How to pay less for your holiday

January is the best time to book your summer holiday as there are lots of discounts and offers to be had. Our travel expert, Bob Atkinson, tells you what to look out for when booking this year's summer break...

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By booking early in January, you are going to get chance to take advantage of some quite phenomenal offers that are out there.

January is always known as one of the biggest booking times of the year, and all those travel companies are eager to get your business, and the way they do this is by putting loads of great value deals out to attract you in. I’m sure you’ve already seen lots of TV adverts out there – in fact our own advert has just gone live for Travelsupermarket.com.

But, those deals that are out and available come in a variety of forms and most of them at this time of the year are geared towards package holidays.

So, look out for things like ‘money off’ deals, a number of tour operators and agents have got 50% off a range of holidays – Cosmos Holidays, Lowcost Holidays are some of those names there . Other big tour operators like Thompson are offering things like £200 off a couple and then a percentage discount. So, do check out the deals from these companies and see what kind of range you are getting.
Another thing that they do for families in particular is to offer free child places and this is a great way potentially of saving money on that family budget.

Do check out the deals though because despite the fact you might be taking your little ones away for free, they quite often have a sneaky trick of adding in extra charges for the adults for the accommodation. So, my little tip there is always to get your travel agent or your online site to do a quote with a free child place, but also do one without and compare the difference to make sure that it really is proper good value for money.

And of course, holidays are expensive items, the one thing we don’t want to have to be doing this time of the year is forking out huge amounts of money, so what the tour operators and agents do is they have these brilliant schemes where you can often pay a low deposit - this year it’s anything from £25 per person upwards. That secures your booking for the rest of the year at a time when maybe your finances are a little strapped and of course you pay your balance further on into the year, depending on when you would go.

So, those kinds of deals are great especially if you are looking for that package holiday market. But, for those people who don’t want a package - and over 50% of us actually take independent trips - all the other companies are there vying for your business. So, if you are an airline, they have got sales on galore – from big carriers like British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, through to the low cost carriers like Ryanair and Easyjet – so they are fighting for your business for your flight seats, ferry companies have got deals, two for ones on ferry crossings, so check those out and look out for those.

Hotel companies have got anything up to 50% off hotel rooms and even car hire companies are offering deals where book now, save huge amounts of money later this year.

So, there are deals out there galore, you’ll see them on TV, you’ll see them online, you’ll see them in newspapers and you will see them on the Travelsupermarket.com website, where we aim to bring you all the sales into one place to make it easier for you to find those deals.

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