Shop with any retailer on Quidco and spend £10 or more before 31st March 2020
Earn cashback on your purchases for just being a Quidco member
Receive a £10 cashback bonus from Quidco
Withdraw your cashback to your bank, PayPal or as vouchers
You can find the full terms and conditions and a load of helpful pointers here.
How I used Quidco to save £45 on this amazing Greek villa
I signed up on the original offer myself and earned a £25 bonus by booking this UNREALprivate villa on the island of Paros in Greece.
It should have been £367 for 4 nights but because I’ll earn £19.18 in cashback and then get an extra £25 on top of it, it works out at just £80.55 a night!
Watch how I found and booked this amazing place – thanks in large part to throwing a dart at a map of Europe whilst blindfolded…
If you’re new to Quidco, and cashback in general, here’s what you need to know.
What is cashback?
Cashback is the money you can get back on your purchases as a reward when you are a member of a cashback site and buy online using their partners.
What is Quidco?
Quidco are the UK’s #1 cashback and voucher site and they have over 4,500 retailers on their website that their members can earn cashback from.
Is this just for UK residents?
Yes, you must be a resident of the UK to register for a Quidco account.
Do I have to pay to sign up?
No, Quidco earns money from sponsored advertising paid by their retailers and they also have a Premium membership. There is a free membership as well.
How much money can I earn?
It all depends on how much you buy but on average, active members earn £280 a year.
How do I sign up?
Visit Quidco, enter your email and a password, select what options you want and then click ‘Join for free!’
How do I get cashback?
Select which retailer you want on the Quidco website and click the relevant links to start shopping. Quidco will track your visit and your purchases.
How do I know that Quidco has tracked by purchase?
Once you’ve made a purchase, Quidco will track the amount of cashback you’re due and send you a confirmation email. It will also show as ‘Tracked’ on your personalised homepage.
How do I get paid?
Once the retailer confirms your purchase, your cashback will be paid into your Quidco account. From there you can transfer it to your bank account, Paypal account or have it paid as an Amazon.co.uk Gift Card.
How often will this get paid?
Payments are made on request.
How long will it take for me to get cashback on my purchases?
This varies so check the ‘Retailer Stats’ given on the retailer’s page.
How can I make sure that my purchases will get tracked?
Clearing your browsing data can help. You can follow Quidco’s advice on this here.
My purchase hasn’t tracked, what should I do?
You can raise a claim by clicking on ‘Missing Cashback Claim’ in Support.
How do I get a £20 bonus?
Quidco are currently running an offer where if you are a new user who signs up via this link and spends £100 or more on travel before 31st March 2020, you will receive an additional £20 on top of the cashback you earn.
Can I spend £100 across multiple retailers?
At present, this needs to be purchased through one retailer.
I’ve got the £20 bonus – can my partner sign up too?
They can as long as you don’t live at the same address. You can only claim one bonus per household.
For any additional help, pleae visit the Quidco support pages.
A big thanks to Quidco for supporting small creators, like me, and giving us all a chance to save some more money on travel this January.
Whether you’ve just caught me on Channel 4’s ‘Holidays Secrets: Is Last Minute Best?‘ or have stumbled across me another way, let me take a moment to say hello, my name is Chelsea and I’m a bit obsessed with searching for cheap holidays.
First things first, make sure you’re following me on Instagram, Twitter and YouTube for loads of cheap holiday tips.
I’ve got a new site in development at the moment so for now, let me show you a few posts that may help you save money on your next holiday.
You can also check out some discounts on your favourite brands here too!
I also do a weekly holiday hotline on Instagram where I ask you guys to submit your requests and then I go in search of the best deal for you.
You can check out the findings of my last hotlines here.
I also love capturing my own cheap holidays over on YouTube.
Following the success of. the first holiday hotline (Will is currently planning his trip to Jordan – wahey!) I thought I’d get back on the search to find someone else a proper great holiday for less.
Make sure you’re following me on Instagram so that you know when the next hotline is live!
THE REQUEST: August bank holiday birthday fun – 4 days – somewhere hot
So, this week’s main hotline request comes in from Vicky who’s wanting a getaway over the August bank holiday as it’s her birthday that Friday and her work give her the DAY OFF – what a perk!
Heres what she’s after:
Ideally leave on evening of Thurs 22nd Aug
4 days but could take more time off
Going with someone so can share a room
So, where are we going?
