We all love a bargain, but are the black Friday deals simply too good to be true when it comes to planning your holidays? This year I found a number of holiday sites were slashing the costs of their holidays in honour of the American tradition of ‘Black Friday’, making some of the holidays an absolute steal yet should we always put so much faith in these companies?
I took full advantage of the sales this year and bagged myself a weeklong trip to Las Vegas for only £500 with the sales knocking off £250 from the original cost. Whilst I found myself a good deal this isn’t necessarily the case across all travel agents. Ryanair ran the promotion for £5 return flights from the UK to anywhere in Europe, yet when looking into this deal there seemed to be a lot of hidden fees that unless you knew to look for when booking, you may not have realised until the day of the flight.
whilst the black Friday deals may seem like a bargain, you need to ensure all bases are covered
Companies such as Ryanair often run these promotions in times where travel is often off-peak, and whilst this may suit some, when you’re at university or in a full-time job travelling out of season just isn’t possible. Along with this, Ryanair in particular have recently introduced a charge on bringing luggage onboard. Before November 1st, small cabin cases were allowed free of charge, but apparent delays due to the number of passengers carrying on luggage means this now comes at a cost. So whilst the black Friday deals may seem like a bargain, you need to ensure all bases are covered and that there won’t be any unwanted surprises awaiting you at the airport!
From personal experience, the best way I have found for saving money is through independently booking your holidays. Companies such as TUI, Thomas Cook and First Choice offer package holidays in which all hidden costs are avoided as one price covers flights, luggage, hotel transfers and of course, accommodation. Whilst these holidays are extremely popular, you can often find the same holiday for nearly half the price if you book these independently and not through a third party which profits from commission.
I found a website called ‘Hoppa’ which you can book transfers through
I recently travelled to Tenerife and took the initiative to book my flights, accommodation and transfers all separately. This was a family holiday that I decided to join last minute so the rest of the booking was made through an online agent and cost just over £400 for a week in the sun, including all the extras I have mentioned above.
Due to my booking being so last minute it was too late to amend the booking, so I decided to book on through various companies. For my flights I signed up to ‘Jet2’ and joined their members club, giving you 20% off flights meaning already the cost for me was dramatically reduced, I then rang the hotel I was planning on staying in and asked to reserve a room, which I then paid in euros when I arrived at the hotel.
Most people worry that when they land in a foreign country they’ll be stuck without transport trying to reach their hotels, often wasting extortionate amounts of their holiday spends on taxis to and from the airport. Instead I found a website called ‘Hoppa’ which you can book transfers through. The rest of my family had to pay £20 each for a place on the transfer coach, taking them over 2 hours to reach the hotel which was only 5 miles from the airport. Through making an independent booking I managed to reserve a place on a ‘speedy shuttle’ with only two other travellers, costing me £8 for a return and taking only 40 minutes, meaning not only did I save serious money but have also made the most out of my time in Tenerife, not spending hours on a coach!
Overall, I spent around £280 on the exact same holiday as my family, really showing just how much these big companies can exploit you and your trust in receiving the most for your money.
he best deals are only available in the country you’re travelling to
Whilst the sales may seem like a good opportunity to spot a bargain, these are often too good to be true. Make sure you have done your research and take your time in making bookings! Finally, don’t be afraid of a little adventure! Often you will find the best deals are only available in the country you’re travelling to. For example, if you were to book a holiday to Thailand, companies will charge you hundreds of pounds for a hotel when most hotels cost as little as £5 a night if you book upon arrival.
There are so many ways to cut the cost of travelling, you just need to venture outside of the box and don’t fall into the hands of the seemingly perfect package holiday!