The price of summer package deals is soaring, with places like Mallorca, the Canaries and Portugal in great demand as ‘safe bets’ with a lot of cheaper destinations considered vulnerable to terror attacks. And that’s before you consider the strength of the Euro against the pound.
Google Trends figures show us that web searches for certain hot phrases are higher in January/February now than at any time of the year other than mid-summer, when most people are searching for the best crumbs of what’s left.
The term Package deals was searched more in the week 5-11 February than at almost any time in the previous 12 months, while Flights to Algarve reached a 12-month peak. Other terms to be significantly higher than at other times were Hotels in Spain, Flights to Portugal and Flights to Alicante.
So why not take advantage of some forward thinking? Here are four things you might want to think about!
1. Book at the right time
Getting an early start on your holiday booking can make it easier to find a bargain. For a start, you’ve got a huge range of destinations and options to choose from, plus there are usually plenty of offers to entice you. Online screenscrapers can instantly hunt down and compare the cheapest flights, while good hotel deals can be available if you time your booking to coincide with the availability of online discount codes. You can also secure most packages with a deposit, giving you months to save up (don’t forget to allow for spending money too).
2. Be flexible if you can
Do you really need to go in July or August? If you can go either side of these months you are likely to get a better deal compared to travelling in peak season. If you can only go in high summer, the last two weeks of the school holidays tend to be cheaper. If you’re booking your own flights, the time and day of the week can have a surprising impact on your budget, with Tuesday afternoon apparently the best time to fly. And if you have young children, just remember that few four-year-olds are going to be bothered whether you’re in the Canaries, the Caribbean or Cleethorpes. To most children, a beach is a beach wherever it is, and swaying palm trees are probably less of a draw than sandcastles.
3. Get the credit card that suits you
While many credit and debit cards charge up to 3 per cent per transaction if you use them abroad, there are specialist credit cards available that don’t charge for overseas cash withdrawals or have no foreign exchange fee. Experian can now help you find credit cards and personal loans you’re more likely to be accepted for, and it won’t negatively impact your credit rating. Experian CreditMatcher is a free independent service that helps you compare credit deals, and gives you your Experian Credit Score FREE forever. Remember though that if you are accepted, the interest rate or promotional deal you get from lenders may be different to the one advertised. We are a credit broker not a lender, working with selected lenders.†
4. Spreading the cost
Paying credit cards off in full every month means you won’t have to pay interest – if you don’t, then interest may be charged, depending on what card and what deal you’ve got. Making at least the minimum repayment is important, as missing one can negatively affect your credit score.
To help budget, sometimes it’s an idea to pay it off at your own speed. Credit cards with 0% or low rates on purchases can help spread the cost of major purchases. These are interest-free cards that, as long as you make the minimum monthly payment and keep to the other Ts and Cs, allow you to spend on the card for a specified period without having to pay interest on the balance for as long as the promotional rate.
†Experian acts as a credit broker and not a lender in the provision of its credit cards and personal, car finance and guarantor loans matching services, meaning it will show you products offered by lenders and other brokers.
Experian acts independently and although CreditMatcher shows products for a range of lenders and other brokers it does not cover the whole of the market, meaning other products may be available to you. CreditMatcher services are provided free however we will receive commission payments from lenders or brokers we introduce you to.
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