Trains, price tracking and packing light: How to book a cheap holiday in 2023

Trains, price tracking and packing light: How to book a cheap holiday in 2023

The new year has us all thinking about our plans for the next 12 months.

And many of us will start the year by putting our plans into action and booking breaks for 2023.

But the cost of living crisis means we’re all looking to get the most for our money. Tighter budgets are changing the way we travel but it doesn’t have to mean missing out.

So what are the best ways to save when booking a holiday for 2023?

Book your flight in advance and on the cheapest day to travel

One of the best ways to save could be setting up alerts that will notify you when the price of your flight drops, according to travel search engine Kayak.

It also pays to plan ahead. The number of days you need to book in advance varies depending on your destination. If you are travelling to Bangkok, Thailand, for example, the best week to go is from the 24 April. The biggest savings are to be had if you book your trip 29 days in advance. Travelling on a Wednesday could save you money, too.

If you are booking a break to New York, however, you may need to buy your tickets 63 days before you fly and travel on a Tuesday to find the best deals.

Overall Kayak found that Tuesdays and Wednesdays were the best days to set off in order to save the most money.

Look for destinations where your money will go the furthest

If you’re travelling on a budget, you need to make sure you are getting the best value for your money.

That could mean considering destinations you’ve never explored before. It's worth comparing a few alternative options to find out where accommodation, eating out and activities cost the least.

Travel planning site Omio looked at some of the cheapest cities in Europe when it comes to factors like activities, food and public transport.

Out of 100 destinations, Granada in Spain came out on top with 112 free activities including the city’s biggest landmark, the Alhambra. Beer costs just over €2 and dinner for two will set you back around €44.

Bruges in Belgium and, perhaps surprisingly, Venice, Italy, came in just behind Granada on the list of cheap European city breaks.

Pixabay
Granada came out as the European city where your money will go the furthest. - Pixabay

Choose off-season travel to save money

We all know that travelling during the height of the season can be expensive. So if you’re looking to visit top destinations at a fraction of the price, try booking out of season.

You’ll be in good company too with more than half of travellers looking to save by visiting off-season destinations in 2023, according to Booking.com.

If you have a lot of flexibility in your holiday dates - and aren’t constrained by school holidays - then choosing to travel when others aren’t could make your money go further. Generally speaking, prices are lower during March, April, September and October.

Pexels
A longer journey with layovers could cost less. - Pexels

Cut costs with layovers and train travel

Booking.com’s yearly travel survey also found that more than half of us will be taking a longer route on our journeys abroad in order to save money.

Connecting flights are generally cheaper than non-stop ones and, if your layover is long enough, could give you enough time to explore an extra city.

With the cost of flights on the rise, why not consider alternative forms of transport such as trains? It may actually take less time on some routes as Euronews Travel journalist Hannah Brown found earlier this year.

And if you are heading to an environmentally conscious resort like Morzine in the French Alps, you may even get a discount on some services as a reward for taking the train rather than the plane.

Travel light to save money on baggage fees

Trying to save money often means travelling with a budget airline. But we’ve all experienced the additional costs that come with adding large suitcases to your booking.

Cheap flights are tempting, but they often only include hand luggage in the price - some just an under seat bag. It can really eat into your budget if your oversize baggage has to be checked in when you arrive at the airport.

Packing light doesn’t mean you have to miss out though. Follow some of our tips on how to fit everything you need for a full week away into the smallest space possible - and save money while doing it.