Looking at Thursday eve – Monday, there were plenty of options under £50 (including Cologne, Copenhagen, Oslo and Gothenburg) yet none were really giving that ‘hot’ vibe that Vicky was hoping to get.
Unfortunately, flights to warmer destinations such as Lisbon (one of my faves) were starting at £150 so I made the decision to change the return date to Tuesday 27th August instead.
London to Madrid Thurs 22nd Aug – Tues 27th Aug £84 (there’s also a flight back at 1310 for £94)
As the Spanish capital, there’s so much to see and do but having visited recently, I was really enamoured by the fact that it didn’t come with big city price tag.
With many menu del dia’s (three course lunches with wine – HALLOH) costing less than €10 and €1,20 rides on their well linked metro system, you’ll find that your money goes pretty far in this capital city.
As well, with its brilliant connections, you can easily get a train out of the city and visit the UNESCO sites of Toledo and Salamanca, or how about a day trip to Madrid’s Wine Country?
As for the weather, Madrid in the summer gets HOT and August hits an average of 31 degrees – there’s a siesta for a reason. Which is why I think it’s important to find Vicky a hotel with not only some decent air con, but also some outdoor space and maybe, if we’re lucky, a pool.
Where are we staying then?
For this, I simply hopped on trivago and changed my filters to include:
Up to £100 a night
Guest rating 7.5+
City centre location
With pool (fingers crossed)
With trivago, I always leave a bit of wiggle room with the price because annoyingly, they only filter based on the price they offer you in bold which is not always the cheapest price out there. That can be found by clicking on ‘more deals’.
So, as you can see above, if we’d been looking for a room that cost £85 or less, this option wouldn’t have come up.
As Vicky will be staying 5 nights, I’m going to try and find a place around £80 a night so that she and her travel partner aren’t going to be spending more than £200 on accommodation each.
Better photos can be found here (Booking.com always create such good picture galleries!)
I wouldn’t have picked up on this at all had I not checked out their own site, but Axel Hotels are a chain that focus on the LGBTIQ+ community who are proudly heterofriendly! They welcome everyone, no matter their sexual orientation, without prejudice which I think is a great business to support.
Incredible rooftop pool and terrace (H10 always NAIL this)
Again, you can peruse a better photo gallery (in my opinion) here
Airbnb – Duplex with terrace in Central Madrid £74.40 a night (£37.20 each) (you can get £25 off here if you haven’t used Airbnb before!)
Well rated with great reviews
Okay so NO POOL – but you do have your own cute terrace
The sofa bed means that two adults could have a bed each
A kitchen with everything you could need to help you save money on food whilst in Madrid
So how much is this costing?
Based on going with the cheaper hotel, this 5 night birthday getaway will set Vicky back £289.
Which for a long capital city break across a popular bank holiday staying in a well rated, central hotel with a pool seems a pretty good deal to me.
I hope you have the best birthday holiday EVER, Vicky!
Any time for a few more requests?
Sure, let’s razz through a few more.
THE REQUEST: Venice – August bank holiday weekend
You lot are mad for your bank holiday getaways it seems!
Flights to Venice are not cheap but the best deal I could find was flying out later on the Friday and coming back early on the Tuesday morning.
London to Venice Fri 23rd Aug – Tues 27th Aug £126
If you can get the time off, you can also fly back on the Tues at 2125 for £134.
Venice isn’t necessarily the cheapest destination and is already pretty booked up that weekend but there’s still some decent deals to be had!
Airbnb – Sky Tower Suite £65.67 a night (£32.84 each) (you can get £25 off here if you haven’t used Airbnb before!)
In the same building as a hotel, what it lacks in personality it makes up for with its clean, practical and low cost. The hotel reception also means you can check in 24/7 and you’re just a 10 minute bus from the historic centre of Venice.
Airbnb – Venetian Bridge Private Room £81.67 a night (£40.84 each) (you can get £25 off here if you haven’t used Airbnb before!)
Hurrah, we’ve made it over to the main island but it does mean we’ll have to stay in a private room… But it’s a very cute one if that helps?!
As I wasn’t sure on what formation the 3 adults would need to sleep in, The Bicycle Apartments have a range of options that would work and if you can stretch to the Design Duplex at £55 a night each, you can all get a double bed!
An 11 min walk from Plaça d’Espanya and has plenty of transport options in its midst.
