Words Niamh Walsh
Ideally, a holiday will be the utmost in rest and relaxation. Unless hidden booking fees, extortionate prices and jet-lag get the better of your trip. Niamh Walsh is Senior Editor at leading travel search company HolidayPirates. She shares her advice and travel hacks to make your trip as stress-free as possible. See you poolside.
KNOW WHEN TO BOOK
While last minute deals can be great, but you won’t always find a deal that saves you a lot of cash. For long-haul flights it is advisable to book two to four months ahead, while for shorter trips you can look closer to the travelling date, keeping an eye out for airline sales, as airlines will begin to worry about filling up all of the seats. Additionally, when you fly could also impact how much you save, with midweek flights usually being cheaper than weekends.
GET THE BEST DEAL
To really make the most of your holiday budget, you can always use a deal finder platform, where you can easily find great value-for-money deals. For example, HolidayPirates have a dedicated editorial team, which, with the aid of algorithms, manually searches the Internet for the best deals based on the time that you want to travel, the kind of experience you want to have and even the particular part of the holiday you want a deal on, whether it’s a hotel, flight or entire holiday package. You can find other excellent deals on platforms like Loveholidays, which also includes last minute deals, or Kayak, which collates the best deals from a number of holiday, airline and hotel providers.
SHOP AROUND FOR FLIGHTS
When it comes to flights, you may be eligible to take advantage of the 24-hour rule; many airlines allow you to cancel or change aeroplane tickets within 24-hours of purchase. Have a last-minute check online before you settle on your final tickets, just in case there’s a better option available.
Most of us will already be familiar with the ‘roll, don’t fold’ rule. However, to make your packing even more efficient, try a few of these tricks: keep your shoes in a plastic bag or in a shower cap (available at most hotels), to prevent them making your clothes dirty or smelly. Pack two tops for every pair of bottoms: this will prevent you from taking too much, as we are more likely to wear bottoms than tops again. Lastly, instead of taking a whole guidebook, just take photos of the pages you need or scan them, to save the valuable space!
USE AIR MILES
Many credit cards (like American Express) include free air miles when you sign up. You could use these to book a flight, but the best value you can get from these type of air miles is to use them on cabin upgrades as these type of flights are far more reasonable when you use miles compared to paying the full fare. When else are you going to get to experience Business Class at economy prices?
TRAVEL HACKS FOR AVOIDING JET-LAG
There are a few effective things you can do to limit the effects of jet-lag upon your holiday. On the day you are travelling, it’s a good idea to start by setting your phone or watch to the time of the destination you are travelling to, in order to get yourself into the psychological mindset of that time zone early on. Once on board your flight, try to stay hydrated as this will help you to feel more refreshed once you land. If you are arriving to your destination in the evening, then it’s a good idea to try to stay awake during the flight, however if you are arriving in the morning then try to ensure you have slept, sticking to this will help your body adjust to the time zone and lessen the effect of jet-lag.HolidayPirates is one of Europe’s fastest growing, free-to-use, travel search platforms and apps, providing users with the best value for money international travel deals. Since its inception in 2012, the company has grown the biggest online travel community in the world, achieved 20 million monthly page visits, five million app downloads, having launched services in ten countries and seven different languages.