From the sunny beaches of Gold Coast to the dazzling lights of Paris, travelling is a sure-fire way to unwind and immerse yourself in a new exciting culture. However, as fruitful as an overseas trip can be, some people may think twice after considering the price tag. Between the hotel, flights, and other important expenses like travel insurance, it can all seem somewhat overwhelming.
But booking a flight or hotel does not have to be unaffordable. A lot of the time, travellers rack up costs because they do not do adequate research beforehand, so they end up making expensive, but avoidable choices. While we probably will not be travelling any time soon for safety reasons, that gives you plenty of time to make the preparations you need to cut your travel expenses.
Here are some simple tips for booking your next flight and hotel that could save a substantial sum.
Have a range of possible trip periods
The first thing you should do is decide on the country or region that you want to visit, then select a range of dates for your trip. In the best-case scenario, you would have multiple possible departure and return dates.
This gives you the flexibility to make your bookings based on the flight or hotel costs, which can change based on the departure date or period of stay, respectively. For example, flights departing on Thursdays and Fridays tended to be the cheapest, while those leaving on Sundays were the most expensive, according to the 2019 Travel Pricing Outlook report.
Keep track of flight ticket prices
The cost of flight tickets can differ tremendously between different airline companies and on different departure dates. Even when considering one particular flight, prices tend to fluctuate a lot, sometimes changing by the day.
The earlier you start tracking the flights within your range of trip dates, the more chances you have to catch a good deal. Sometimes airlines even have rewards programmes or promotions that can save you even more. Keep a lookout for these deals on their social media or websites.
If you happen to be travelling with a large group, group bookings may be another cost-saving option. Due to the reduced administrative costs, airlines can often give you better rates with complimentary perks to boot, like extra luggage allowance. Just have your market rates ready in case you need to do some negotiating.
Also, be sure to keep track of your own state of health, or other travellers, be it your family members or friends who are overseas with you. In the event of an emergency, you should call for medical evacuation so that any health concerns are met at once.
Research your hotel options
Hotel bookings can be a bit like flight tickets, with constantly shifting prices. This is especially so on third-party booking sites, where limited-time discounts and package deals are bountiful, but ever-changing.
As with flight tickets, you should look closely at the options in the region you plan to visit. Other than its cost, the hotel’s location, facilities, and services are all things you may want to consider for their quality and convenience.
Most people would want to get their flight tickets and hotel bookings secured at about the same time. However, this can be difficult if you are looking to get the best deals which pop up at different times. Fortunately, there is a way to get a better peace-of-mind when juggling between both bookings.
Some hotel booking websites offer reservations which do not require you to pay upfront or for cancellation until nearing the actual period of stay. This gives you the flexibility to take another better deal down the line while still securing a place to stay. Some also give you the option of paying on check-in.
These options can be a considerable cost-saver but are also contingent on the reliability of the hotel and website. Above all, exercise your best judgement when deciding on a booking and payment plan.
Booking a flight and hotel can seem like an arduous task, but with early preparation and adequate research, you will be able to get the most value out of your choices. After you have gotten your bookings in order, there are several other preparations to be made for your future trip, like travel insurance, for instance.
Other than travel insurance, you must also assess the health of other travellers on the trip and your own to determine if air ambulance services are required for any health emergencies. An air ambulance is staffed with highly qualified medical personnel and provides medically-assisted flights, which can help bring you home safely in the event of a medical emergency.