There are always ways to make the most of your money on your next holiday, but just what are they?
Phil Evans, managing director of Cruise Nation points us in the right direction.
1. Be date savvy
If you have the availability, try and play around with your dates as flexibility is important when trying to get a better deal. Booking a Mediterranean cruise in mid-September compared with one a month earlier can save you hundreds.
You should also pay attention to the day of the week you fly out, with Tuesday and Wednesday usually the least expensive days to travel.
Another thing to consider is that not everywhere has the same off-season, which can work to your advantage. In Asia, the monsoon season changes from country to country – or even within a country – and can make a huge difference to prices as well as capacity.
2. Keep an eye on the currency rates
It’s always worth looking at the latest currency exchange rates before you choose your holiday destination. With the euro at its highest rate against the pound since 2008, choosing to take advantage of this and booking a Mediterranean, Baltic or Balkan escape will mean you can make your pound stretch further.
For those travelling this summer, European cruises usually require less time aboard the ship so guests could spend more time exploring the many countries and cultures included in their itinerary, taking advantage of the excellent rates.
The best way to guarantee your rate for your European cruise is to try pre-paid currency cards that will lock into exchange rates before you depart to give you some peace of mind.
3. The deals are real – so don’t forget to check
Many people don’t think to check the deals section of travel websites. It’s always worth taking a look, especially if you’re searching for a last minute holiday. Operators will often have stock they need to sell so, if you keep an eye out, you can bag some incredible deals.
At Cruise Nation, deals are updated constantly and it’s possible to get a 25-night cruise stopping at destinations including Mauritius, Heraklion, Madagascar, and the Seychelles for just £1,099. You might not think a package holiday would be for you, but they often contain the best value for money. Cruise Nation’s ‘Smart Packages’ work out much cheaper than booking a traditional flight and hotel stay and often include perks such as free hotel stays and flights – innovating the notion of the cruise holiday.
4. Book sooner rather than later
It’s often the first question on a traveller’s mind – should I book later or earlier? Unfortunately, there’s no hard or fast rule, especially in the travel industry. While there are plenty of great late deals available to customers, the cruise industry often has some of its best deals months in advance.
Going forward, cruise lines are looking to change the way the booking system works so the prices go up closer to the departure. If you’re looking to try out a cruise in the future, it’s more likely that the best bargains will be found up to a year in advance of the departure.