Quentin Long shares a few simple hacks to help you save big money on your festive season holiday bookings.
1. House swapping
A recent trend that can really save you lots of money if you find the right place at the right time. Sign up to a club – the best one in Australia is houseswapholidays.com.au – for around $60. Then put up some images of your house and search for the place that you want to holiday in.
2. A bundle of joy
This is where you buy a discounted airfare and a discounted hotel price at the same transaction. Try Expedia.com.au for serious discounts on bundling flights and accommodation.
3. The search for coupons
Sign up for all the loyalty programs through mailing lists or simply Google ‘hotel and coupon’ and you might actually find a number you can enter while booking to save even more off the discounted rate.
4. Skyscanner: the long and short of it
Skyscanner is the best website for saving you money on airfares. It will find you the cheapest way to fly between any two points in the world. You may have to fly for 38 hours to get there, but it will be the cheapest price.
5. Quite simply, negotiate
Search for the best rate for flights or accommodation online first. Then call up the hotel or airline and negotiate directly; another 10 to 25 per cent is not unreasonable as hotels often pay that as commission to a booking engine.
6. Tingo could make you app-y
You know when you book a hotel room online and always wonder, will it get cheaper if I book it later? Tingo monitors the rate that you paid and if the advertised price drops it will refund the difference.
7. What days are cheapest to fly?
Usually Tuesdays and Saturdays are the cheapest times to fly within Australia. Also Christmas Day, obviously, is a bargain basement time to fly in the middle of one of the most expensive times to travel.
8. Kids can stay free
Try Accor Hotels. Check at the time of booking that there is no extra charge for the children.