Total cost = £183.50 each leaving plenty of money for food and fun!
Went went to Barcelona last year and managed to bag ourselves an INSANE apartment for next to nothing so you could try giving Love Home Swap a try too!
THE REQUEST: Booked flights to NYC for 30th November – 5th December… Now to find a hotel? Under £700 please!
Ah yes. New York accommodation. It’s never fun 🤣
Now, there are some options in Manhattan for around £140 a night but they are – pardon my French – absolute horse shit. And I refuse to recommend anyone stay anywhere so crap!
So instead, I’m going to take us across the East River to Brooklyn. It has easy access over to Manhattan and is a place to visit and enjoy in its own right. In fact, it’s my favourite area of New York!
It’s also particularly helpful if you’re flying in from JFK as it’s the same side of the city.
Great location – just a 7 min walk from L line over to Manhattan (20 mins to Union Square)
Less nice but cheeeap, is the Bogart Hotel for £519 and much more expensive, but super lovely is the Hoxton Williamsburg for £933.
THE REQUEST: Mid August trip in Scotland. Ending in Glasgow. Car hire, beautiful roads & good value
Okay, there’s a lot to unpack here but here are my headlines:
Look into the North Coast 500 road trip. James and I did it in 6 days last summer and it was phenomenal
Whilst in many places you may have no choice, but always choose B&Bs over hotels. Much better value for money and the breakfasts are EPIC!!!! Check Airbnb too for B&Bs
For car hire, Skyscanner is great at giving an overview but also check Turo – it’s like Airbnb but for people’s cars!
Also, if you’re very lucky you may be able to relocate a campervan from Edinburgh for £1 A DAY with Spaceship Rentals! The only problem is you’ll probably have to return it to London… But hey, did I mention the £1 a day??!
We also ended our trip in Glasgow and went all out by staying at the Dakota hotel. It’s not cheap but we got their Friday night offer (can only be booked via their website) where we both got a cocktail, £25 each towards dinner, a cooked breakfast and a LUSH ROOM for £200 (£100 each). It was a total treat but I would absolutely recommend it, especially after a week of B&Bs!!
THE REQUEST: More drunk videos of James
Hahaha. We’re off to Croatia on Wednesday so I’m sure there will be more to come. But for now, skip to 37 seconds to keep you going.
This is from the FIRST VLOG I EVER MADE!!! #classicdrunkjames
So, thats it for the second every holiday hotline! I’m so sorry to all the people I didn’t get to – I do hope I can help you out in the future.
Make sure to give me a follow on Instagram if you want to be involved in the next – and let me know if you end up booking any of these!
One time it may be a 10 minute job, the next you may spend hours going round in circles, feeling like you’re the main character in a heist movie.
This post is a little epic (Homer eat your heart out) as I wanted to compile all the information in one place so I definitely recommend saving for when you’re about to book and then clicking on the scenario that’s most relevant for you:
This post does include some affiliate links. They won’t boost the price for you, but they will help me to continue running this site!
Before we get cracking, here’s a few things to bear in mind off the bat:
Always do your searches in private or incognito mode so that sites don’t inflate prices that you’ve searched repeatedly. This isn’t always needed, but it doesn’t hurt to use it as standard.
If you’re spending more than £100 per ticket, always book on a credit card as you’ll have payment protection if the seller goes bust, or the product isn’t as described
WHEN YOU’RE FLEXIBLE ON DATES AND DESTINATION
Head toSkyscanner, type in your departure airport, click on ‘whole month’ and then select ‘cheapest month’ for your dates
You can also type in just your city, e.g. ‘London’ or country, e.g. ‘United Kingdom’, and tick ‘add nearby airports’ for even more options
If you’re overwhelmed by results, try selecting whole months instead
Good to know: Skyscanner vets all of the travel agents they use and monitor them closely.
Similar to Skyscanner, you can useKayak’s flight page to search ‘Anywhere’, however more fun is their ‘explore‘ function which can be accessed by clicking on ‘explore’ in the homepage’s menu (this may be hidden in ‘more’) and pop in your date range and duration
Here you’ll gain a map view of potential destinations which is a great visual tool!
(Skyscanner actually has amap view too but… I prefer Kayak!)
Head toRyanair’s Fare Finder – yes, you can only search their flights but the search options are AMAZING. If only all sites had this functionality!
