As the summer holidays rapidly approach, we can (finally) start looking forward to our annual getaway – at home or abroad.
I don't know about you, but a huge bugbear of mine is when holiday companies dramatically increase their prices when it's the summer holidays.
I can almost hear every parent in the country cursing the tour operators as they come to compare prices and book their long-awaited summer family holiday.
It even prompted me to write this blog post at one point, which highlighted the travel companies bucking the trend to REDUCE summer holiday prices. There is a god!
But wouldn't it be great if you had a list of money-saving tips in your arsenal to save you up to £2,000 on your summer holiday? Now you do…read on for Insider Tips To Save Money On Your 2018 Holiday!
According to travel money specialist FairFX, the hire of car seats for kids costs an average of £70 per week – each! With many airlines letting you bring them for no extra charge, you might as well do that. Better still, buy inflatable car seats that won't take up much room – I found one for just £26.99 on Amazon.
Bringing your own sat nav from home can also save you money, with a rented sat nav costing an average of £80 for a week.
Other ‘extras’ to look out for include an Extra Driver, Super Damage Waiver, Super Theft Waiver and Tyre and Windscreen excess cover.
The best bet is to use a car rental comparison site like Holiday Cars, which compares rates from more than 800 different suppliers.
Possible saving: More than £22.
Another insider tip to save money is to choose your airport wisely says FairFX, with new research revealing that flights for a family of four travelling to Cyprus come in at £480 cheaper by flying from London Luton instead of London Stansted; £365 cheaper if you travel from Leeds Bradford instead of the East Midlands, and £153 cheaper if you travel from Edinburgh than Glasgow2.
With average savings of £334 the cost of fuel or trains could be offset by the big savings you could make by travelling from an alternative airport.
Example saving: £334
If travelling in the middle of the day isn’t a deal-breaker to you, take advantage of the savings on night flights.
Research revealed the cheapest return for a family of four between Luton and Palma, Mallorca was £380 less for a night flight than flights on the same day between 10am and 4pm.
This is easier with older kids of course – and it's a novelty for them to stay up super late, but beware if you have toddlers or young babies who are easily upset by a shift in their routine.
Example saving: Up to £380
Book parking in advance
Did you know that airport parking is so much more expensive if you turn up on the day than if you'd booked online in advance?
A week of parking at ‘on the day’ prices in Luton is £385 but booking in advance gives you an early bird price of £53.99 – a massive saving of £330!
At Leeds Bradford airport the saving is £166, making an average saving of £249.
There's another way of saving money for airport parking and it's called JustPark. In fact, you can use it for most places where it's difficult to park – hospitals, stadiums, high streets etc..
I always book JustPark when I go on holiday as it saves me an arm and a leg (up to 70% cheaper than on-street parking), and I actually now use it to rent out my driveway!
If you're interested in using it, I'm offering £5 off your first booking that you can use!
Average saving: £350+
When you're flying with a low-cost airline, it pays to pre-pay for extra luggage if you’re likely to exceed your baggage allowance as the price increases dramatically if you pay at the check-in desk.
For example, Tui charges £13 per kilo at the check in desk compared to £18 for 5kg in advance – a saving of £94 if you need 10kg more for your family. Similarly, Thomas Cook charges £10 per kilo at the airport and just £15 for 5kg if you book 30 days in advance, saving £70 on 10kg5.
Get yourself some luggage scales so you can get an accurate reading of your baggage – and double check if the kids get baggage allowance too.
Average saving: £82
Easier said than done – especially if you have school-age kids, but if you can be flexible with the dates that you travel it will save you a small fortune.
Families with pre-school kids can save so much by travelling in term time, but you can still find savings by being flexible with your date of travel.
As an example, flights for a family of 4 from Manchester to Faro were £304 cheaper on Tuesday 7 August than on Friday 3 August. And incidentally, Tuesday evening flights tend to offer the best prices overall.
Possible saving: £304
Bring a picnic!
British Airways' M&S sarnies can cost up to £4.95 each, along with crisps at £1.15 and Percy Pis sweets at £2 a packet. Add in a few baccies at £1.20 per KitKat and an inflight ‘snack' will cost £30 – and that's even before you've thought about drinks.
Whenever I've got a flight coming up – work or personal – I'll always visit somewhere like B&M Stores, Wilko or Poundland to pick up a few snacks and avoid the ridiculous airport prices.
Most people assume that they can't avoid paying for water on the airside, but there's a sneaky way of doing so that you might not have thought about.
Most airports have water fountains, so you could always take along an empty water bottle and fill it up once you've cleared security.
In fact, the guys at APH have done all the hard work, revealing where the fountains can be found at major UK airports.
Example saving: £30
I can't stress the importance enough at getting travel insurance. Too many people take too many risks by not protecting themselves.
For full protection, you should book insurance as soon as you book your holiday; if your holiday is cancelled and you're not covered (until the day you fly), you could lose everything.
Also, shop around for travel insurance to get the best price; there are plenty of great deals to be had online. MoneySupermarket is a great place to start.
Saving: Cost of your whole holiday
Whatever you do, don't change money up at the airport – you will lose a significant amount this way (it's up to 19% more expensive!).
Think about using a currency card; it could mean an extra £190 worth of Euros for every £1,000 exchanged.
FairFX recommends setting up a currency email alert so you can buy when the rates are in your favour and lock in these great rates on a Prepaid Currency Card which you can use abroad without paying costly credit card charges.
Example saving £190
Do you have your own Insider Tips To Save On Your 2018 Holiday?
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- How To Cut Costs On Summer Holidays
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