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Tips on how to still afford a holiday this year

Jan 30 2017 19:14

Cape Town - Due to increasing economic pressues, many South Africans might wonder how they will be able to afford a holiday this year.

Andrew Shelton, managing director of global travel search platform Cheapflights.co.za, provides his top money-saving tips, smart destination swaps and ways to cram in more holidays this year.
 
Currency check-up
 
- Embrace the stronger rand while it lasts, because it is helps travellers planning their overseas holidays for 2017.

- Buy right - Withdrawing local currency from a cash machine at the destination is the best value option when it comes to buying holiday money.  Despite the fact that users are charged a fee, cash withdrawals from an ATM offer the highest exchange rates. Pre-loaded cash cards offer good value too and are a better option than buying currency at an airport bureau de change, or using travellers’ cheques, in his view.

Perfect planning
 
- Double your holiday allowance by turning 17 days paid leave into 48 days of holiday by cleverly combining public holidays, weekends and leave days in 2017.

- This year Easter falls later in the calendar than in 2016. Good Friday is 14 April and Easter Monday is 17 April, so book off two days of work (13 April and 18 April) and take a six-day holiday, returning to work on 19 April.
 
Swap and save
 
- Destination: Swapping destinations can bring big savings, without compromising on the holiday experience. Swap Krabi (average return fares of R9 180 per person) in Thailand for Phuket (average return fares of R5 095 per person), and save R4 085, for instance.

- Take the long way: Taking an indirect flight with one or two layovers can significantly drop flight prices, and gives travellers a chance to explore destinations.
 
Time it right
 
- Travel on a Tuesday and forget Fridays: Tuesdays are the least popular days to travel and therefore the cheapest. Friday is consistently the most expensive day to fly because of the increased demand from those trying to get away for the weekend.
 
- Take flight at night: The time of flight departure can also impact flight costs. Morning flights tend to be more expensive so those who have the flexibility to travel between 6pm and midnight will save.
 
- The magic 50: The best fares are advertised about 50 days ahead of departure with the most expensive being seen three days before travel.

- Fly on Christmas day: Analysis of Cheapflights’ festive fare searches revealed that savings of up to 23% can be made to popular Christmas holiday hotspots for those happy to fly on Christmas day.
 
Tips and tricks
 
- Delete browser history: Internet users should delete their browser history when it comes to actually booking flights. Prices can increase based on the number of times searchers revisit a particular website.
 
- Use search websites: Don't assume going directly to the airline is the cheapest way to travel. Sometimes small travel agents use flight search sites to sell off holidays and flights that people have cancelled.
 
- Get appy: Use effective interactive apps to find the cheapest days to fly, save favourite routes and personal details for faster booking.
 
- Stay ahead of the sales: Sign up to airline and comparison website newsletters and alerts so that you’re ahead of the game when it comes to flash sales, discounts and special offers.
 
- Bringing your own food to eat in-flight is a sure-fire way to save money.
 
- Fast track to the lounge: A day pass into the Bidvest Lounge costs as little as R219, which offers free Wi-Fi, food, and showers.
 
- Lose the seat: Many airlines are charging passengers to pre-book their seats. Avoid booking a specific seat to save costs.

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savings  |  travel and leisure  |  money
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