Whether it’s to escape the stresses of everyday life,  soak up a bit of vitamin D, or expand our horizons, taking a holiday is surely one of life’s greatest joys. Booking a holiday can be a hassle – with time-consuming research and a heap of stress. Our essential holiday booking tips can help you breeze through the peak booking season of December to February, and prepare for a brilliant holiday in 2020.

Holiday booking can be a challenge. We may dream of sandy beaches and clear blue skies, the reality of booking the actual holiday tends to be a little less idyllic. Sky-high prices and crowded transport links have the power to put anyone off booking a trip, or simply even looking into one.

Stuck for inspiration and want to escape the cold British winter? Read the Wise Living guide to three winter sun destinations for every type of budget.

By following these simple steps, you can book the low-price, low-stress holiday you deserve.

Holiday booking tips to save time, stress and money

1. Don’t overlook holiday package deals to grab a bargain

Don't overlook package holiday deals when trying to get a cheap holiday.
Don’t overlook package holiday deals when trying to get a cheap holiday.

The term ‘package holiday’ may cause some to shudder thanks to its reputation for placing travellers in bleak, ugly hotels slap bang in the middle of a cultural void. But times have changed.

Now that most hotels, B&Bs, villas, and hostels are listed on travel sites, the internet has truly done its thing and allowed flight pairings to be found across the spectrum of accommodation options.

Booking.com, Expedia, KAYAK, Hipmunk, and Secret Escapes are just some examples of travel sites that offer great package deals.

2. Switch to private browsing to see the best travel deals

A good holiday booking tip is to turn on private browsing when accessing travel web sites.
A good holiday booking tip is to turn on private browsing when accessing travel web sites.

Just like when you browse for clothes, the clever cookies on your computer notice when you look for holiday deals. Then your ads change accordingly.

When you start searching for flights or accommodation, travel companies can see this and start throwing out more travel adverts into your online searches or social media. And if that wasn’t sneaky enough, they even put up the prices for you because they know you’re interested!

The key to overcoming this? Turn your browser to private ‘incognito’ or ‘InPrivate’ mode to avoid leaving behind a trail.

3. Book at the right time, fly at the right time

London bridge aerial view from the porthole
Book a night flight when travelling to enjoy lower airfare pricing.

According to complex data research and analysis, there is apparently a ‘sweet spot’ when it comes to booking flights.

Sundays and Mondays are supposedly the best days to book the cheapest flights, and Fridays are the worst.

And when you’re sitting there on a Monday morning, scrolling through your private browser for holiday deals, try to book your flight for a Tuesday or Wednesday, because these are apparently the cheapest days to fly out on.

Want to go that extra mile? Book a night-time flight to see that price drop even further.

4.  Book your break 53 days from travelling

While there’s a perfect day for booking a holiday and a perfect day for flying, there is also a perfect number of days in advance in which to book, too. According to experts, 53 days in advance is said to be the prime time to seal the deal on your holiday and click the ‘book’ button.

5. Look for your perfect holiday closer to home

There’s a much simpler way to cut travel costs – a great holiday booking tip is just don’t travel so far. Beautiful destinations can be found right across the UK, from stunning coastlines in Scotland and Cornwall, to peaceful landscapes in the Lakes and Peak District.

Fancy a break that recreates the dramatic views and destinations of Downton Abbey? Discover the six best Downton Abbey locations you can visit in 2020.

6. Stay at the right places

For cheaper prices and a more authentic, homely feel to your stay, opt for small, local hotels or Airbnbs. Or, if you’re travelling in a group, staying in a villa is often not only more luxurious, but also much cheaper when the cost is shared between you.

7. Consider travel insurance

A good holiday booking tip is to look carefully at any travel insurance policy you may be offered when booking.
A good holiday booking tip is to look carefully at any travel insurance policy you may be offered when booking.

When you book flights or accommodation, you are often asked whether you want to add travel insurance. Don’t just automatically click ‘no’ – this is usually a pretty good deal and may well prove invaluable should anything untoward happen on your trip.

if you’re looking for travel insurance, read the Wise Living guide to travel insurance for the over 50s and travel insurance for the over 65s to get the right travel insurance policy for you.