Saving money on holidays

Money Advice Service

We all want to pay less for our holidays, without sacrificing our fun in the sun (or snow, or city streets). Find out how to cut costs on your travel, currency and insurance cover.

Getting a great deal on your holiday

Holidays can be expensive, but there are a few things you can do to keep your dream trip affordable.

Not sure what you can afford? Try our free Budget planner to work out what you can spend on your holiday.

  • Shop around – Comparison sites, high street travel agents and smaller firms are all worth checking before you buy a trip, change currency or purchase travel insurance. The more places you ask the more likely you are to bag a bargain.
  • Book your tickets at the right time – Find the best time of year to get cheap holiday deals. If you’re flexible on dates, comparison sites can help you work out the cheapest time to travel.
  • Haggle with high street operators – You might get them to offer you something cheaper than an online deal.
  • Package holiday vs DIY – Package holidays include flights, accommodation and sometimes food and drink. They can be cheaper, but less flexible than holidays where you book everything separately.
  • Match your trip to your budget – It’s no fun spending the rest of the year worrying about money after going on a holiday you can’t afford. If money’s tight why not consider a cheaper trip, or a ‘staycation’?
For more tips on cutting the cost of your holiday, visit MoneySavingExpert.

Using a price comparison website

Price comparison websites are a quick and easy way to find lots of information on getting a cheap holiday.

Simply tell one of these websites where and when you want to go and it will search the market for available options.

Remember not to just focus on price. Make sure the holiday you pick matches your needs and your budget.

Make sure you check more than one comparison website. They don’t all work with the same airlines and suppliers, so if you only use one, you might miss out on the perfect deal.

Many of these websites have a ‘price alert’ functionality, which means you can ask them to let you know if the cost of a trip falls below a certain sum.

When to go and when to book

The most expensive time to go on holiday, is when everyone wants to go.

School holidays and bank holiday weekends, for example, are two of the most expensive times to travel.

If, however, you’re not too fussed when you travel, you could save a lot of money by going on holiday when fewer people want to.

You could, for example, consider travelling during the off-season and flying out on a Wednesday and coming back on a Tuesday.

Generally, it’s also cheaper to book your flight as early as possible.

You can use momondo’s tool below to work out when might be cheaper.

Momondo’s flight insight tool

If you’re flexible with your dates then you might be interested in momondo’s tool, which estimates future flight prices.

To use it:

  1. go to the momondo website
  2. type in your preferred dates and destination and click ‘Search’
  3. once the results are loaded, click ‘Flight insight’ in the top right hand corner

The insight screen will give you lots of useful information on your chosen destination, including an estimate of the cheapest months to go, the least expensive airlines and even the best time of day to fly.

Example:

If you want to go from London to New York, momondo suggests that the cheapest months to go are February and November.

The most expensive are July and August.

It also lists the cheapest airlines, on average, as well as the least expensive airports to fly from and to.

Remember the insights you get aren’t set in stone and should only serve as an indication of what options might be cheapest.

Check as many sources as possible to make sure you find the best prices.

Package holiday or DIY flights and hotel – what’s best?

When you book your holiday, you’ve got two main options:

  1. Buy a package holiday – usually through a tour operator. The package includes flights and accommodation, and sometimes food and drink too if you go all-inclusive.
  2. Put together a DIY holiday – you choose and pay for your accommodation and flights separately, but the payments are made more than 24 hours apart – great if you’re looking for something specific.

There’s also a third option, which is a mixture of a package and DIY holiday.

This is called a Linked Travel Arrangements holiday.

With these, you pay for the parts of the holiday separately, as opposed to all at once. The payments need to be made within 24 hours, which is one of the things that makes them different from a DIY holiday.

You’ll be told if a holiday you book is a Linked Travel Arrangement by the first travel company.

The rules and the difference between the types of holiday are a bit complicated so if you’re not sure what type you’re buying, ask. Travel firms are now required to tell you upfront if you’re buying a package holiday or linked travel arrangement.

The cheapest holiday option

Package holidays tend to be cheaper, especially for more popular destinations, but it’s worth checking all the options.

Sometimes you can get a special deal if you book separately or get a Linked Travel Arrangement.

If you’re planning on going on holiday with a group of people, some operators offer group bookings.

These can be cheaper than individual bookings, so it can be worth asking.

Rights and protection when you book holidays

If you book a package holiday through a company with an Air Travel Organiser’s Licence (ATOL) or one that’s a member of the travel association ABTA, then you get protection if they go bust.

You also have the right to expect the holiday you paid for. Not all holidays are equal in the level of protection they offer though, with Package holidays offering the most and DIY the least.

Rules changed for holidays bought after 1 July 2018 with the Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018. This gives you protection if the holiday doesn’t match how it was described on websites or in brochures. It gives you the right to ask your tour operator to correct any problems or claim compensation if it can’t.

It’s worth noting, you don’t get this if you go DIY.

Find out more about the Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018 on the Which? website

Here’s a quick comparison of the level of protection you get with different holidays:

Holiday type Level of protection
Package holidays Financial protection if the organising goes bust. Legal protection if you don’t get the holiday you expect.
Linked Travel Arrangements Protection if the organisation goes bust.
DIY holidays With most DIY holidays you don’t get either of these.
Check if a holiday company is ATOL licensed.

You can read more about protecting yourself online when booking holidays with the Get Safe Online website.

Ways of protecting yourself with DIY holidays

If you use your credit card to buy a holiday costing over £100 and up to £30,000, you’re covered by ‘section 75’ of the Consumer Credit Act.

This means the credit card company has equal responsibility with the seller if there’s a problem with the things you’ve bought, including if a firm goes bust.

