While it helps to work in the industry when trying to get a good holiday deal, there are plenty of tips 'only the industry knows' that can easily be used by consumers to have a great holiday. Here are a few that travel industry workers know (but don't like sharing with anyone else).
I'm sure you've heard this one before, but flight comparison websites are key when booking your next holiday. For point-to-point travel, SkyScanner (www.skyscanner.net) and Momondo (www.momondo.co.uk) are the ones I use most frequently. Kayak (www.kayak.co.uk) is best for open jaw and multi-leg trips. Essentially, these sites aggregate thousands of fares from lots of suppliers and boil them down to the cheapest ones.
Additionally, airlines offer great rates on new routes during the first couple of weeks of operation. Seoul might not be on everyone's top 10 holiday list, but it should have been in December when British Airways launched it as its newest long-haul destination. I saw fares going for as little as £380 return for economy or £600 business inclusive of all taxes! Easyjet is the next one I would look at with the new route to Moscow departing from March.
I work for a holiday rentals company, so naturally I am going to say that if you are thinking of booking a hotel, think again. It used to be difficult to book a holiday rental or apartment when going abroad. Hosts would ask for payment by Western Union, you would have to email back and forth. Now it is easy for holidaymakers to search for and book the ideal holiday in an apartment using a credit card.
This offers heaps of cost savings as travellers can enjoy more bedrooms at less cost staying in private homes and apartments. Plus, the benefit of having a kitchen means you don't have to spend lots on expensive restaurant meals during your stay. Additionally, private homes tend to include things like Wifi so you won't be stabbed with added extra charges.
There are two words that all travellers fear - and they are 'extra charge'. Be careful when booking things like low-cost flights or domestic flights on American carriers when travelling in the USA. They may get you with baggage fees, booking fees and a whole lot more. Consider joining airline miles companies. They may not give you the kind of perks they used to, but members can benefit from things like free extra bags whenever they travel or lounge access even if they don't travel often. Last year, Air Canada offered 40,000 free miles to people travelling to Canada from London for a six week period. I happened to be going and scored the extra points because I was a member. That translated into a free economy class return ticket to North America. You have to be in it to win it is my motto!
For more tips from myself and Simon Calder, watch the video below: