How to find holiday deals

How to find holiday deals: 7 top tips

Fancy jetting off on a great holiday for a fraction of the price? Discover how to bag yourself the best deals for your travel plans. In this article, I share all my top tips for bargain hunting your next destination.

Whether you’re looking for your next big adventure or toying with the idea of a cheap weekend away, finding the best holiday deals is all part and parcel of modern-day travel. Deals can be found everywhere, and you stand to save an absolute fortune as long as you know where to look. These days, going on a dream holiday doesn’t have to break the bank. In fact, last year I visited some dream destinations including the Seychelles, Bora Bora, and Fiji on a budget. I believe that with a savvy approach to finding holiday deals, you can unlock impressive savings and make the most of your travel budget. In this article, I share my tips on how to find holiday deals. I’ll cover how to find the best holiday dates, how to avoid price increases, and why using loyalty rewards can take your holiday to the next level.

How to find holiday deals: 7 easy tricks

In this article, I’ve listed 7 easy ways to find holiday deals in the coming weeks and months. Not only can you find great destinations, but you’ll also pay a fraction of the cost.

1. Choose cheaper locations with the same great experience

One of the best ways to find holiday deals is by choosing your destination carefully. After all, a busy city will undoubtedly add considerable cost to flights, travel, and accommodation. These days, travellers are becoming more interested in ‘destination dupes’ – lesser-known holiday spots with the same charm and experience as popular cities but at a fraction of the cost. You’ll save money on flights and accommodation and see some of the country’s lesser-known but equally fantastic tourist destinations. Here are some of my favourite destination dupes:

  • Paros instead of Santorini – Paros is a quieter, more authentic, and less crowded experience. Both boast charming villages, beautiful beaches, and a quintessential Greek island vibe.
  • Perth instead of Sydney – Perth offers a more laidback and spacious experience compared to bustling city life in Sydney. With beautiful beaches, a vibrant arts scene, and proximity to natural attractions like Rottnest Island, Perth provides a different Australian experience that’s worth exploring.
  • Liverpool instead of London – Liverpool, with its rich cultural heritage, iconic waterfront, and vibrant music scene, provides a unique British experience as an alternative to the bustling metropolis of London. It offers history, art, and entertainment but on a smaller and more manageable scale.
  • Taipei instead of Seoul – Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, offers a similar mix of modernity and tradition to what you’ll find in Seoul, South Korea. Both cities boast dynamic street food scenes, impressive architecture, and a blend of historic and contemporary attractions.
How to find holiday deals
A beautiful beach near Perth, Western Australia

2. Monitor prices and choose your travel days carefully

Various pricing tools, such as Skyscanner for airline flights and Trivago for hotels, actively monitor real-time price changes. You can set alerts to appear if a price falls below a certain threshold and sign up to newsletters, allowing you the chance to book a package at a lower cost. That said, there are other factors that influence price drops that can help you find holiday deals. The type of holiday you want and the day of the week you book, for example, can have an enormous influence. Research in the travel industry found that a Thursday was the best day to book cruise holidays because many more discounts were up for grabs. Wednesday was the worst, as providers often increased prices in anticipation of discounts.

When flying, the day you book and travel can also greatly influence your price. In their 2023 travel trend report, Expedia found that the cheapest day to book a holiday was Sunday, and the best day to travel was Saturday for domestic travel and Friday for international. Another way to reduce the price of your holiday and find the best deals is by picking your days travelling during the off-season or mid-week. The summer months, or whenever schools are out, are often much more expensive as airlines are more in demand. Use flexible date search tools on travel websites to explore various options.

3. Get cheaper prices with a VPN

Dynamic pricing is when the price of flights and accommodation rises in response to demand. Websites and service providers will often monitor your browser activity, determine whether you’ll likely book something, and adjust their prices to maximise profits. It’s every traveller’s worst nightmare, as you’re punished for researching deals online. Thankfully, there is a way to bypass this costly practice by using a virtual private network (VPN).

A VPN is an innovative cybersecurity tool known for protecting your online information from hackers and service providers. It encrypts your internet connection, preventing third parties from monitoring and tracking your online activity. Because websites do not know your web history and the dates or places you’re researching, they can’t determine whether you have high purchasing intent. As such, they will offer you the best prices possible to convert sales. Certain VPN providers also offer a host of cybersecurity tools, such as ad block features, which can further prevent pesky ads from distracting you as you’re booking.

Use a VPN for travel booking

4. Check your loyalty programs for price reductions

Travel credit cards have utterly changed how we pay for our holidays. You can now take out specialised cards to avail of travel perks like airline miles, hotel points, and cash back on travel expenses. Research predicts the industry will be worth over $48.5 billion by 2032 as more people use the cards for future savings. Before you book your holiday, check to see how many miles or points you’ve earned and whether or not you can redeem these against the price of your holiday. In many instances, it can drastically reduce the cost. 

Some loyalty packages offer unique perks to bring your holiday to the next level, including airport lounge access, a waiver on international transaction fees, and complimentary travel insurance. Even if you’re not part of a mileage club, it’s easy to start earning points through your travel, helping you with future travel costs. Programs like Delta SkyMiles and United Mileage Plus are free to join and state that miles earned will never expire. They regularly compile holiday deals people can pay off exclusively with their miles points for some great savings.

5. Make last-minute work for you

It may come as a surprise, but booking a last-minute holiday can actually help save you money. Travel experts estimate that booking 1 to 4 weeks before you’re due to depart can often bag you the cheapest price for holiday packages. As your holiday approaches, airlines, hotels, and more will be keen to fill their bookings and ensure there are no empty seats – as such, they often relax their price ranges to entice potential travellers.

I experienced this myself when I recently travelled to Croatia. I booked my flight around 2 weeks before the departure date, and bagged myself a £7 flight to Zadar, proving it works! The flight was even on a Saturday afternoon, proving very convenient. One of the only caveats against last-minute holiday deals is that you’re working against the clock. You’ll need to be flexible with when and where you travel when booking, as popular destinations may be fully booked out. Additionally, you may have less time to research my above points in this article.

How to find holiday deals

6. Utilise comparison shopping

When it comes to how to find holiday deals, don’t settle for the first deal you come across; instead, embrace the power of comparison shopping. Utilise online travel agencies, price comparison websites, and booking platforms to compare prices across multiple providers. This method allows you to identify the most competitive rates for flights, accommodations, and package deals, ensuring that you get the best value for your money.

7. Consider package deals

Package deals that combine flights, accommodation, and sometimes even activities or airport transfers can offer substantial savings compared to booking each component separately. Explore holiday packages from reputable providers, and be on the lookout for promotions that include added perks such as complimentary breakfast or excursion discounts. This all-in-one approach not only streamlines your planning but also maximises your savings too.

How to find holiday deals

Finding incredible holiday deals is a strategic endeavour that involves a combination of flexibility, research, and utilising available resources. I’ve had plenty of practise over the years, and think I have learnt a thing or two! By staying flexible with your travel dates, signing up for alerts, comparing prices diligently, considering package deals, and leveraging loyalty programs, you can unlock substantial savings and turn your travel dreams into a budget-friendly reality. Happy travels!

I hope you found my guide on how to find holiday deals helpful. If you need any help, or if you have any tips or tricks to share, let me know in the comments below.

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