Finding the best travel bargains

One of the main reasons for discounting is unsold places. Another reason for discounting is competition. A litle research on your part in plenty of time before travel can save you many dollars that can be used once you get there.

Once you have decided where you wish to go, there are two main avenues open to you: the first and easiest is to make one booking to include your flight, hotel, car hire, etc. This method is generally preferable if you are short of time. Travel agents can often offer good value, which is obtained from individual firms due to bulk buying.

Another main avenue open to you is to book your travel components individually. There are many speciality online search engines that allow you to find the best values for your needs.

Nevertheless, there are some other possible steps that you can take in order to get a better discount:

1. Book early. Generally, the nearer to the date of travel, the more expensive are the seats on flights.

2. If you are buying more than one ticket, further discount is possible.

3. Be flexible. Sometimes weekend outward and inwards journeys can be cheaper (less business travellers). Similarly, some flights which leave later at night can be cheaper.

4. If your timetable allows, consider taking indirect an indirect flight. Indirect flights take longer, but can be cheaper than direct flights.

5. If possible, consider travelling other than peak periods. For example, flights during certain periods such as school holidays, christmas, and easter are more expensive than other times.

6. All airlines overbook in order to compensate for no shows. Sometimes everyone shows up, in which case there are more passengers than seats! If you are offered, consider taking a later flight because it means further savings in the form of vouchers.

7. Another option may be to travel as ‘stand by’. But this method usually means little or no notice before travel. Furthermore, you may have a long wait ahead until an empty seat becomes available.

8. For some lucky independent travellers, it is possible to fly as a ‘courier’. Some companies will pay for your flight in exchange for delivering important letter and packages. However, do bear in mind that due to speciality firms, ‘courier’ flights are very rare.

9. Buy a suitable travel insurance. In case of illness, accident, loss of property, etc, the insurance premium is money well spent to counter any eventualities.

The more time and effort you apply, the greater your savings are likely to be. In many instances, your savings can be substantial. So much so that you’ll be able to add extra days to your holiday at no extra charge!

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