10 tips to pay less
Already soon summer. The beach, the warm sand, the majestic mountains… It’s a dream, isn’t it? Unfortunately the holidays of 2023 promise to be more complicated for millions of French people, inflation obliges.
But with a little planning and a few tips, you can make your vacation dreams come true without breaking the bank. Here are 10 tips to pay less for your holidays.
1. Book your flights at the right time
Airfares fluctuate regularly based on demand, season, and other factors. In general, booking your flight around two months in advance can help you get the best fares.
If you are flexible on your travel dates, you can also save by avoiding peak periods. Note that mid-week flights are often cheaper than weekend flights, but the flight must coincide with the vacation rental or hotel.
do not forget to check rates on multiple sites to make sure you get the best price or try to go through comparators to have an eye on all the flights at once.
2. Use comparison apps and sites
Skyscanner, Kayak or Google Flights, flight comparators are legion on the internet. Some of them even let you set up price alerts to let you know when prices drop. This can help you save a lot of money, especially if you are flexible with your travel dates or destination.
Be careful though: the prices displayed by the comparators (especially the lowest) are call prices with very strict flight conditions. So take the time to also check the conditions, not just the prices.
3. Opt for vacation rentals rather than hotels
If you are traveling as a family or in a group, renting an apartment or a holiday home can often be more economical than a hotel stay. Platforms like Airbnb, Booking.com or Homelidays offer a wide variety of accommodations around the world.
In addition to saving on accommodation, you can also save on meals by cooking at home (we’ll get to that). Vacation rentals often offer more space and comfort for the same price as a more cramped hotel room.
On the other hand, the owners ask for a deposit and you have to pay cleaning fees and/or return the accommodation nickel.
4. Take advantage of discounts and special offers
Many hotels (if you still choose this type of accommodation) and airlines offer discounts and special offers at certain times of the year.
For example, you can find “book early and save” offers or discounts for long stays. If you are also a member of a loyalty program, you can often accumulate points that you can use to get discounts on flights or hotels. It is therefore always useful to check the available offers before booking.
5. Book as a package
If you intend to book a flight, hotel and rental car, it may be more economical to book together as a pack rather than separately.
Online travel agencies, like Opodo, Expedia or Lastminute, often offer discounts when you book a travel package. It can also save you time and reduce the stress of planning each element of your trip separately.
6. Check for last minute deals
Sometimes airlines and hotels offer last minute offers to fill empty seats or unoccupied rooms.
If you’re flexible with your travel dates and destination, these deals can save you a lot of money. Keep in mind though that these offers are generally non-refundableso make sure you can travel before you book.
7. Travel out of season (if you can)
If you have the possibility to travel outside the high season, you can achieve significant savings (sometimes as much as threefold). Not only are flights and accommodation often cheaper outside of the summer period, tourist attractions are also less crowded, which can make your stay more enjoyable.
The months of May, June and September are often excellent periods for traveling, as the weather is generally pleasant, but the crowds are less. It all depends of course on your family situation since the parents of children in school have no choice but to stick to the school holidays.
8. Think about less touristy destinations
Popular destinations are often more expensive due to high demand. If you’re open to exploring, consider visiting lesser-known destinations. Not only will you likely save money, but you will also have the opportunity to discover unique and less crowded places. In these destinations, you can also find vacation rental offers at much more affordable prices.
Be smart and try to predict the trends of the year. An unpopular destination this year may be the hot destination next year. You can get information on specialized blogs for example or Youtube travel channels.
9. Save money on the spot
Travel is not just accommodation and transportation (flight, train or car). It is also the price of life once you arrive there. To save money, several tips are possible.
First of all, you can opt for public transport rather than renting a car. Transport is an economical alternative to car rental or taxis. Not only will you save money, but you will also have the opportunity to experience the destination like a local. In many large cities, there are often tourist passes that allow you to use public transport at will for a fixed price.
You can also save money on your meals. Eating out can quickly get expensive, especially if you’re traveling with the family. By choosing accommodation with a kitchen, you can prepare your own meals, which can save you a lot of money. Even more if you are in a country where purchasing power is lower than in France. It also gives you the opportunity to try local products and cook dishes of local cuisine.
Finally, try asking locals about less touristy activities, THE spots that only the locals know about. Choose nature or nautical activities that do not require you to put your hand in your wallet. Access to nature is free and you are sure to be amazed.
10. Travel light
In order not to lighten your wallet, travel light. If you’re flying, chances are your airline will charge extra for checked baggage. By traveling light and carrying only one piece of hand luggage, you can avoid these charges.
It can also make your trip easier and more enjoyable, as you won’t have to worry about carrying or losing a lot of luggage. The counterpart is of course to be satisfied with little. More difficult for a family with young children than a single person or a couple.
So much for our 10 tips for traveling cheaper. If you have any other tips, please share.