Eight ways to bag an affordable holiday this winter

With a little bit of research and planning, it’s possible to save a fortune on your next holiday. Travelling can be a very expensive experience, especially with a family. Moneybags is here to help lighten the load on your wallet and ensure you and your loved ones can enjoy a much needed break on a budget.

 

1. Save a fortune travelling off-peak

Travel off-peak to avoid inflated costs associated with peak-season. Companies try to make as much money as possible during their busy months in order to stay in business.

 

2. Watch out for hidden costs

Airlines and hotels will sometimes add additional costs into your package that will greatly increase your expenditure, such as booking fees, baggage charges and a host of optional service fares. Ensure you know exactly what you are spending by asking questions and demanding to see final costs for everything.

3. Be a flexible flyer

Be flexible with your travel dates. South African Airways (SAA) offers discounts for passengers who are open to alternate dates to travel. This allows SAA to optimize bookings for flights by moving you from a popular/full flight to an emptier/less popular date.The discount is relative to the availability of seats on the aircraft.

4. Keep an eye on internet deals.

Holiday resorts outsource off-peak packages to companies who promote them on the internet, such as Travel Start and Thompson Tours. Keeping a vigilant eye out will allow you to snap up the best deals before they get taken. Thompson Tours offer national specials to suit most  budgets. From 1 May until 30 September you can stay at Best Western Cape Suites for two nights and pay R429. Until 30 September you can stay at the Three Cities Urban Park Hotel and Spa in Durban for R725. And until 30 September you can stay at Johannesburg’s Protea Hotel in Midrand for up to two nights at R726.

 

5. It pays to be late

Cruise companies fill positions late for cheap. Cruises offer last call packages 90 to 60 days before they are set to depart. By using the power of the internet, travellers can discover great discount by being patience and acting upon any specials that arise. On the Symphonia Cape Town to Durban Cruise, offered on  www.amazingholidays.co.za, you pay R3100 per person sharing for a four night stay. You can also experience the highlights of Eastern Europe from Vienna to Belgrade for eight days for R26 950 per person.

6. Book early during peak season

If you have to travel during peak-season, book early. Early bookings will get you the best deals and cheapest hotels for high traffic holiday destinations.

 

7. Less is more

When flying internationally, it often works out cheaper if you fly to or from one of the lesser known airports. Alternatively you can sometimes catch a train or bus to your intended destination, which will again save you money. To save, avoid the big name airline carries such as Virgin and British Airways. Smaller yet equally safe airlines from emerging tourist markets offer cheaper flights for price conscious travellers. According to Travel Start, a return flight from Cape Town to New York can cost between R30 000 and R40 000 with Virgin Atlantic. However, on Turkish Airlines and Air France a return trip will set you back only R16 000.

 

8. Try hostel living

Rent rooms at hostels instead of booking into an expensive hotel. Hostels may be basic but in reality you spend little time in your room when on vacation, especially if you are the type that likes to go out and about looking at monuments or art galleries. According to Mozambique Accommodation during peak-season in Tofu, Mozambique dorm style accommodation will cost you between R120 and R180 a night, while booking a chalet or beach house such as Albatross Lodge will set you back between R300 and R350 per night during peak season. During the off-peak period, prices will drop to roughly R150 per person.