Summer holiday bargain tips

The first few months of the New Year can be a struggle to say the least and often the only saving grace is the chance to start thinking about summer holidays and planning a trip to the sun. 2011 will demand some strict budgeting and careful savings, so with that in mind here’s five top tips to bagging a bargain summer holiday.

Location, Location, Location

Taking the time to research destination and resort can pay dividends – checking both currency exchange rate and regional costs with regard to eating and drinking can help financial planning for holiday expenses. The frugal traveller may rely on this type of research to source the most economical location.

Shop Around

These days consumer is king and as such there’s a responsibility to shop around for the best offer available. The web is a great place to start, using third party sites for price and package comparison – if you can hold out and are not too fussy about destination or resort it could be worth picking up a last minute deal.

Barter for a Bargain

This doesn’t really apply to online purchases – but if you’re going down the traditional travel agent route then a bit of a barter doesn’t do any harm. Agents are often quite happy to offer a discount, throw additional meals or drinks into the package, or waiver admin fees. The essential rule here is: if you don’t ask you don’t get.

Deferred Payment

If a last minute booking is not doable, then booking way in advance is the other way to potentially bag a bargain. Bookings with deferred payment offer the chance to put down a deposit at point of booking with the balance not due until a couple of months before departure. Alternatively a credit card with good interest rates can be a good option with which you can stage your own monthly payments.

Spending Money

Shopping around is the key here: compare both currency exchange rates and commission fees. Keeping an eye on conversion rates in advance can also pay well, if there’s a peak in the rate take advantage and get your money changed rather than waiting until the week before departure. When using a credit card for withdrawals abroad be aware of charges and rates.

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