People and their families the world over still desire to travel though, as in the past utopia years of Tourism, travelers across the developed world have habitually become accustomed by the very ritual of leisure travel and taking regular holidays. But will they take the plunge and travel regardless this coming year in the face of austerity? Or will the vast majority be turned off by the media, high costs and gloom involved? Certainly, once again, the leisure market is both apprehensive and pessimistic at the Tourism outlook in 2016.
The reality is however, given the doom and gloom we are constantly fed by the media, that people are on tight budgets and are seeking to trade down and save money. The annual holiday abroad is seemingly one thing that is unlikely to be given up very easily however. A vacation abroad every year has effectively become an expected lifestyle pattern and despite difficult times, people still need to escape from it all, perhaps even more so, as the stress surrounding the austerity is so high!
So for those of you reading who are still gainfully employed, its actually never been a better time to travel! This is in part due to the fact that the marketplace is currently focusing on quality in balance with value and some of the resorts and havens of the Tourism world that were becoming horribly overcrowded and even rather arrogant are now changing their tune and putting out the red carpet for a lot less.
Consequently, if you have some spare cash and the desire to travel, the core cost of flight and accommodation is lower and less in demand than ever before in recent memory. Subsequently, the savvy Perpetual Traveller out there can travel and enjoy life at a fraction of the cost before, if the destination and planning is done in advance and wisely. We therefore dedicate this latest edition of Perpetual Traveller input to share with you some insider trade tips in addition to a selection of the best feedback and contribution from our readers on “Recession Proof Travel Tips”…
1. When and where to Book
If you’re checking out flight costs on the Internet, be aware of the actual physical time that you are surfing online, as prices can vary by the hour. The reason for this is that many online websites are set so that the more consumer hits recorded online, the higher the flight costs become (in other words, the price rises in line with perceived demand). The best time to search for flights is late at night or when you are able to reliably predict that the online traffic is low!
There are many online providers, however the most well known capitalize on their brand awareness and search engine prowess, which often comes at a higher cost, as you are paying for the marketing.
The below links will take you to websites with extended search capabilities encompassing all flights including low cost. In all our tests they came up the cheapest, often displaying unusual options to save money.
Here are the best sites to use for low cost flight searches:
The below links take you to the best low cost Hotel Booking Engines
Note: To obtain 5% Cashback via PayPal on your Leisure & Lifestyle Bookings please contact the above mentioned email also.
2. End of month syndrome
Avoid making flight bookings at the end of the month (Pay day). For your interest, according to online booking engine experts, peak time is: Tuesday Lunch Hour and between 7pm - 10pm weekdays.
3. Go Indirect
Don’t always go for a direct flight options as these are expensive. Look at other ways to reach your destination. Longer Yes, but cheaper! Seek the possibility to utilize and link Budget Airlines leaving enough time to connect. Although you will have to collect your luggage each time, the price could be significantly different and you are more likely to retrieve your luggage, as connections are the most common cause of lost luggage.
4. Visa Electron
Get a Visa Electron. When making purchases abroad such cards do not usually charge the hidden currency conversion transaction fee. On most Low Cost Airlines the Visa Electron card charge is either free or cheaper.
Debit and Visa Card charges have become ridiculously high and it’s become like a stealth tax on all travel purchases. The best card on the planet we know is the UK’s trusty Nationwide Flex card that features no handling fee for cash withdrawals worldwide and no currency conversion transaction charge, meaning that significant savings are made every time cash is withdrawn or purchases are made.
5. Last Minute
If you are flexible and willing go on a standby basis, one can obtain amazing deals at the very last moment. Shop around and make your time as flexible as possible. This would be true for flights and accommodation. Start tracking prices as early as possible, so that you know when you find a super deal.
Warning: Do not leave it to the last minute to book flights and/or Hotels when you know it could be busy and you have to go anyway. Christmas, Easter, peak Summer, WTM and other large city conferences etc are best booked well in advance.
6. The best days to fly
If you’re taking a break don’t take it at the same as everyone else! In terms of the week this is usually over the busy weekend including Friday. Try flying mid-week and more often than not you will achieve a notable saving.
In terms of the right time of year, July, August and the beginning of September are traditionally busiest. Also try to avoid traveling around bank and public holidays or you will lose most of your precious time in traffic Jams and queues, then pay more to book your flight and Hotel, just for the privilege.
7. Budget flights
Purchase your in-flight snacks before going on board, as costs can be a startling 3 times higher than on the ground! Beware of exaggerated airport prices too and try to pre-empt your needs in a local supermarket beforehand.
8. Budget extras
If you’re booking a Budget flight online, you need to be super careful of all the Extras (many of which are automatically checked). Instead of asking if you want priority boarding or Insurance for example, some airlines automatically and frustratingly pre-check this box. Such online tactics are akin to con tricks and an expression of desperation on the strategy of certain Budget Airlines.
If you’re not Internet savvy you could easily miss these tricks and each Budget airline has a different way of featuring the information too, so watch out. Recently I purchased a flight on Air Asia and after 20 attempts it was impossible to accomplish the booking without the Airlines insurance, which I did not need. Easyjet, Ryanair, Wizz and more besides are culprits of such annoying tactics, which can elevate prices to higher than scheduled airlines on occasions, so it always pays to cross-reference and keep all factors into consideration.
9. Travel light
Airlines these days are charging a fortune when its comes to check-in luggage. I mean really 15 kgs (the weight that Ryanair adopts) for a 2 week vacation is a bit tight, as a woman's shoes alone weigh this much! Again if you need to bring more luggage, scheduled airlines may in the long run provide you with a better option all things considered. We are entering the era of packing light and with some discipline it is possible, but it needs a mentality shift and some planning.
It must be said too that the convenience of not having to collect luggage at the baggage reclaim makes the concept of taking only hand luggage on board most attractive, especially for business and short trips. Here Ryanair the markets traditional lowest allowance only permits 7kg, whereas Easyjet allows any weight within reason, but restricts the size, which in our view is a sensible policy.
10. Go electronic
The cost of choosing what is becoming an outdated paper airline ticket is now on average a more costly affair. If you opt for an e-ticket and print it out online, you pay zero (no ticket issue charge) and achieve the lowest available price. Once you have your e-ticket for convenience you can check-in online, meaning that you save precious time by not going to the airport ridiculously early. With no check-in luggage you can go straight through to the Departure Lounge also.
In summary, there has never been a better time to travel and using the above tricks you can save a fortune too!
Here’s wishing you pleasurable Perpetual Travels in 2016!