How to make your travel dollar go further

We’ve been locked down enough. It’s time to plan for a holiday. Thankfully for travellers, the industry is desperate to get back on track and there are plenty of great deals and sweet, sweet extras going around. Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your holiday dollar.

Wave hello to cruising
According to Escape it’s ‘wave’ season – the period from January to March when itineraries are traditionally discounted. This makes it an ideal time to get great deals for 2022 and 2023 cruises.

“You’ll see the best prices for itineraries as well as bonus on-board credits and room upgrades,” Cruise Guru CEO Andrew Zhang told Escape.

For example, Royal Caribbean’s Sun-soaked Savings offer 30 per cent discounts and up to $US600 in shipboard credit. Local provider APT is also offering savings of up to $3500 per couple for early bookings.

But it also pays to keep an eye out for savings out of this period. If a cruise isn’t selling well, often the company will drop prices to fill up the ship as the departure date approaches.

Read: 2022’s top travel trends for older Aussies

Flights of fancy
Some domestic flights are reduced by up to 50 per cent thanks to government subsidies extended until 28 February, says Finder’s Angus Kidman. “Virgin Australia’s Happy Hour sale runs every Thursday from 4-11pm, while Jetstar’s Friday Fare Frenzy usually kicks off on Fridays 12pm-8pm,” he added.

Signing up to airline emails is also a great way to keep track of up-to-the-minute deals.

Read: The emotional stages of going on your first post-lockdown trip

Book car rental early
Cruisin has 30 per cent off campervan hire and DriveNow has campervan hire from $5 a day. Expedia’s Lisa Perkovic says road-tripping will remain popular in 2022 as people choose to stay closer to home. “With road trips more and more popular, it’s just as important to book your rental car in advance,” she says.

Check out campervan hire compare companies, and Australian specialist for the latest offers.

Welcome back
Some tourism bodies are subsidising prices to provide incentives, says TravelOnline managing director Glenn Checkley.

“Hotels are keen to attract leisure customers back and we’ve never seen deals this low, particularly in Fiji where the government is subsidising flights and hotel stays booked as a package deal,” he says.

Read: Here’s our 2022 travel wish list

Use agents
“The impact on the industry has been so big,” says Mr Zhang. “But one area staying strong is online because they have less overheads. The likes of MyCruises, Luxury Escapes and Cruise Guru will bring the best product in 2022 but traditional travel agents will also have access to deals and may offer a more personal service.”

Agents may also be able to take over the workload regarding contacting the bigger companies such as Qantas or Luxury Escapes which are often subjecting customers to considerable waiting times especially when it comes to changing itineraries.

What are your best money saving tips for booking a holiday?

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Written by Jan Fisher