It just makes sense- travelling when everyone else is also planning a holiday is going to be much more expensive compared to travelling during less popular dates. If you can, travel during the shoulder season in Europe (April-May and September-October), for cheaper and quieter experiences, however this will depend on whether you have kids and if you need to travel over the school and public holidays.
There are a number of excellent Facebook pages and email lists which will keep you up to date about the latest deals, so if you’re prepared to book quickly and jump on a great deal you could end up saving a big chunk of cash.
Do it yourself
If you’re planning to book your travel by yourself, there are many flight comparison sights which can show you the cheapest flights around your chosen dates. Direct flights will always be more expensive, but if you have a long layover you can use it as a chance to catch up on some sleep or even explore a brand new destination on the way.
Whenever possible, fly mid-week since this most people like to take long weekends, and book as early as you can- as seats sell out, prices will rise.
If you’re travelling during summer and can take fewer clothes, see if you can just check one bag between you and your travelling companion or even just pack a carryon. There are also a number of comparison sights available for hotels, and Airbnb is a favourite among many travellers since you’ll usually find it cheaper than a hotel, in a local neighbourhood, and with a kitchen so you can keep food costs down.
Package it up
Sometimes you’ll come across a great package holiday that manages to outshine anything you could do yourself. You’ll find that these are much cheaper out of season, and your best bet is to find the deal online and then see if your travel agent can match it.
If you know you want to get away but don’t quite mind where, a last minute deal can give you some excellent savings as hotels need to fill up rooms.
Airport shuttles will often be expensive, so consider whether Uber, Lyft, or public transport will be your best bet. Take snacks to the airport so you have something to munch on before and during your flight, but keep in mind that you’ll need to purchase any drinks after you go through security unless you take an empty water bottle and find a drinking fountain.
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