Travel For Less

For years the simplest way to organise a holiday was to pick up a travel brochure from a travel agent and select a package to include flight, accommodation and anything else you might need. Now however widespread use of the internet means you can now book all the individual parts of your holiday online from the comfort of your home. This not only gives you much greater flexibility but can save you a fortune. The following are all sites I’ve used and recommend:

Save On Flights

Opodo is an online travel service owned by nine of the world’s leading airlines including British Airways, offering flights, hotels, car rental and holidays.

Incredibly easy to use, you just enter in your requirements and in the case of flights it’ll search around 500 airlines to give you all the options. I use this site regularly and am constantly amazed how often it can get me better deals than the “no frills” airlines. Which of course means more convenient flight times, closer departure gates and free meals, drinks, newspapers etc. as well as a cheaper flight.

In business for over 20 years, Avro is the UK’s leading charter flight-only company, selling over 1,000,000 seats every year, and flies from 15 UK airports to 46 airports in Europe, Africa, The Caribbean, USA and Mexico. Avro has an enviable reputation for service combined with competitive prices, and has received many awards from the travel industry’s leading publications!

Save On Accommodation

AlphaRooms has been around since 1998 and has become established as one of the premier independent hotel and apartment booking service providers in destinations worldwide with over 19,000 hotels bookable online, ranging from budget accommodation at around £10 per night to 5* luxury.

There’s complete flexibility to choose exactly the dates you want, without penalty, so you can work around cheap flight dates you find instead of trying to work around a 7 or 14 day package. In many cases you can choose whether to opt for room only or add breakfast, half board or full board.

I booked a week in Tenerife with them for considerably less than other sites were offering the same hotel, and added a buffet breakfast for 4 people for just a few pounds extra.

Without doubt this is currently my favourite site if you’re looking for holiday accommodation. It’s easy to use; the range is huge; the prices are amazing and they even have maps and Rough Guides to help you make your choice.

Established in 1992, is the internet leader in home swapping, the vacation alternative where “You stay in my home while I stay in yours”. In fact it was the website used by Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet when arranging their own home exchange in the SONY motion picture THE HOLIDAY.

With 17,000+ listings in 110 countries, there are over 50,000 Members who take over 100,000 individual vacation trips per year. Visitors to the site are actively involved in planning their next vacation. Home Exchange Membership allows unlimited exchanges for only £50/$99.95 per year, with no additional per-exchange or per-day charges, with discounts on additional properties, and a free 2nd year if you don’t exchange in the first. Because Members are exchanging homes, accommodation is free and a HomeExchange vacation costs no more than the transportation cost of getting there. Cars are often exchanged, and many meals can be taken at your home away from home which alone could mean savings of hundreds of pounds. Not only is it cheaper, it is more comfortable than a hotel vacation, and you get to experience an area as a local, not a tourist, shopping at local markets and getting personal recommendations for places to go, things to see and restaurants to try, from your exchange partner and neighbours.
Save On Car Hire

My personal favourite for car hire is Holiday Autos. They are the world’s largest online car rental broker with fully inclusive car rental in over 4000 locations UK and worldwide, and huge savings when you book online. My week in Tenerife cost just £67 but would have cost £109 if I’d booked by phone, and more than twice that if I’d gone direct to one of the bigger names in car rental.
Save On Travel Insurance

If you’ve ever tried to buy travel insurance in the high street you’ll know that they only offer a “one size fits all” policy with very little flexibility. offers stress free travel insurance with flexible options to make sure you get the perfect cover for your trip. Their competitive prices and easy to use website make it easy to purchase a policy that is specific for your needs in a matter of minutes, whether you need cover for a single trip or Annual, Long Stays, Winter sports, Business travel and Golf insurance.

They also offer family and couple discounts, and cover over 25 activities such as water skiing and banana boating at no extra premium. Cover for up to 79 years of age on single trips and 64 with annual cover.
Save On Other Holiday Expenses

The only drawback to creating your own holiday packages by booking flights and hotels separately is the absence of the extras that a package may also include, the main one being transfers from the airport to the accommodation. To fill this gap provides a comprehensive range of international transfers, not only from airports but also harbour transfers and resort transfers via Taxi, Minibus, Coach and Shuttle Services, starting at just £3 each way.

Another thing you may miss when you don’t book a package tour is the services of a rep when something goes wrong or you just need local information. Once again there is a simple, cheap solution. Fisher’s Travel SOS is a unique guide for anyone travelling abroad, focusing on providing ‘local’ emergency and critical contact information.

Information that might be required if faced with a situation encompassing:

* Medical issues
* Financial matters
* Missing / stolen items
* Missing / lost person
* Transportation
* Food and beverages
* Communication
* The law
* Accommodation
* National/Local Emergency

The guides also features:

* what to do when faced with an emergency in the country
* preparation before travel
* known dangers
* vital phrases, words, images and symbols (where English is not the primary language)
* basic first aid

When you take your mobile phone abroad, your phone ‘roams’ onto overseas mobile networks. This enables you to continue using your mobile almost as you would in the UK, but there can be significant extra costs for calls, voicemail and all your customer services. maxSIMT is a prepaid mobile phone service that allows you to use your mobile phone when you are traveling abroad, without incurring expensive roaming charges. Simply swap to maxSIMT and make cheap mobile phone calls in over 115 countries worldwide, and even receive calls for free in more than 65 countries. Ideal for people travelling abroad on business, holiday or taking a gap year, maxSIMT will cut your mobile phone bill by as much as 85% and makes it easier to stay in touch. And when your credit runs low, simply top up your account using our automated and instant top-up service, from anywhere in the world, 24 hours a day.

Airparks is one of the leading airport parking and airport hotel with parking providers in the UK with parking at 25 UK sites from only £2.49/day and a best price guarantee. Options include on-site, off-site, meet and greet parking as well as airport hotels with and without parking options. Book online for savings of up to 60%. Parking at Gatwick in the summer is from an amazing £4.50/day or about £30 for a week
Holiday Reviews

Ok, so you’re trying to decide between two great hotels or you’ve found a great deal and want to know whether it’s really any good. We’ve all heard horror stories of half-built hotels and beaches that aren’t exactly on the doorstep. Luckily Holiday Watchdog comes to the rescue with hundreds of reviews, both written and visual, from previous visitors. Take a look to make your choice, or to post your own experiences. You could win a holiday, or get paid £20 for submitting a video review.


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