The internet is your friend for scoring hot bargains when putting together the holiday of your dreams with minimal coin. For flights, that means checking kayak.co.uk, momondo.co.uk or skycanner.net to find bargains. If you can keep your dates flexible you’ll have a better chance of finding the best deal. Google flights is the latest cost comparison aggregate site on the block, and arguably the most thorough at finding you the cheapest deal.
TOP TIP:If you book through Easy Jet keep your eyes on their prices. If they go down from the time of booking, you’re entitled to the difference.
If you hanker for a stint in the airport lounges and champagne before take-off, keep your eyes on Qatar airways. They periodically do business class sales, dropping their fares for the plusher seats down to economy prices.
TOP TIP: Alternatively, most airlines offer the option for a lounge pass at the airport (between £20-£50), meaning you can kick back, sink some fizz and dine on canapés before jetting off. It turns the stress, bright lights and hard-back chairs of the airport into a mini-celebration before your break, without having to blow your entire budget on business class flights.
TOP TIP: When selecting a hotel for a city break, consider staying less central. Your accommodations will likely be much more affordable and nicer than in the heart of the city. An extra mile or two out is usually only a ten-minute metro or Uber ride from the sights and hotspots, but can save you hundreds.
Think boutique and bijou, not grand and established
Because the star-rating system for hotels has odd, arbitrary qualifiers (a dodgy pool will get you an extra star, so does a conference room – not necessarily what you’re after) it can often be better to plump for a boutique hotel than a luxury chain emblazoned with stars. Attention to guests is often greater, and quirky little details can make the stay stand out.
TOP TIP: Newly opened hotels will often offer slashed prices to attract clientele. You may not have the benefit of previous guest reviews, but it can be a means of experiencing the luxe life on the cheap.
Pick your destination wisely
Stay away from the more popular luxury spots – the Maldives, Seychelles, St Lucia - to avoid the inflated prices that come with droves of tourists. If its surf you’re after, the pound travels particularly far in Greece and Portugal, where the food, lifestyle, and partying is lush.
TOP TIP: Places like Morocco and Mongolia offer a touch of decadence and indulgence for much less cash.
Great hotel versus great city
Weigh up what you want – a five-star destination (eg Venice) or a five-star hotel. Sometimes forgoing the cultural and history of a spectacular city can be worth it for the sheer decadence of an all-out luxury stint in a hotel.
TOP TIP: Head to somewhere nearby but less known, and less buzzing, like Abano. Accommodation, food and wine will be a fraction of the cost.
Lunch not dinner
Many Michelin starred restaurants will run a fabulous three-course meals at a drastically reduced price to their dinner menu. The quality of food, the surrounds, and the experience will be the same, you simply have to indulge earlier. Belly bursting, you’ll be able to nip back to the hotel for a siesta before surviving on cocktails and tapas for dinner.!
TOP TIP: Most prix fixe dinners will be much cheaper than ordering a la carte. If you’re staying closer to home, visit Groupon where you’ll likely find vouchers for cheaper Michelin star meals, if you visit through Quidco you’ll also earn cashback on top.
Book this as early as possible to get the lowest tariffs on the nicest cars. Also, get your insurance from an independent online vendor, not the car hire firm. It will cost less.
TOP TIP: Check the small print to ensure it covers you for everything, and be prepared to fight the hard-sell for additional purchases when you collect the car.
Leaving your car at the airport? Try Purple Parking via Quidco to save some pennies.
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