Five money-saving tips for holidaymakers
From knowing where to find deals to avoiding hidden extras, follow these top money-saving holiday tips.
1. Finding the best deals
If you're booking your trip at the last minute the important thing is to shop around and keep your eyes open for special deals and offers.
Make sure you register with travel websites such as travelsupermarket.com that have newsletters telling you about deals and offers - the earlier you know about something, the better chance you have of bagging the best deal.
2. Earn as you pay
Wherever possible use a cashback or rewards website such as ipoints.co.uk when you make a booking.
This website has 95 travel or holiday retailers as members of its rewards scheme, so once you've found the holiday, flight or hotel you want to book, see if you can earn some points that you can spend on extras or treats later on.
3. Time it right
Timing and flexibility are crucial. If you don't have children then avoid half term and school holidays. Also, if you're not restricted to going away at weekends, then midweek short breaks tend to be cheaper.
"Be as flexible as possible in terms of destination and length of trip, as well as type of accommodation," says Bob Atkinson, travel expert for travelsupermarket.com. "The fussier you are, the narrower the range of deals to choose."
4. Watch out for extra costs
Try and keep costs down wherever possible: this includes shopping around for foreign currency, pre-booking airport parking and finding the best car-hire deal.
If you're flying with a budget airline such as Ryanair or EasyJet, make sure you've pre-checked your baggage to avoid extra charges at the check-in desk, and pack some food to avoid expensive on-board snacks.
5. Protect yourself
But whatever you do, don't skimp on travel insurance, otherwise a holiday mishap could turn your cheap break into an expensive disaster.
Anthony Martin, managing director of insurefor.com, recommends you check the small print on your policy.
"Check there's not a minimum number of nights required on the policy," he says.
"The general rule is there is no minimum requirement for travel overseas, but for a holiday in the UK, you will need to have booked a minimum of two or three nights' accommodation before an insurer will deem your break to be a holiday."