January blues? Here are 10 ways to book a cheap getaway
It’s a bit nippy out there, and what is it with those grey skies at the moment?
While our purses aren’t exactly spilling over after the festive period, January is the best time of year to book a holiday.
Cheer up, get crafty and get the best wallet-friendly deals with our how-to guide:
1. Do your flight homework
If you’re not opting for a package deal, try skyscanner.net for the cheapest flights. It trawls all the airline sites for you. Those days of spending endless hours hunting the interweb for a cheap flight are gone, my friend.
2. Book early
If you’re going with a package deal, book early to get the best offers: things like free child places, low deposit schemes and serious discounts, plus they usually last for the whole month of January.
3. Group travel?
Travelling with a group or a few families, go with a specialist company like the new Irish group travel experts groupleader.com, they’ll get you the best deals on hotels, make sure the hotel caters for groups, and offer deals on transfers etc. All you need to book is your flights. Easy-peasy.
4. Be flexible
Not always a possibility with work and school schedules, but if you can be a little bit flexible with your travel plans or dates, you can head away when demand is low, out of season for the best bargain deals. And if you can travel between Tuesday – Thursday, experts suggest these are the cheapest days with early morning flights being the best value.
5. Choose your location carefully
There’s no point getting cheap flights somewhere exotic, only to find out exchange rates are bad and car rental prices are off-the-charts. Spain and Portugal are still great value, but consider places like Croatia, Slovenia, and Latvia where everything is cheaper, from car rental to eating out and activities.
6. Consider a staycation
Ok, so the weather is unpredictable but there are some amazing self-catering rentals attached to resorts in Ireland. Some allow you a little bit more luxury than you might have got had you gone abroad, while still having facilities to use like swimming pools, spas or a nearby beaches. Plus there’s no weight restriction with your luggage.
7. Think about glamping
Hotels and self-catering can be expensive. What about a luxury campsite for great outdoorsy fun? Some of the five-star sites in France have air-conditioned mobile homes that look every bit as fancy as a cottage. We love camping-lasirene.fr. There’s also alternative options like yurts, tee pees, wooden cabins and bell tents for a bit of boho-factor.
8. Book early
Unless you don’t know or care when or where you want to go and have the luxury of booking something a few days before you travel, it’s all about the early worm. Book a holiday the minute you know your dates of travel for the best deals.
9. Try someone else's home
For great home-from-home accommodation offers have a look at airbnb.ie, especially if you’re going on a city break. Live like the locals live and get a real flavour for the country you’re in.
10. Watch out for your cookies
The ones on your search engine that is. If you search the same flights several times from the same computer, they can increase in price. Clear your cookies or search from different browsers so this doesn’t happen.
Did you find a good sunshine deal in the sales? Let us know in the Facebook comments or join the conversation on Twitter @HerFamilydotie