No one wants to pay more than they have to when it comes to travelling and while you can find the best deal for you right here on KAYAK, there are likely other areas where you can still cut costs.
We’ve rounded up of some of the most common expenses you may be paying too much for and have shared the best ways to avoid them when planning your next big getaway. Take a look and then head over to KAYAK to search for flights, hotels and car hire. Not sure where you want to go? Use KAYAK Explore to see all the places you can go on your budget.
These are the areas in which you can cut some potentially significant costs. Steer clear of the following to avoid paying more than you need to:
Booking your flight at the last minute
We’re not talking about those great deals you find a month or so before – when you can be flexible with your dates – we’re talking about when you’ve left booking a specific flight right until the last minute and any available seats are now being offered at a premium price.
If you know when you want to leave and where you’re flying to, it’s a good idea to book your seat on that plane as early as you can. This means you can pick a seat (we all love sitting on the wing, as far away from the toilet as possible, right?) at a price that won’t break the bank.
If you know when and where you want to travel, but aren’t really sure when to book, KAYAK will let you set up a Price Alert that will notify you (for free!) when your flight is likely to go up in price. Handy, huh? This can be especially helpful for long-haul flights when prices are sure to increase significantly as your desired travel dates approach.
Sometimes it’s unavoidable, but airlines can significantly increase their prices during peak seasons, due to higher demand. Peak season means school breaks – such as half terms or the big summer one – bank holidays and of course, Christmas. Fit your travel plans around these and save some money.
Always flying direct
Sometimes it pays to fly with a stop-over to save some money – especially if you’re travelling long haul. If the time gap is big enough you could even get out and explore a new city for a day before heading back to continue on the next leg.
Flying with the same airline
Although it seems so much easier to book and fly with the same airline, there is potential money to be saved by booking your outbound and return flights with separate airlines. Here at KAYAK, we call these Hacker Fares. After searching for a flight, you’ll see “Hacker Fare” clearly identified under the price.
Many of us don’t realise that our insurance packages can cover us for things like car hire in another country. Always check your policy documents first before taking on car insurance abroad – you may be paying for something that you already have in place.
The small expenses that add up
The little costs all add up. Here’s where you may be overspending and how to avoid it.
Buying travel-sized toiletries
They might be tempting (and cute to look at, too) but travel sized toiletries are actually pretty expensive for what you get. Instead, invest in a travel set featuring empty bottles that you can fill with your shampoo, conditioner and shower gel from home. These can be washed out and reused every time you go abroad, saving the pennies.
Not shopping around when you need travel money
It’s a good idea to keep an eye on the currency rates and jump on the cheapest offer. Those who exchange currency are usually pretty competitive and while it can feel like a game of chicken waiting for the price to drop, it’s worth it. You can set up an alert for the currency you need via a site such as eurochange or Travelex.
Paying for a check-in bag, when you could just use a carry-on
Do I really need three pairs of shoes for a weekend away? Avoid paying out for a bag you can check-in, if you can fit what you need in a carry-on. This should save you a fair amount of money and time – there’s no need to queue, so you can just head straight through to security. Just be aware of how much liquid you’ve got packed.
Buying food at the airport
Airport food is convenient. Most airports feature a wide range of restaurants and shops to browse and buy from while you wait for your gate to be announced. But they’re pretty expensive. Many people don’t realise that you can take your own food through security – as long as it’s sealed. This means you can throw in crisps, a pack of biscuits and cereal bars to snack on instead.
The sneaky expenses to watch out for
These are the costs that you spot on a bill or that come straight out of your bank and are well worth being aware of. Here’s how to avoid them.
Credit cards charging international fees
Using a credit card abroad is a great option – and is especially useful for booking flights as your payments are protected. What’s not so great is, when you arrive home and discover you’ve been charged a fee for using it while travelling. It’s a good idea to double-check directly with your credit card company, whether this might happen and perhaps look at switching to another card if you can.
Using your mobile abroad when your plan doesn’t support it
We all want to share those images of our holiday in real time but if you’re not careful you could be charged a fairly large amount if your mobile phone contract doesn’t support overseas usage.
More and more networks are now offering plans that let you use your phone as normal abroad without any fees, but it’s worth checking first. If you don’t have this option turn off roaming and switch off your mobile data before your flight takes off and only use secure Wi-Fi if you need to get on the internet.
Going over the weight of your allocated bag
Yes, even your hand luggage. Fees for bags that go over your weight allowance can be pretty steep. A couple of kgs might not seem like much but it’s a cost that you can easily avoid.
Take on these tips and save some cash. Now you can splurge on that fancy meal in that exotic destination, or, better yet, even put it towards an extra holiday later in the year!