The rising cost of living is impacting every area of our lives: our mental health, our relationships, our jobs and our living situation. And on top of all of that, inflation also means that many of us might not even afford to get away from it all for a bit and enjoy a well-deserved holiday.
It’s no secret that a holiday is pricey – and get pricier – which was one large factor behind a third of Brits taking their summer holiday in the UK this year, but even a staycation can set you back several hundred pounds before you’ve even stepped out the front door, leaving many wondering whether they’ll be able to get away at all.
And though we, sadly, have no magic wand to wave or foolproof formula that will ensure you get away on that beach break, meditation retreat or all-inclusive booze-up with your friends that you’ve been yearning for, we do have several travel hacks to help you bring costs down.
Thanks to the release of Expedia‘s 2023 Air Travel Hacks Report, we’ve found a collection of data-backed tips to save travellers time and money on flights.
A la Cinderella, you shall go to the ball… we mean beach.
5 travel hacks to save thousands on your next holiday
Get savvy with departure days
If you thought all days were created equal, you though wrong, when it comes to flights at least. Because, for international flights, departing on a Friday can save you 15%. However, if you’re flying domestic, opt for a Saturday to save an average of 20%. And if you book flights on Sunday instead of Fridays tend to save, on average, around 20% on domestic flights and 10% on international flights.
The early bird gets the worm
Flights that depart before 11am are 11% less likely to be impacted by flight cancellations – all hail the 6am flights (and they’re cheaper too!). Sure, you have to wake up at an hour that only the birds and bin men normally see, but it is quite literally a small price to pay for the savings you’ll reap. Plus, the earlier you get to the airport, the shorter the queue is for Spoons.
It pays to be loyal, and not just to your nearest and dearest. In fact, you could double your rewards, maximise on savings and be privy to good deals first by signing up to combined loyalty and frequent flier programmes. For example, you can earn air miles on top of Expedia Rewards points by entering mileage plan numbers at checkout or build up cash back for stays with the Hyatt group of hotels.
Stock up on free food
Life’s expensive (duh), so take full advantage of freebies where you can. One of doing this is checking in with your credit card to see if it gives you access to airport lounges, where free food and comfy armchairs await. And given how much we’ve been known to spend at Whetherspoons or ITSU pre-flight, it’s nothing to be snarked at.
Go all in
It might sound like an obvious one, but booking a package holiday – so securing your flight, hotel and car hire (if you need it) all at the same time from the same website can help unlock big savings. Look out for ‘flight + hotel’ deals on travel sites to take advantage of money off or take a risk and opt for the ‘mystery travel packages’ that some tour operators do. You won’t know where you’re staying, but you could end up swiping a five-star hotel for the price of a three.
All-in-all, follow these hacks and you could find yourself on a sun lounger, drink in hand, on a beach somewhere in no time. Cost of living? We don’t know her.