After the holiday excitement, many people overlook the opportunities that January brings. In an effort to drum up business, companies put many travel routes on sale, and buyers find all kinds of savings and deals available. Cheap holidays are particularly available in January, and there are a variety of tactics you can use to get out of the winter doldrums and into a different location.
The first thing to do is plan ahead. If you know you want to go somewhere well before the holidays, put something related to your January travel on your holiday wish list. Planning to fly a particular airline? Many of them offer gift cards. Encourage your friends and family to purchase an airline gift card for you if your plans are secure. Just remember that a Virgin gift card can’t be used on British Air, or vice-versa. So if you go this route, just make sure you will actually fly with the specific airline. Gift cards may be available for car rental companies and larger hotel chains as well, so if you know you’ll stay at a Premier Inn or rent a car from Sixt, see if gift cards are available and encourage those as gifts. There’s no better way to stay on a budget than to have someone else pick up part of the bill! Of course, you can always explain your plans and just ask for cash.
Use a travel consolidator website for your initial search for bargains. Consolidator websites like bring you comparisons of many different airlines at once. You can change the date, time, number of connections and other criteria to see how changes will affect your ticketed price. Often, flying on a Tuesday or Wednesday will bring significant savings, as will flying late at night or very early in the morning. These are typically times when planes do not fly full, and since the plane will be flying anyway, the airlines would rather fill the seats than pay for the fuel to fly the plane with empty seats.
Another way to find savings on January holidays is to consider a half-board or even self-catered holiday rather than an all-inclusive holiday. With all-inclusive packages, you often end up paying for meals, activities or services you don’t use. Save that money by buying the lower-cost options and then using the money you save to more fully experience your destination. You can eat in small eateries that source their ingredients locally and get a more authentic experience.
Consider whether or not you really need car hire. Is there public transport where you’re going? Car hire is notoriously expensive and by the time you add the cost of petrol and insurance to the base price, it can eat up a huge amount of your holiday budget. Opting for buses and trains, plus the occasional taxi, may save you even more money.
With a little planning and time spent considering your options, a cheap holiday is very possible in January.