Holidays are something we look forward to all year and inevitably end up saving for all year too. Two weeks in paradise can cause quite a dent in the savings account, or if you’re not that lucky the credit card and overdraft but a break is pretty much essential from the drudgery of the 9-5. Without a break and of course a tan, we’d go mad and lord knows we’re bad enough cranks as it is. So what if I told you there was a dead easy way of slashing some serious money off your holiday bill? And I’m not talking about dumping your fella either…
There’s only one simple rule to follow: SWERVE THE TRAVEL AGENTS. Seriously. All they do is put together flights, a hotel and a hotel transfer for you and charge you a premium to do so – these are all extremely easy things to do yourself AND doing it yourself means total freedom. Can’t decide which resort to stay in? Stay in them all! Really see everything your chosen destination has to offer.
All you need are two websites, possibly 3.
First Skyscanner or eDreams (I prefer Skyscanner). These search all the flights available around the world and give you the best price. If you’re flexible with your dates and your boss isn’t an arsehole about approving holiday time (we’ve all had that boss, seriously don’t be that boss) it’s especially good as you can search a whole month or even year at a time to find the best prices. You’re also not restricted to 7, 10 or 14 nights, you get to choose how long you’re away for. As Paddy McGuiness would say, “The power is in your hands”
Second you need a hotel comparison site – I use booking.com. Just search your dates and then you can filter the results to include only certain star ratings, good review scores, an outdoor pool and most importantly, free wifi. How else are you going to Instagram your legs by a pool?? It’s so easy to weed out the dumps.
Thirdly, if you have a driver in your party then congratulations, your whole holiday experience is about to change. Forget paying through the nose for excursions, you can just go anywhere yourself – rentalcars.com is good for comparing prices. For example in Malta I think we visited nearly every point of interest on the island and we were only there for a week! It was boss. Plus no worrying about transfers. If you don’t have a driver don’t worry, you can just as easily book a taxi or a transfer, just google ‘airport transfer’ for wherever you’re off to. Best of all you won’t have to sit on a coach making 23 other hotel drop offs. Zzzzz, get me to the pool already.
Here’s an example:
When I was booking Thailand I did a little shopping around…
Direct flights from London Gatwick only, 3 star accommodation, transfers, baggage 20kg – £1350 approx for 2 weeks (I can’t remember the exact figure)
Holiday cost for 2 people excluding spending money: £2700 approx
Flights from Manchester with Emirates with short stop in Dubai (!! Free bevvies and wifi on the plane !!), 30kg luggage – £993 for 2 people
3 nights in Bangkok in 4 star accommodation £180
Internal return flights Bangkok to Phuket £94
3 nights in Ao Nang beach in brand new 4 star accommodation & 5 nights in 3 star accommodation just outside of Krabi £430
1 night in Bangkok in 3 star accommodation £30
Car Hire for 8 nights £176
Total holiday cost £1872 or £936pp – thats a saving of nearly a grand… another holidays worth.
These weren’t even the cheapest options, you can get gorgeous accommodation in Thailand for much, much less. Also the cost of living here is ridiculously low – it’s generally about £1 for a beer and we’ve been out eaten a 2 course meal with drinks for £5, £2.50 each (no mess!). Including ferries to different islands, eating out, elephant trekking, floating markets, temple tours, hot spring spas and more massages than you can shake a monkey at we’ve spent far less than what the holiday alone would’ve cost with a travel agent/tour operator. This isn’t just true for Thailand – it works for Italy, Malta, Mexico, USA – wherever.
See more of the world, pay less money. For those who aren’t already doing it, it’s simple.
Other articles you might like:
Mexico: Which Riu is right for you?
Malta: Mdina the silent city
11 tips to surviving long haul in style
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