First things first, get past the initial page as you can really tailor your search on the next page
What I love is that not only can you search ‘anywhere’ and ‘anytime’, but you can also look at the next 3 months and, my favourite, date ranges!
Before booking, check your chosen flights onmomondo – sometimes they’ll find cheaper prices, though this tends to be for long haul flights
momondo seem a bit more relaxed on the travel agents they use (hence, the greater range of prices!) so if you’re feeling nervous, check their rating ontrustpilot
WHEN YOU’RE FLEXIBLE ON DATES BUT KNOW THE DESTINATION
Head toGoogle Flights, type in your destination and click ‘reset’ on the dates to reveal a calendar that clearly shows you the best prices
Don’t worry if you don’t know your trip duration, the calendar shows all options so just ignore this at the bottom
What is fantastic about Google Flights is that once you’ve selected your dates, you can also add in a range of filters including bags, stops and times that really help when you need to be specific.
It also suggest tips, such as the fact you can fly the same route Premium for £753.
Google Flights is amazing for spotting patterns of when cheap flights land however, they often do not show the cheapest prices so once you have your dates, remember to check against Skyscanner and momondo
Head to Skyscanner, type in your intended destination, click on ‘whole month’ and then select ‘cheapest month’, or, if you know what month you’d like to travel, select that instead
Similarly, you can try Kayak’s flight page which allows you some flexibility on your dates but personally, I prefer Skyscanner’s offering
However, there is a weekend option which is good for finding those annual leave friendly flights
Also, I really like the explore option that allows you to search a map
The explore function also has a ‘holidays’ option that lets you search school holiday dates
Once more, before you book, do check your chosen flights on momondo as you may be able to get a cheaper deal here
WHEN YOU’RE FLEXIBLE ON DESTINATION BUT KNOW YOUR DATES
Head to Skyscanner, type in ‘everywhere’, and then pop in your dates
Head to Kayak and peruse their explore function to visualise where you could go on a map!
Again, remember to whack in your chosen details into momondo as you may save a few bob using this site
WHEN YOU KNOW YOUR DATES AND THE DESTINATION
Head to Google Flights, fill in what you want and use their clever filters to navigate the best price once you’ve added all your preferences – check in bags, departure times, stops, etc.
This is handy as other search engines may only allow you to search these extras once you’ve selected a flight and so if a particular airline has a cheap fare but an astronomical price for luggage, you’ll be able to spot that using Google easier
Once you have this knowledge, or if you simply want the cheapest of the cheap, head on over to Skyscanner and momondo to double and triple check the costs
As flight prices can go up and down, it can be sometimes difficult to gauge if you’re getting it for the cheapest price possible. Whilst there’s a lot of theories about when is the best time to book, on a Sunday for example, but it often comes down to market demand – which can be very hard to plot!
However, a more scientific way to gauge this is using apps and the Hopper app uses stats to tell you whether to pounce or wait it out
I’ve used the app for over a year now and I will admit that I have totally ignored it’s warnings, and gone on to find cheaper flights, HOWEVER, what it is very good for is flagging when you’ve found a KILLER deal – particularly on long haul
I’ve also picked up that in general, the closer you get to the date of departure, the more expensive it’s going to get. Just because a flight isn’t sold out, doesn’t mean they’re going to flog the seats for cheap. I once paid £355 (okay fine, work paid) for a last minute flight to Luxembourg and when I got on board, there were only 10 other people on it!
You still with me? Good. Because now is the time to reveal all those little tricks I’ve picked up over the years that can save you hundreds of pounds.
They won’t all work for your specific trip, but what I hope they’ll do is help you develop alternative methods that will not only help you save money, but make you feel like a TOTAL TRAVEL GURU!
Here we go.
THE ULTIMATE CHEAP FLIGHT CHECKLIST
Find your accommodation first
Well. This isn’t what you expected, was it? But before we get down to the nitty gritty, I wanted to just pop my head up and go ‘yes cheap flights are brilliant and all that but…’ – do not let a cheap flight distract you from the fact that accommodation tends to be the biggest cost when going away.