If you paid by debit card or on credit for less than £100 you may be able to claim on the chargeback scheme, where your bank or card firm gets your cash back from the retailer’s bank if something goes wrong. This is not a legal requirement, it’s a customer service promise, but worth trying.

If you paid with PayPal they offer buyer protection, so it’s worth raising a dispute with PayPal to try this route. You need to raise a dispute within 180 days.

If you paid by bank transfer, cash or other methods, there’s little you can do using any of the protections mentioned above. It’s worth checking if you’re able to make a claim on your travel insurance.

Cheap travel insurance

As with anything else, with travel insurance it pays to shop around.

Don’t buy direct from your travel agent or travel website, unless you’re sure it’s the best deal – it almost certainly won’t be.

Find out more about getting the right insurance at the right price:

Cheap travel money

Get the right deal on your foreign currency – find low-cost, convenient and safe ways to pay overseas:

Your tips for paying for a holiday

Read a transcript of this video

This article is provided by the Money Advice Service.

Some important information about Rest Less Money

We want you to understand the positives, but also the limitations of using our site. We operate in a journalistic manner and therefore all information, guidance or suggestions provided are intended to be general in nature, and you should not rely on any of the information on the site in connection with the making of any financial decision.

When we set out to build Rest Less Money, we wanted to be a trusted place where you could find helpful information about financial matters affecting the over 50s. As a free to use resource, we try hard to provide the best information we can, but we cannot guarantee that we won’t occasionally make mistakes. So please note that you use the information on our site at your own risk, and we can’t accept liability if things go wrong.

Key things to remember when using Rest Less Money:

We do not offer financial advice – As a journalistic site, it’s important to know that we do not provide financial advice. You should always do your own research before choosing any financial product so that you can be certain it is right for you and your specific circumstances. If you are in any doubt, please seek professional financial advice from a regulated financial advisor.

No Liability – please note that you use the information on Rest Less Money at your own risk and we can’t accept liability for how you choose to use the information given on our site. We will often provide links to content or products and services available on other third-party websites. These are provided purely for your convenience and we cannot be held responsible for any content, or any of the products and services offered on any website that we link to.

 

Accuracy of Information – We try to make sure that all the information provided on Rest Less Money is correct at the time of publishing as we want it to be the most helpful resource possible. Sadly, we are not perfect however, and so we can make no guarantees as to the completeness, accuracy, adequacy or suitability of the information available on the site.
Whilst we work hard to try and provide accurate information, deals and prices can change, so whilst they may be correct at the time of writing, providers may subsequently decide to alter them later – so always double check first.

A final note on the Rest Less Community Forums – always remember that anyone can post their opinion on the Rest Less Community Forums, so it can be very different from our own opinion and may not be factual or well researched. Always be wary of any content posted on the forums and be sure to do your own research and due diligence on anything suggested. 

We hope you find Rest Less Money a useful resource and we would welcome your feedback at [email protected] on how to make it even better. For more information on any of the above you can read our full terms and conditions.

Some important information about Rest Less Money

We want you to understand the positives, but also the limitations of using our site. We operate in a journalistic manner and therefore all information, guidance or suggestions provided are intended to be general in nature, and you should not rely on any of the information on the site in connection with the making of any financial decision.

When we set out to build Rest Less Money, we wanted to be a trusted place where you could find helpful information about financial matters affecting the over 50s. As a free to use resource, we try hard to provide the best information we can, but we cannot guarantee that we won’t occasionally make mistakes. So please note that you use the information on our site at your own risk, and we can’t accept liability if things go wrong.

Key things to remember when using Rest Less Money:

We do not offer financial advice – As a journalistic site, it’s important to know that we do not provide financial advice. You should always do your own research before choosing any financial product so that you can be certain it is right for you and your specific circumstances. If you are in any doubt, please seek professional financial advice from a regulated financial advisor.

No Liability – please note that you use the information on Rest Less Money at your own risk and we can’t accept liability for how you choose to use the information given on our site. We will often provide links to content or products and services available on other third-party websites. These are provided purely for your convenience and we cannot be held responsible for any content, or any of the products and services offered on any website that we link to.

 

Accuracy of Information – We try to make sure that all the information provided on Rest Less Money is correct at the time of publishing as we want it to be the most helpful resource possible. Sadly, we are not perfect however, and so we can make no guarantees as to the completeness, accuracy, adequacy or suitability of the information available on the site.
Whilst we work hard to try and provide accurate information, deals and prices can change, so whilst they may be correct at the time of writing, providers may subsequently decide to alter them later – so always double check first.

A final note on the Rest Less Community Forums – always remember that anyone can post their opinion on the Rest Less Community Forums, so it can be very different from our own opinion and may not be factual or well researched. Always be wary of any content posted on the forums and be sure to do your own research and due diligence on anything suggested. 

We hope you find Rest Less Money a useful resource and we would welcome your feedback at [email protected] on how to make it even better. For more information on any of the above you can read our full terms and conditions.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

Join Rest Less Money Club

Helpful tips and guidance for making the most of your money – straight to your inbox

By providing us your email address you agree to receive emails and communications from us and acknowledge that your personal data will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions. You can unsubscribe at any time by following the link in our emails.

Join the Rest Less Money Club

Helpful tips and guidance for making the most of your money – straight to your inbox

Good luck with your application

Before you go, we’d love to stay in touch to find out how you get on. Sign up to Rest Less today to get free job alerts and inspiring content sent straight to your inbox.
By providing your email you agree to receive emails and communications from us and acknowledge that your personal data will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions. You can unsubscribe at any time through the link in our emails.