Booking travel, accommodation and excursions

Exploring the world is an activity that makes most people pretty excited. Kicking off the shackles of the day-to-day and seeing things that you never thought existed is always an exciting experience. Naturally, the first tentative step towards enjoying said experiences is the booking of the holiday. There are good and bad ways to go about booking though, so take a look through this booking guide – it's packed with tips on best booking practice.

Go incognito
Depending on your browser, the first thing you should do before you start booking is to browse on your web browser's private mode - where cookies, temporary internet files and other info isn't saved on your PC. This is because some travel companies will, if you search for cheap travel or keep revisiting their site, raise the prices offered to you . Browsing via Google Chrome's "Incognito", or Firefox's "Private window" modes, for example, will stop this from happening.

Be savvy with promotions
Whenever you search for hotels, flights and so on, keep an eye out and actively search for promotional deals, discount codes, savings – any way to reduce your expenditure. Be creative, too – although foreign websites for excursions, hotels, and their accompanying deals might be in a different language, you can simply download a translation extension or app to your browser to gain understanding. Beware , though - by doing this you will not be protected by UK traveller protection schemes such as ATOL.

Go regional
Regional airports are generally viewed as more cost-effective for airlines, especially short-haul providers. Take advantage of this and never presume that Heathrow and Gatwick are the only gateways to your holiday dreams.

Although certain travellers – parents of school-age children, for instance – have to travel during the more busy holidaying periods, most other travellers can enjoy huge savings when booking flights, accommodation and excursions in the off-season. Autumn, early winter and springtime are all great times to find a bargain - travel companies expect fewer visitors to book, lowering their prices as a result.

If you're having to phone up local tour and activity companies that operate in your destination country, then try your hand at a little haggling when discussing the price and package. Beforehand, get a good idea of the various add-ons that are available for the particular deals and tours being run. This way, if a lowered price is not an option, you might be able to get additional extras added on to your package by the agent.

Sort by price
When looking through travel websites, be it a flight operator or hotel provider, order the search results by price, not by "recommended". This is because some websites and companies are able to work out your location, demographic, or even what sort of computer you use, using this information to re-order the results, putting more expensive options higher up page. By doing this they hope that these will catch your eye before you scroll down and see cheaper options, so always order results by lowest to highest price before browsing.

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