SO. Do have a look at that first because if it means paying an extra £50 for your flight, it will be well worth it if your accommodation is £300 cheaper for that period
Top tip: It can be hard to find when hotels are cheap so why not look at Airbnb instead? Whilst there’s lots of choose from, I recommend their ‘Plus‘ range (the creme de la creme of Airbnbs) or try googling ‘best Airbnbs in New York‘ (replace with city of choice, obvs). These places do get booked up quicker but you can use their availability calendar as a starter for dates, and have the peace of mind that you’re staying somewhere lush
Oh go on have another tip: the Airbnb app displays the prices in a calendar format but the website doesn’t so definitely get that bad boy downloaded for the easiest way to see prices
Sometimes ticking ‘search for nearby airports’ isn’t enough – you need to manually search for alternative airports
For example, did you know that you can reach Birmingham International airport for as little as £7 and it’s only 1 hour and 10 minutes away from London?
I used this trip when I needed to find a cheap flight from New York to Miami. Everything was so expensive, but then I discovered that I could fly from Long Island (just over an hour’s train away from NYC) for just £30! I saved myself so much money.
Book a multi-city trip to fly from/return to a different airport
Travel jargon alert – when you fly from and back from different airports, this is called an open jaw flight
If your flight is coming up pricey, it may be that one of your legs is much more expensive than the other. Therefore, why not look to see if you could swap the pricey one to/from a different location?
I did this when flying to a wedding in Perugia. The flight out was £30 – SOUND AS A POUND LAD – but the flight back was £270. WITH RYANAIR. I was horrified. So instead, I looked at other Italian airports within a two hour radius and not only did I find a flight back from Rome for less than half the price, it was also BUSINESS CLASS 💁♀️💁♀️💁♀️ (could literally not be more smug).
What’s more, the train from Perugia to Rome was a chilled two hour £10 trundle through the Italian countryside with a bottle of prosecco. As I said. Smug AF.
Turn your connection into another destination with multi-city
Does your long haul flight have a stop? Then why not turn that stop into another destination?
Using the multi-city function, enter the flight details that you’ve been presented with flight by flight but instead of a measly 3 hour stopover, change the date so that you can spend some time in that destination instead.
So often this will cost the same, or even, if you’re lucky, even cheaper!!
Flying to an International hub? Super serve your holiday by adding another destination!
If your destination also happens to be one of the world’s largest airports – think Atlanta, Beijing, Dubai and Los Angeles – there could be a chance you could add on another destination for not much more
I wrote a blog post about how you can super serve a trip to Dubai by adding in Sri Lanka, Hong Kong and Vietnam for less than £100
If flying to multiple destinations, try flying with the same airline
You can get a cracking deal by flying multi-city, but often only if you’re flying with the same airline
Why not check out where else the airline you’re flying with goes to and try adding that in a multi-city search?
If flying with multiple airlines, try booking your flights individually
Got a connection and then continuing with another airline? Try popping the flights into multi-city and also individually as one way trips, just to check you’re getting the best possible deal
Flying one way? Try searching for a return
Yep – sometimes it’s cheaper to purchase a return flight than just one way. Madness.
Searching for two people? Try searching individually
There may be one ticket left at the cheapest price, so check how much it would cost if you selected the tickets individually in case it adds up to less
You could also try booking the cheap rate simultaneously – but most websites won’t be fooled that easily!
Not travelling on your own? Make sure you’ve changed your search to reflect it
It can be easy to search for prices on the preset of ‘1 adult’, but strangely, you can sometimes get cheaper rates when you’re booking more than one ticket so give that a go too
Go on a holiday someone else can no longer make
Transfer travel is a site that lets you book unwanted holidays and the great news is that the price you see INCLUDES the name change fees
There’s flights, hotels, package deals and even bus and train fares on here!
I also really like that some people tell you why they can no longer go – one fella lamented that it was intended as a romantic getaway but they’d unfortunately broken up… 🙈😬🤣
I haven’t used this site yet, so can’t vouch for it, but I am SO INTRIGUED
Go for a dump
I mean a FUEL DUMP obviously (I’m 29 and in desperate need of a better sense of humour)
As well as referring to when a plane needs to dispose of fuel, the secret meaning is when you have a connecting flight, but you sack off the last flight and leave halfway through
For example, you may find a cracking deal from Inverness (oddly, Inverness often gets airfares cheaper than the rest of the country!!) but you could do with jumping out at London Heathrow on the way back
Well, you could technically do this as long as you didn’t check in any luggage
Now, this is FROWNED UPON but it’s very unlikely that an airline would take action about you not turning up for your final flight (though some have!) since people miss them all the time, but definitely read up on it before you do this
Skipplagged is site that exploits this, though they’re pretty US centric
It’s definitely worth saying that you cannot join a flight midway through – you can only ‘dump’ the final leg!
