Travel Trade Secrets Revealed: 10 Tips to Bag a Bargain Holiday

Here at Travelzoo, our deal experts are commited to one thing – hunting down the best travel deals for our members, so that they can get out and see more of the world at the best possible price. 

As you can imagine, we’re pretty good at finding bargains. And because we’re so nice, we thought we’d share the favourite hints, tricks and hacks we use to bag cheap holidays. Happy travels!


Maximise your chances of getting the very best price by booking 56 days ahead. Studies have shown that this is the optimal moment for bagging that flight. You could save up to 28% on regular prices.
Chris Webber – flight expert, Manchester 


Wait until 12 weeks before a cruise to book. This is when unsold cabins get classified as “distressed stock” and cruise lines start to think about pushing more aggressive discounts. And remember to monitor the price after booking – depending on the terms and conditions of your booking, you might be able to claim money back or get extra added value if the cruise fare drops after you’ve booked.
Felicity Pont – cruise expert, London


You’re about to pay for dinner, you hand your card over and the waiter asks whether you’d like to pay in local currency or sterling. If you’re like most people, you won’t know which option to choose. Here’s the answer: always pay in local currency. If you don’t, you’ll be paying 5% extra for what’s called a “dynamic currency conversion”.
Amy Groves – deal expert, Manchester


January is one of our favourite times to take a city break. Traditionally this is when airlines cut prices most aggressively, meaning you can save a bunch on a trip to somewhere you’ve never been before. To save even more on top, aim to arrive on a Sunday, when hotel rates are usually at their lowest. 
Maire Bonheim – deal expert, London


We all know prices go bananas during school holidays. One way to beat the system is by using easyJet’s Flexifare trick. Here’s how it works: 1) You book your chosen flight (opting for a Flexifare), but select dates a few weeks outside of those you actually want to travel on. 2) Wait 24 hours and then switch to the dates you really want without paying extra. You’ll pay a premium for the Flexifare, but nowhere near the price hike you’d pay for booking a flight during school holidays.
Chris Webber – flight expert, Manchester


You’d think everyone would do this, given how easy it is. Imagine having a large part of your holiday paid for, without having to work any overtime or sell the family silver. Simply sign up to a service like Holiday Lettings or Airbnb to rent out your room or home, and let the readies roll in while you’re sunning yourself on the beach.
Maire Bonheim – deal expert, London


Yes, it might sound daft, but it’s true. Sometimes it really is cheaper to book a package holiday to save on buying the flight. You can then just choose a different hotel if you like. An example? We recently ran a deal on Travelzoo for a 10-night Malaysia holiday including flights and 4-star accommodation for just £489. Flights alone were more expensive elsewhere.
Raphael Giacardi – deal expert, London


This is how spending abroad should be. The Revolut Card works alongside an app. There are no fees to use it anywhere in the world, no ATM fees on withdrawals up to $200 and as soon as you spend on it you get a notification via the app. It beats most other travel cards because the conversion matches that day’s interbank rates.
James Clarey – deal expert, Manchester


Decision time: 20€ a day for the full cover once you arrive at the destination? Or annual cover from £39.99? Companies such as icarhireinsurance.com and www.insurance4carhire.com specialise in this kind of thing. It’s what you might call an absolute no-brainer.
Raphael Giacardi – deal expert, London


Even though a non-stop flight is ideal, you can sometimes save by stretching your legs during a plane change. Some airlines, like Icelandair, also offer free stopovers – meaning you can extend your stay in the layover city and make it part of your vacation. And Turkish Airlines run free city tours for anyone with a stopover of 7-10 hours.
Chris Webber – flight expert, Manchester


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