Package holidays often seem like great deals, and for the savvy traveller, they can be. Before you book that package holiday, do your due diligence to make sure it really is the bargain it appears to be.
Always research the details of every package holiday – the flights, the resort, the weather in your destination at that time of year – before booking. The days of the last-minute deal are all but over; book your package holiday in advance to get the best price, and choose your dates wisely. Do your best to avoid extra airline fees, and take advantage of a travel rewards program to make your next trip even cheaper.
Read the Fine Print
Before you book that all-inclusive package holiday to a sunny destination abroad, read the fine print and do your research. Sometimes cheap package holidays are cheap for a very good reason. Maybe they use a disgusting, run-down one-star resort. Maybe you’re signing up for a series of connecting flights that could take two days to complete. Maybe it’s monsoon season where you’re going or the country is undergoing a violent revolution – you won’t know unless you do your research.
Before you book that package holiday, check the star ratings and reviews of the resort on multiple websites. Learn the flight details. Find out what weather conditions you can expect. Check for travel advisories.
Book in Advance
While lots of people like to book their vacations at the last possible minute to try and score the best rates, you’ll do just as well by planning ahead. Book your tickets about six weeks before your departure date to get the best rates.
Choose Your Dates Wisely
Naturally, you’re going to want to travel during the off-season – spring and autumn, usually. You should also consider travelling on less popular days of the week to get a lower price on your vacation – fewer people travel on Tuesdays in general, for example, so you can lower prices if you fly on that day as compared to, say, a Friday or a Sunday.
You should also avoid travelling to your destination when there’s a well-known festival or other event going on there. Unless your plan is to actually attend the festival, you’ll save money by not trying to travel to your destination at the same time as thousands and thousands of other people.
Dodge Check-In and Baggage Fees
These days airlines are charging extra for everything – check-in, baggage, you name it. Those extra fees can really add up, so try to eliminate as many of them as you can.
Does your airline charge a fee for standard check-in? If so, maybe checking in online before you arrive at the airport is an option – as a bonus, it’ll save you the time you’d otherwise spend standing in line.
Do your best to pack light for your trip. Some airlines charge for extra baggage, while others charge for any baggage at all. Packing only a carry-on will allow you to avoid those unreasonable baggage fees, and allow you to check in for your flight online or at one of the airline’s self-service airport kiosks.
Take Advantage of Rewards Programs
Are someone else’s frequent travels making you jealous? Chances are they’re not rich, they’re just using a travel rewards program to get deeply discounted or even free trips. If you’re not in a travel rewards program, you’re missing out on the opportunity to earn rewards points that could save you money on car rentals, hotel rooms and plane tickets. Before you book your package vacation, look around for a travel rewards program that lets you maximize the points you’ll earn on travel bookings and everyday purchases.
Travel rewards points don’t last forever – they do have an expiration date. Begin planning your next holiday well in advance so you can take full advantage of the rewards points you’ve racked up.
Package holidays offer you the chance to get away from it all and score a discount on accommodations, car rentals and flights. Do your research to make sure that discount holiday package is as good as it sounds – book well in advance, choose your travel dates wisely, and avoid extra airline fees by checking in online and packing light. Don’t forget to sign up for a travel rewards program so you can make the most of the money you’ve spent on your package holiday – often, you’ll receive maximum rewards points for booking flights, hotels and car rentals together.