20 of the most useful tips for booking a cheaper holiday online.
With the peak summer holiday season around the corner, you can still get some good deals. Here are some tips and things you should know about online booking services. Agoda, Bookings, Cheapoair, Expedia, Kyak, Rome2Rio, Trivago and many other websites offer similar packages, but do check the small print before you click on the "Reserve Now" button.
Useful tips for booking online
Even if your travel itinerary is complicated with multiple legs, you can save a bundle by booking online and eliminating the services of travel agents who take a commission on every booking they make.
- Before you do an online booking directly from the official carrier, you should also compare prices with at least one third-party booking site. Sometimes a better deal can be found on a third-party site.
- Spend the weekend researching your next trip, but when it comes to booking try to hold off until Tuesday morning, which is considered to be the cheapest booking day, and you can save a bundle.
- Research multiple websites
- Set the Price-Alert option as prices fluctuate throughout the week and even during the course of the same day.
- Early morning prices are often cheaper than afternoon prices. Deals are often updated by mid-morning, around 11a.m, so book early in the day.
- Always use the 'Private Browsing' or 'Incognito' setting for comparing hotel and airline prices so your browsing habits cannot be tracked.
- If you have time on your side, set flexible dates and/or multiple stops (up to 2)
- Fly or stay free with points. Use your travel rewards. If you have credit card or club membership awards use them if you can.
Keep your money in your wallet - here are11 more travel tips for booking online
- Remember, Tuesday is the day companies usually adjust their prices.
- Booking early is still the best way to get a good price - best is 5 to 6 weeks before departure. Three weeks prior to departure date, prices start going up.
- Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday afternoon flights are usually cheaper.
- Look for hotel bookings that don't have cancellation fees. A hotel can charge up to 15% more if you choose the changeable or cancelable option. Airlines too - they can charge anywhere in the region of $100 - $150 for changing a reservation on long haul flights.
- Midweek hotel bookings can mean discounted rates compared to weekends where hotels often impose a minimum two-night stay
- Prices quoted on websites are often the average price for the selected dates. Go into the actual booking page and see the cost for each night.
- It might seem silly, but this is a real good tip if you are not 100 percent sure of your dates, make separate bookings for each night - it doesn't cost extra and if you have to cancel a couple of nights it wont affect the price of the remaining nights.
- If you are staying in a city for a week or more, you might want to consider staying in 2 hotels. You could get a better rate for a couple of nights in another hotel. This is especially true in cities like New York or San Francisco where there are conferences and special events taking place all the time. Finding nights in prime locations after these events is easier and cheaper.
- Make sure you get your luggage requirements right on discount and charter airlines. If you book a trolley and show up with a suitcase you will be fined.
- If you are booking through a website and accidentally push the wrong button, you might land up have 2 or more bookings. Contacting these sites and getting a refund is difficult and a down right pain in the neck. If you don't do it immediately, this error can leave a nasty hole in your pocket.
- Check the small print on Airbnb too, once service and cleaning fees are added, the price difference in prime locations may not be all that large compared to a cheaper hotel.