I know a lot of the time when people visit countries such a Spain, France, Italy or Greece they often book a package deal, myself included however when you go to countries that aren’t so popular and visit attractions that aren’t on everyone’s bucket list, can you still get a cheap deal and if so, how?
This is how I book our not so tourist holidays and how I try to get the best deal…
- Choose your destination. This sounds obvious but as a couple, myself and Billy need to agree on where we want to go and if we can afford it! I’d love to go to Thailand for six months but right now it just isn’t feasible. Nine times out of ten we can agree on a destination.
- Once we have chosen a country, we decide where we would like to visit. When we visited Romania, I knew I wanted to visit Bran Castle so we made sure this was included in our itinerary, I then work back from there, once I have a few points of interest, I then choose a central location to stay.
- More deciding, but what do you want from your holiday? Are you hoping to relax? If so you may want a hotel with a pool or spa, we love exploring so most of the time I choose quite a basic hotel as I knew we weren’t going to be there for most of the time.
- Figure out when you can go. Previously I have worked term time which meant I had to go away during school holidays which was a PAIN. It was more expensive and often crowded, nowadays we don’t have to conform to these times so we can choose any time of the year. I research when is the best time to visit and tend to go just a few weeks out of this time to avoid the crowds! Also, I like to look if there are any events on during our ideal time or near abouts, such a festivals or celebrations. When we visited Norway there was an ice sculpture competition running which was great to take a look at.
- Look for deals, whether it be the January sale or lastminute.com, have a look around and see what you can find.
- Don’t take the first deal you find just because it looks good. Yes, EasyJet, RyanAir and other budget airlines often have the cheapest flights but is it worth it? When we visited Germany, I knew I wanted to bring back some beer for my dad (it has become a tradition that I bring him back a beer from every country I visit) so I knew I would need a hold luggage and if I am honest, most of the time we pay to choose our seats and sit next to each other so I found a slightly more expensive flight but then upgraded our tickets for around £30 or so which meant we got a hold bag each, able to choose our seats and a drink and snack, fab. This turned out cheaper than flying with EasyJet then paying for a bag. our seats and food from the airport.
- Find a hotel/hostel/b&b. I tend to find a few, say five within our chosen area, then I research them. I don’t always choose the cheapest but the best value. For example, when we visited Norway, I chose a hotel that included half board as I knew food was expensive out there, so we forked out a bit more for a hotel but saved on eating out.
- I then trawl through TripAdvisor reviews just because it makes me feel better. I know most of the time people only leave a review if somewhere is the absolute best or utter crap but it gives me peace of mind that I’m not staying in a shit hole.
- Then sod it. Book it.