
8. Don't sit on a good deal
It can be hard to know whether you're actually getting the lowest price but if something looks fairly good, jump on it. Setting alerts with sites like Kayak can help you to ensure you book at the best time.