Here are some advice for being your own travel agent. Travelling with kids can cost you a small fortune, but it doesn’t have to.
Do the booking yourself
If you plan to be away on travel for more than 2 weeks, there are lots to be saved by doing the booking youself. A travel company will always charge you extra for the flighttickets, most companies charge you around 20 percent extra. Travel companies has special hotel aggrements that might compensate for the 20 percent extra on flighttickets, if you are only away for a short break.
If you plan to be away on travel for more than approx. 2 weeks, then it is worth saving on the flighttickets and you get the flexibility to choose your type of accommodation.
In Europe and in Asia there are lots of budget airlines. It might be an idea to look out for different routes to your destination. A good example is travelling to Phillippines it might be cheaper with a flight to Bangkok and then a cheap Air Asia flight to Manilla than finding an airline with flights to Manilla.
Most flight tickets are cheaper if you buy them almost a year ahead of you scheduled travel and if you fly midweek – Monday through Thursday are the cheapest days for international travel.
Watch out for the bargains
Compare prices on the airline’s website as well as with booking aggregators, where you can search dozen of airlines at the same time. But be aware that most booking aggregators do not include all airline companies. I personally use Momondo as a flight-finder.
If you are flexible with your travel dates there are lots to be saved on flight tickets. Even the difference of a single day can be a big difference in the price.
If you are flexible with your destination there are even more to be saved. Watch out for the airline companies deals. There are always a special deal to some tropical destination – so why not go there?
Avoid peak season
There are great differences in hotel and tour prices during peak season and off season. You can easily save 50 percent in off season. Be aware that the off season in some destinations is equal to hurricane season or rainy season.
Book private apartments instead of hotels
Using AirBnb or Homeaway or similar you can save lots on accommodation travelling as a family. There are other benefits like more space than a cramped hotel room and more facilities like a fully equipped kitchen and dining area and maybe even a dishwascher and washing machine. Some private apartments are hotelapartments and they most often have the same facilities as regular hotels with big pools, playground etc.
Last minute deals and chance hotels
If you insist on staying in a hotel look out for last minute deals or early booking discounts and compare prices with booking aggregators. You can consider using a site like Hotwire.com, where you can bundle flights, hotel and car rental. Otherwise Hotwire has hotrate hotels. You don’t know which exact hotel you are booking, you choose the number of stars and location. You might be able to read if the hotel has a pool or not and if the stay includes meals. After you have booked your hotel, you will find out which exact hotel you got.
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