“Don’t settle down and sit in one place. Move around, be nomadic, make each day a new horizon”
Travel is exhilarating, picking out a new destination, researching it – becoming completely obsessed by it – and finally booking the plane tickets is an adrenaline rush. It’s something to look forward. It gives you a real dream. It gets you through the daily grind.
With travel now being cheaper (you wouldn’t think so, but trust me) than ever before it is often hard to know where to start when booking a trip. There is a lot to think about – travel agent vs. internet, local shops vs international companies, package deals or book individually. It is a minefield out there.
I have worked in the travel industry for the last two years – here are my top tips on how to get the best deal.
1. Know what you want and stick to your guns.
Remember, this is your holiday. This is your trip of a lifetime. You are in total control of what you book. If you walk into a travel agents with no idea what you want, it is going to one of two ways. You will be booking their idea of a holiday of a lifetime OR you will be booking the offers that benefit the travel agents the most (commission my friend..). If you do walk in with no idea and looking for some inspiration – go to a travel agent that specialises in the destinations or type of travel you are looking for.
If you are looking for inspiration online – Skyscanner has an excellent tablet/iPad and mobile app which will search anywhere in the world from your closest airport and bring up the best deals. Great for inspiration – I booked my trip to Prague with this helpful tool.
2. Don’t commit immediately to anything. Take the quote/ideas and sleep on it.
It is easy to get sucked in. The excitement takes over and you just want to book it all now and get go home and pack those bags! Pull hard on those reigns Take the quote away with you – if you think this is a deal of a lifetime, ask them to hold it for 24hrs for you. That price won’t be going anywhere, trust me. If you are looking online, put it in your shopping basket, hold it as an ‘option’ or put a ‘watch’ on it. Whatever the website lets you do. Once you step back from it and look over it with a calmed down pair of eyes – away from the over enthusiastic travel agent – away from flashing ‘great deal’ signs. Make sure it is exactly as you want. Forget about price at the moment. If it isn’t what you dreamed off – it’s ok to say no and start again.
3. Know your Airlines.
This applies more for long-haul travel. If you know where you want to go and where you want to fly from – don’t just turn to the ‘most popular airline’.
Once again – sites like skyscanner are perfect for this. Compare, compare, compare.
At the moment, the market is ferocious – airlines are battling it out and the fares are becoming cheaper and cheaper. The competition is getting tough – more and more airlines are opening routes to areas that were once dominated by a handful of airlines. The price war is happening people.
Before you book – have a quick search on skyscanner (or any other flight comparison website) – familiarise yourself with who is cheapest/most direct/best connects around and on the dates you are looking to travel. If you sound like you know what you’re talking about – travel agents think you do too.
4. You can always get it cheaper.
So now you have done your research, got your quote and finalised the itinerary.
Now, make sure you are getting the best price.
Personally, on my travels I check everything. You are spending a lot of money to get to where you want to go, and that’s fine – but i don’t want to spend more than I have to.
I don’t want to also be paying for someones new handbag at the end of the month.
If you are booking your trip through the internet – if you are booking a package holiday you will get the same (if not better) deal online as in-store most of the time. – and using comparison sites like, Booking.com, Expedia, Skyscanner etc. you are probably getting the best deal anyway. (HAPPY DANCE)
If you have found it cheaper on the internet, but have a small fear in handing over so much money to an invisible person. Take what you have found into the travel agent. Trust me, they will price match it (or beat it if your lucky) – if the first one won’t, try another one.
Travel agents such as STA Travel have a Price Match Guarantee. Websites like Booking.com have a best price guarantee as well – so you no you are not paying for their handbags!
5. Sign up to Newsletters.
Yes.. I know the constant amount of emails are getting annoying – but if you sign up to the Newsletters or Sale Alerts you are going to get ‘Flash Sales’, money off vouchers, deal announcements and long-term sale information first.
You will be armed with the knowledge.
Also, on your birthday – a lot of these newsletters will send you money off vouchers – pretty good ones at that! – Love a present.
So now you are armed with the best – and most simplest – knowledge I can give you.
To end on a high, here is a list of the Websites i am loving at the moment! Go grab a bargain!.
- SkyScanner – as mentioned it has an amazing mobile/table app to monitor the best deals all over the world
- Booking.com – If you are looking for a great deal on hotels only – get on here. – They have a Best Price Guarantee so you know you are getting the best deal!
- Rome2Rio – I am OBSESSED with this site. If you want to find the best deal on a Multi-Destination trip this is the website for you.
- Hostel Bookers – Great for on the go accommodation, easy to use with a handy mobile app.
- Air BnB – This is getting much more advanced than staying in someones spare room – check it out!
- Expedia – Fantastic for package holidays (flights+accommodation) – if you are a first time user you tend to get money off as well!