Travel for less
1) Shop around
Unless you’re going on a package holiday, one of the first things you’ll need to find is a flight. Thanks to the wonders of the internet, sites such as Skyscanner and kayak.co.uk search the best fares for you, which you can then book through a selected agent or from the airline’s official website.
2) Watch out for hidden costs
Budget airlines aim to cut the costs of flying, but by the time you add baggage and credit card fees it can end up making being anything but cheap.
A Visa Electron card will solve many of your card fee problems. However, of the big five banks, only Lloyds, Barclays and Halifax issue them – and even then you may not be able to get one. Read Budget airlines aren’t always cheaper to find out more.
It’s also worth remembering that budget airlines often require you to travel at awkward times – perhaps early in the morning. So if you’re planning to travel to the airport by public transport, you may find the only public transport available at that time is a pricey taxi. So don’t forget to take these costs into consideration.
3) Get free flights
If you’re a frequent flier, why not maximise your travel power by joining an airline rewards scheme? With so many bonus incentives available, you could clock up enough miles for a free flight in no time.
4) Consider a courier ticket
If you’re willing to act as a courier, British Airways has one seat available per flight at a discounted rate. Seats cost at least half the regular fare, and are sometimes even (but rarely) free. For further information, contact British Airways on 0870 320 0301.
5) Go native
When booking train fares abroad, also check the native language version of the site you’re booking on. Consumer magazine Which? found fares 60% cheaper on the Spanish version of www.renfe.es than the English version, and though we’re not expecting you to learn a new language, it always pays to double check.
6) Look for age-related discounts
If you’re a student, or under 26, it’s worth checking out STA Travel for cheap flights and accommodation. Not only will they help you tailor your journey, but they also have fares especially for younger travellers.
7) Consider all your options
Travel is becoming more convenient, so you may think jumping on the Eurostar for short-haul journeys is the way forward - but not necessarily. With e-tickets and online check-in becoming more common-place, if you don’t need to check in any luggage, flying could still prove quicker and cheaper. So make sure you explore all avenues before booking.