Top 10 holiday sites
Kayak compares the cost of hotels, flights, car hire and package holidays in a way that’s very simple to navigate. It shows prices for both big airlines and low-cost carriers and allows travellers to be flexible on dates. If you’re already on the move you can also download a Kayak app to your iPhone.
Rather than shelling out on a hotel or self-catering cottage for your holiday why not do a home swap with another family? Uhholidayswapshop is a UK-based home swapping forum that allows likeminded people to swap homes for a cheap getaway. All you have to pay is a £14.95 annual membership fee.
How many times have you turned up at a hotel only to discover the room isn’t quite as it appeared in the brochure? Tripadvisor features thousands of independent reviews for hotels all over the world, just type in the name of the hotel you’re considering and the site will come back with feedback and, in some cases, photos, from previous guests.
Hiring a car abroad can be confusing and if you wait until you land in a foreign airport to arrange car hire then you probably won’t get the best deal possible. Holidayautos.com allows you to compare hire car charges and book a car before you leave the UK.
If you’re planning a trip to the capital this summer, the LondonPass offers entry to more than 55 of the top attractions for one price. Attractions include the Tower of London, London River Cruise and the National Gallery. You can buy a pass for one, two, three or six days. An adult one day pass costs £39 and a child pass £27.
Whether you’re heading overseas or staying at home this summer, lastminute.com has special offers on everything from dinner at a Gordon Ramsey restaurant or West End shows to city mini-breaks or package holidays. If you want to chill out it also does regular spa offers and for thrill-seekers there are plenty of theme park deals.
If you’re staying in the UK this website offers 2for1 vouchers for London attractions such as Madam Tussauds, London Zoo and the London Eye as well as theatre and concert ticket offers. There are also deals on train travel including GroupSave where three or four people can travel together off-peak for the price of two adults, to destinations around the UK.
Holidayextras compares the cost of airport parking at on and off-site car parks at all the 26 major UK airports. You can book online which will save you money compared to just turning up on the day.
If you hire a car abroad, your car rental agreement normally includes cover for collision damage waiver (CDW) and theft. However you are still liable for the excess in the event of making a claim and this can be several hundred pounds. Insurance4carhire covers you for the excess payment and also damage to car windows and tyres which are normally excluded from car hire insurance. You can buy annual cover from £49 or cheaper policies for shorter trips.
If you’re travelling anywhere within the European Union, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland or Liechtenstein a European Health Insurance Card will save you money in the event that you need medical treatment. The card entitles holders to state medical treatment, equivalent to the country’s NHS. Some travel insurers will waive the excess on any medical claim if you have an EHIC.
This is more usually a feature of car insurance but it can also crop up in contents, mobile phone and pet insurance policies. An excess is the amount of money you have to pay before the insurance company starts paying out. The excess makes up the first part of a claim, so if your excess is £100 and your claim is for £500, you would pay the first £100 and the insurer the remaining £400. Many online insures let you set your own excess, but the lower the excess, the more expensive the premium will be.