With so many flight comparison websites and late availability holidays now available, it should be easy to find a good bargain.
And yet, according to a new survey, British holidaymakers are too slow off the mark when it comes to securing the best deals – most people not only miss out on money saving opportunities, but also waste money unnecessarily.
The Expedia Holiday Spend Index (www.expedia.co.uk) shows that only 40 per cent of Brits search for seasonal sales prior to booking a holiday, and only 11 per cent subscribe to newsletter exclusive deals. Few people also book flights and hotels together, even though there are considerable savings to be made by doing so.
Waiting until the last minute to book a holiday doesn’t appeal to everyone, but you don’t necessarily need to be spontaneous to save money.
Booking ahead for attractions, for instance, can often mean you benefit from some good deals.
Yet the Expedia research shows many British tourists don’t know how to make these, or other critical, preparations.
Only 52 per cent said they save for a holiday in advance, and a mere 47 per cent thought it was important to buy medical and travel insurance ahead of travel, putting them at risk of incurring high medical bills.
Andy Washington, Expedia.co.uk managing director, puts our poor bargain hunting skills down to the complex process of trying to find the best prices.
“Brits aren’t always sure how to go about this,” he says.
In response, the website is planning to develop new tools to make the process much easier for users.
Planning for the holiday, though, is only half the story.
According to the study, Brits also struggle to keep hold of their purse strings while away.
They spend more money on alcohol than any other country, with many starting their boozing at the airport or on the plane.
So how can holidaymakers become more frugal?
Expedia.co.uk recommend they think carefully and choose a destination where the currency is strong, to make sure money goes further.
Booking flights and accommodation together can also reduce costs – shaving £200 off the average holiday bill.
It’s also worth weighing up whether the price of a meal on a plane really is more expensive than buying snacks at the airport. Some airlines currently offer generous meal deals if booked in advance.
When choosing a hotel, holidaymakers should also consider any hidden costs.
If wi-fi isn’t included, for example, you could end up with a hefty bill.
And what could you do with all that saved money?
Save up for another, more carefully planned holiday, of course.
Tiny trunks are an official no-go zone, according to a new survey by holiday booking website On the Beach.
Of the 1,500 holidaymakers surveyed, 98per cent of women said they’d prefer it if their partners left their Speedos at home and switched to wearing shorts instead.
Men, on the other hand, would prefer their girlfriends let it all hang out in a bikini. Only two per cent said they liked a lady in a kaftan, and 13 per cent thought a tankini looked good.