Although recent economic indicators point to financial recovery, smart buyers are still looking for ways to save on household expenses. Especially when planning a vacation, consumers are looking for the best deals and discounts. Although most travelers are aware of advance sales discounts and online booking sites, there are a number of lesser known ways to reduce holiday costs in the UK or overseas.
What a difference one day makes
By planning your trip so that your flights happen in the middle of the week rather than near the weekend, you can often get significantly lower fares. Tuesday and Wednesday are usually the best; Friday and Monday should be avoided. Many airlines offer discounted travel reservations that include at least one weekend, so starting your mid-week vacation can make a big difference in the price you pay.
An increasingly popular method of reducing your holiday expenses is to sign up for one of the home exchange sites online; these sites match travelers and other travelers by location. For example, if you want to spend your holidays in Scotland but are resident in London, your site will be the same as someone traveling to London from Scotland for the desired period of time. You will then spend your holiday at their home while they are staying in your home, thus eliminating hotel taxes while traveling. This method requires considerable time and destination flexibility; your preferred location may not be available during your planned vacation, which requires a change in schedule or destination. Home exchange programs are a good success and represent a significant savings for most people. Most home exchange services require a minimum annual fee.
Special family rail tickets are available for adults traveling with children in the UK; these rates are often cheaper than comparative prices for adults alone. One little known fact about these rates is that adults and children should not be from the same family. If you can plan your trip to match that of your friends with children, you can take advantage of these reduced rates. In general, railway tickets offer lower costs than individual bookmarked journeys.
Add a little adventure to your vacation
Cycling and walking tours eliminate most of the transportation costs while offering a healthy and scenic alternative to traditional sightseeing holidays. Many companies offer customized tours tailored to your fitness level and budget; accommodation varies from discounted hotels and hostels to luxury discounted bed and breakfasts. Holiday and bike vacations offer unique benefits to travelers, including lower transportation costs, improved fitness and bragging rights that come with these adventure vacation trips.
Upgrade to cost savings
Ironically, many travelers can reduce their costs by upgrading their hotel room to one of the Club or Concierge options. These luxury accommodations offer many additional services for guests, often including an assortment of free breakfast, lunch and buffet breakfast. By paying the extra cost for these rooms up front, vacationers can reduce or eliminate the cost of dining out; in resort areas this can lead to a significant difference in overall costs. This option is especially useful when planning work breaks, as fax and internet services are usually included in the room rate. When these additional costs are taken into account, luxury apartments can often compete favorably with even cheap hotels.
Vacationers have a wide choice of options designed to make travel more accessible; planning a cheap vacation you don't need to send one to cheap fast food hotels and restaurants. Considering the unusual conditions of transportation and accommodation, travelers can enjoy an exciting and memorable vacation for far less money.