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How to bag an Easter travel bargain

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Written by:
26/03/2013
Easter is approaching but there are still travel bargains to be found. Here are a few tips on how to find one...

It’s no secret that travel firms, airlines and hotels put up their prices during the school holidays. According to a report by Direct Line, more than half of parents are prepared to take their children out of school to save money on their holidays.

But there are a number of ways you can save money on your travel bills without upsetting the school, and here are few top tips from the experts:

1. Leave it as late as you dare – holidays that have not sold are often reduced at the last minute to try and recoup some of the money for the operator.

Steve Rees, managing director of debt consultant Vincent Bond & Co, says: “If you are brave enough to leave your booking until the day before, then search the web for last minute holidays to find a bargain. Check sites like lastminute.com or laterooms.com for deals.”

2. Save before you even book – Sites like quidco.com and Topcashback.co.uk give you money for making a purchase with another site that has an offer with them.

Both are free to join, and you can get great offers on everything from travel companies to car hire firms, which will give you additional discounts.

Topcashback has helped save two million Brits 9% on every online transaction, so do not delay and get a slice of the savings.

3. Sort out your travel money, early – shopping around for your travel money is essential as the pound remains weak, and rumour has it that it may further go down. You can use online currency specialists like HiFX, FairFX or Moneycorp – among others – to get a better deal than you could usually get on the high street.

Pre-paid cards are useful if you are budgeting too, as you load the amount you want to spend while you are away onto the card before you go and then use it like a debit card when you are away.

You cannot spend more than is on the card, and if you need to top it up you can do that too. Just remember not to offer this as a card to secure your hotel room or car hire, because that will effectively prevent you from using it for the duration of your trip.

Using a credit or debit card designed for overseas use could be is another option. By applying and using a card designed for overseas spending, you can benefit from some of the best deals around, coupled with the safety of using a pin protected card.

Those planning to use a debit or credit card should always check the small print to ensure they understand any charges before setting off abroad – or they could be greeted by a hefty bill on their return.

4. Save on airport parking – Booking your parking before you go can save you a fortune compared to just turning up on the day.

Look at sites like Holidayextras.co.uk and gosimply.com for comparison prices, but also check the airport parking sites direct, because sometimes you can get your parking even cheaper this way.

5. Get travel insurance – this could be the best thing you buy for your holiday, and you should get it as soon as you have booked in case you need to cancel your holiday for any reason. Use a comparison site to make sure you get the right cover at the right price.

The cheapest deal may not be the best, so check you have the cover you need and as with all policies read the small print. If you have any pre-existing medical conditions, declare them – your policy will be invalid if you do not.

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