How to get the best travel deals

Start your holiday planning by using online flight and accommodation booking sites that offer deals from a variety of airlines and hotels. They are a great way to shop around and compare prices. These sites often release deals via their social media channels and enewsletters. Make the most of these opportunities by following them on Twitter or Facebook or signing up to be alerted about their special offers. If you frequently visit the same travel booking sites, consider joining their rewards or membership program.

Save on flights
Flights are usually one of the biggest travel costs but if you can be flexible with your dates, or the time of day you fly, you can save lots of money.

You will also save money on flights if you travel:
– before 8 am or after 8 pm
– on Wednesday (typically the least expensive day to fly in Australia)
– on public holidays such as Christmas Day or New Year’s Day
– in shoulder or off seasons

During the off season, not only will the flights be cheaper but there will be fewer tourists and better deals on accommodation. When choosing a destination, make sure you look at the local events happening at the same time you want to go. These can drive up the cost of flights as well as everything else during your stay.

Save on accommodation
When it comes to hotels, if you find one you like but the deal on a comparison site isn’t within your budget, call the hotel and see if they can offer you a better deal. They may offer a discount for staying multiple nights.

You can also save money if you’re happy to consider other accommodation options. Think about booking an apartment or cabin. They are often less expensive than a hotel room.

Other wallet-friendly ideas include farm stays, youth hostels and holiday parks. Often venues such as holiday parks have offers for returning visitors if you book for the same time next year before you leave.

House swap
If you live in a popular area, join a home exchange site. For an annual fee, you can list your home and gain access to a database of other members’ homes worldwide to arrange a swap. You can save a lot of money this way, and you’ll get a better feel for a place by living like a local.

Go with a group
To take advantage of group discounts, team up with family or a few friends and go to the same destination together. For families or groups, renting an apartment or house can be a lot cheaper than paying for the same number of beds in a hotel.

Courtesy of ASIC’s Money Smart

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