personal finance

Eight ways to save money on your last-minute summer holiday

You don’t have to swap a week in the Med with a weekend in Hull to cut costs, whatever time you book. 

Here we show you how:

1. Go off-peak

Whatever holiday you pick, prices will be higher during peak periods such as the prime summer months, July and August. If you can book early or late season, you’ll slash the cost considerably, and may even manage to haggle more money off. 

Remember, the temperature may even be more pleasant during May, June and September than mid-summer in some hot climates anyway. 

2. Be flexible

Do you really need to travel at that specific time or day? If you can be a bit flexible on your departure date, this’ll help put pounds back in your pocket. It’s cheaper to fly on a Tuesday, typically, for example. Night flights are also cheaper than daytime departures. 

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3. Book outside of school holidays

Another time the cost of any break away typically soars is when the kids are off school. So if you’re able to avoid these periods you’ll find cheaper prices. 

Informative, in-depth and in the know: get the latest money news with Saga Magazine. 

4. Last-minute deals

Even the day before travel you may find there’s a deal on offer. Call around the top package firms, and check online holiday and comparison sites to see if there are any offers flagged. If a holiday has just a few places left, you may find prices dramatically reduced. 

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5. Get your holiday money in advance

Whatever you do, don’t get your currency at the airport. Exchange rates tend to be pretty poor. Search online currency providers if you’ve enough time for delivery, or compare rates on the high street. 

Read our guide to saving on foreign currency 

6. Consider card costs

The exchange rates, commission and charges for using your credit or debit card abroad can quickly add up. Ideally, check the additional charges before you go and the simplest way to reduce these. Apply for a card that doesn’t levy additional charges on foreign currency transactions if you can.

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7. Ask for the best deal

If you don’t ask, you don’t get. So check if the holiday is advertised for less anywhere else, or ask for some extras, such as breakfast, included. Tour operators will be keen to fill spots, so if you’re opting for a last-minute deal this can be a good bargaining tool. 

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8. Go all-inclusive

It’s easier to budget when everything is included, as you won’t be racking up those extra meal and drink costs.

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