GNcareers, from Gulf News

Holiday: Bagging the best travel deals and packages

Planning to jaunt off on a European holiday or to an exotic destination? It may sound like a costly affair, but fret not; there are a number of travel deals to choose from. However, ensure that you make all the right moves when it comes to picking the right one of the holiday packages offered.

First off, determine your budget so that you can plan in advance and know how much you need to spend on air fare and accommodation. You also need to factor into your “travel fund” your shopping money and extra cash for miscellaneous stuff like cab fare and the like.

Shopping around is necessary when searching for reasonable packages. Scour the classifieds in newspapers, the Internet and social networks to hunt for topnotch deals. Subscribe to free email newsletters that alert you of ongoing promotions, and drops in hotel rates and air fares. You can also call up local travel agencies to compare the holiday package options of your chosen destination.

Book ahead as airline seats and hotel rooms fill up quickly. A popular online travel website suggests booking at least two months in advance, and flying either from Tuesday to Thursday to score better deals. It is also cheaper to buy a flight-hotel or flight-hotel-rental car package rather than pay for each separately. You must also take into consideration hotel “perks” like free breakfast and Wi-Fi, and its proximity to tourist spots. Furthermore, check if the hotel is accessible by train, tram and bus as you wouldn’t want to hail a cab every time you go out.

Lastly, remember the oft-repeated phrase “travel off-season” – obviously for lower rates and smaller crowds. But be ready to make adjustments to your travel schedule to save money.

Handy Hints
• Plan holiday trips in advance and always set a budget
• Check classifieds, Net, etc., for travel deals
• Book at least two months ahead for lower rates and best holiday packages

Source: Special to Classifieds