Check the departures and arrivals board of your wanted destination
If you know exactly where you want to go, it’s definitely worth checking to see what flights are coming in and out. This is because new airlines, or new routes, can sometimes take a while to filter through
I saw this recently when looking for flights for a friend travelling to Shenzhen in China. Neither Skyscanner or momondo showed me that a new route served by Shenzhen Airlines was a whopping £300 cheaper than the direct options they were giving me (they are finally coming up in the search results now!)
Try foreign search engines
Search engines local to the destinations you’re heading may be able to offer you a better a deal – but remember to book with a card that doesn’t charge you a foreign transaction fee
When travelling around Vietnam, I came across Baolau‘s search engine and not only did it offer train fares, it consistently offered plane fares for less money than the likes of Skyscanner – and having just checked, it still does!
Baolau also works if you’re travelling around China, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, Philippines or Indonesia
Try booking in a currency that’s seen a sudden dip in value
This is quite a new tip I’ve heard about but I like it in theory! The thought is that if a currency dips, you could try to book a flight in said currency and save a lot due to the conversion rates
It’s likely that airlines will be across this, but if you’re quick, you might just catch them out!
Of course, remember that when booking in a currency different from your own, you may incur a foreign transaction fee so check what rates you have on the card you’re purchasing with!
Check business class
Now this sounds WILD I know, but sometimes, just sometimes, someone makes a blunder and you might find a better class of seat for the same or less money – it’s happened to me ONCE where it was £25 cheaper to fly business than economy with British Airways. Absolute insanity mate.
Double check how much it would cost you to upgrade
Often, you can only select different classes for a return journey if you’re booking direct with the airline (which often costs you more that third party travel agents) however, do double check as I once missed a £100 upgrade to Premium Economy when booking with TravelUp (booked via Skyscanner) for a 12 HOUR FLIGHT from Mexico City which I wasn’t allowed to add on after purchase
When I got to the check in desk, they said it would cost me £800 to upgrade. I was FEWMIN’
Check vouchers and promo codes
Now, money off and promo codes aren’t the norm when it comes to booking flights but some third parties, such as opodo, do often flaunt these from time to time so it can be worth a quick google
Book an error fare
An error fare is exactly that – when someone makes a f*ck up and you reap the benefits
You can technically find these yourself but it will take a lot of man hours without the certainty of finding a deal so instead, take a look at the sites listed next who will flag error fares as and when they arise
Also, the search options on their website is pretty helpful
Sign up for Jack’s Flight Club
Jack’s Flight Club also compiles the best deals out there. There’s a free option that will get you one or two deals a week, but as a paid member (which I’ve been for three years running – it costs £35 a year), you’ll get sent ALL the deals and lists of weekend friendly flights
What I will say is that I will rarely see a deal via Jack’s Flight Club that I haven’t then seen for free on Secret Flying, HOWEVER, they do send you an email as and when the deal is found and since you have to react quite quickly to them, I do find this really convenient
I’m not a paying member of this one so alas, I cannot comment further!
Check Airfare Watchdog
Airfare Watchdog is yet another option, but if you’re searching for that particular flight, it may be worth checking in with what offers they’ve got there as well – JUST IN CASE
In general, I find that once one group reports a cheap deal or error fare, they all start circulating it so don’t be overwhelmed by the choices. Perhaps choose just two and check those more often
Seen a great deal but it doesn’t fit your dates?
All these cheap flight groups are amazing but they may not list all available dates or, if they do, they may have missed one
Head to Google Flights and add in the locations and dates that have been given as an example
Do not worry if Google Flights aren’t showing the same cheap price – this is normal, as you tend to get the best prices by checking with other websites
However, what Google Flights is amazing for is spotting the patterns. So, if the example dates are showing up as say, £400, you can then hit ‘reset’ on the dates, scroll through the calendar and look for other £400 dates
Then, whack those newly found dates into Skyscanner and momondo and hopefully they’ll also show the same bargainous price!
In general, I find that once one group reports a cheap deal or error fare, they all start circulating it so don’t be overwhelmed by the choices. Perhaps choose just two and check those more often
Need a specific fare? Set price alerts
If you’ve already download the Hopper (the app that uses stats to give you hints on when to book) and have decided to wait it out, it’s worth setting price alerts on the routes you’re after
On Skycanner, you can find this to the right labelled as ‘Get Price Alerts’ after you’ve made your initial search
They’ll then email you when prices change – be that up, or down
Need bags? Know the airlines that offer them for free/cheap
With more and more airlines (we’re looking at you, Virgin and BA) offering fares without bags, if you need to add in some luggage, that cheap rate may not be so cheap after all
Otherwise, keep scrolling through your results on the lookout for an airline that offers bags as standard.
A few to look out for are Cathay Pacific, Emirates and Etihad
Whilst on the face of it, Ryanair has one of the worst baggage policies since they only allow you a small personal item on board HOWEVER, you can make it work for you since you can add a 10kg piece of checked luggage from £10 each way (used to be just £8 – the scoundrels!)
Ignore the ‘upgrade to plus’ nonsense, select a basic/standard fare and on the next page, you’ll be give further bag options
This means that from just £20 return, you can go wild on 100ml+ products and even pack a bottle of voddy (no?? Just me???)
easyJet also offer a ‘Hands Free’ service where you pay £6 (or £14 for a group of 3 to 6 people) to drop your cabin bag at an easyJet Bag Drop before security – where you’ll receive a tote bag for the items you’ll need on the flight
The idea behind this is that you don’t have to drag a case around with you but the total winner is that since it’s BEFORE security, you can have liquids over 100ml in there
What’s more, your bags will be tagged as ‘priority’ so will be out first
If you have a Pay Monthly deal with Three, you can currently get this service for free but only for the flight departing the UK
Bag Drop is not available on all flights so check and book ahead!
Lastly, if you’re flying from London, it may be worth checking British Airway’s Holiday Finder as they offer a free checked bag for all flight + hotel deals (they also have a really fun search engine that lets you search destinations by temperature!)
A few times I have found the price of the entire deal to be cheaper than the flight alone – winner – however, do always check the costs individually because on the flip side, you could end up paying more
As well, you can pay just a deposit on bookings over £300 from £75 per person
Check package deals
Now, I love making life hard for myself so I’m not always a huge package deal fan BUT, after my mate managed to blag flights and a five night stay in a 4 star New York hotel for just £600, I realised that I was probably missing out on a cracking deal or two
Genuinely thought these only existed in 50’s fiction but no, they are indeed a real thing!
Skyscanner have done an impressive job of summarising here and have given these following reasons for why you should book one of these rather than doing it yourself via multi-city:
Your trip is less than a year
You’re not bothered about flying with budget airlines (like Ryanair or AirAsia)
You have a set travel plan
You’re buying tickets on behalf of a group or family
You’re part of a frequent flier programme and collect miles and perks
Get a free upgrade – sign up for frequent flyer programmes
Now, I wish I could tell you how to nail this but alas, the last time I got a free upgrade was 13 years ago – BLIMEY!
However, one thing you must do is sign up for the frequent flyer programmes. Not only will you collect points (that one day may equal prizes in the form of free flights), but you’re just giving yourself that boost up for being selected for a free upgrade
Obviously, you’ll be up against all the frequent flyers but HEY, this is a very free way to get your foot on the ladder!
Fly for free with points
Now, I’m not the best person to talk about collecting miles as I’m a total floozy and will cast aside all brand loyalty to save money
However, there are credit cards out there that will reward you with free miles but first things first – DO NOT GET ONE UNLESS YOU ARE WILLING TO PAY IT BACK MONTHLY
As someone who’s not so good with money, I was wary of this so ended up signing up for the American Express Gold card (I’m not gonna link to these as I do not want to encourage anyone to get into debt!) because it is in fact a charge card rather than a credit card meaning that I HAD to pay it off every single month
I got 10,000 points by spending (and paying off) £1k in 3 months and with my spending throughout the rest of the year, I earned another 15,000 points which I transferred out to Virgin miles
So yes, it can work, but be wary and check additional fees
Top tip: Shop with Tesco? You can turn your clubcard points into points too!
Is there another form of transport cheaper?
Don’t forget to check trains, ferries, car hire and even car shares if you’re struggling to find a flight within your budget
One of my FAVOURITE money saving tips is to do a relocation. This is when a hire company has rented a car or campervan for one way hire, and instead of spending a lot of time and money getting it back, they let you hire it for as little as £1 to chug it back to them