- Luggage - travel light! Think about whether you really need that extra 20kgs (that you will usually pay extra for). You can get a lot more than you think packed into 10kgs hand luggage. Buy small toiletries, you can take up to 10 items under 150ml per item.
- Look at the flights first. Do they depart on the dates/to the destinations you have chosen? If not you will have to change some of your plans.
- Be flexible with your dates. By moving your dates, even by one day, your costs can drop dramatically.
- Private transfers are expensive, so make the most of local taxis. Plus, check out the public transport from the airport, usually these are cheap and punctual with plenty of services. They will usually take you to the city centre or main station where you can then get a taxi to your hotel for a lot less money. Somewhere like Basel or Geneva will give you a free public transport ticket if you stay at a hotel in their city, giving you free use of their trams, buses and trains - you get this on check in. Some cities in Germany also offer this.
- Pick up a city map from either the station, tourist office or airport. These are often free. It will really help you find your way around and quite often they include details of local public transport services as well as things to see and do.
- Do some research before you go to check what is on in your chosen destination. If there is a trade fair or a concert (Andre Rieu sells out al the hotels is Maastricht when he performs there!) then you will struggle to get any hotels with availability or cheap flights.
- If you are booking your own hotel then make sure you book a fully refundable rate. These are usually a bit more expensive, but not by much, and if anything happens in the city that you are visiting then it is easier to cancel your reservation and use your flights with rail to travel to another destination.
- If you are flexible check out the price for an extra night, quite often the price is lower or there is hardly any difference between 3 nights and 4 nights.
- Use the tourist boards to your advantage as they have a wealth of information for you to use during your stay, as well as lots of free maps and discount vouchers.
- Ask the reception at your hotel for their recommendations of where to go and what to see. In some cases they can offer cheap tickets for shows or free public transport tickets included in your room rate. They also know the best places to eat or go for a night out. Remember they are locals.
- Some hotels offer rooms for people bringing their pets or even smoking rooms, so if you don't want a room like this remember to request a non-smoking or pet free room.
- If you have any walking difficulties, special diets, phobias or anything else that you find difficult, don't forget to let the airline, hotel or railways know because they will not know if you do not tell them. If their transport or hotel is not suitable for your needs it is better to find this out before you pay your money and it gives the hotelier or transporter time to iron out any issues before they become a problem.
Bonus Tip: Remember, if you book everything yourself you are liable for any changes or issues that may occur that could disrupt your travel plans. However, if you book through an operator or travel agent, they will be able to deal with any problems for you.
A couple of trips to whet your appetite...
Half term in Hamburg
2 nights at the centrally located Novum Hotel Hagemann Hafen with full breakfast (triple room with full breakfast)
Departing Gatwick @ 08:15 on 25/10/2016. Arriving in Hamburg @ 10:50
Returning 27/10/2016 @ 21:50. Arriving in Gatwick @ 22:30
Hand luggage only included
Take the train from Hamburg Airport to the city centre (Hamburg hbf) - departing every 10 minutes. you can buy these rail tickets locally
Top Tip! Miniature World in Hamburg is a great place to visit, especially for this half term break
Spectacular price of £139 per person sharing a triple room
Basel Christmas Market - Switzerland
3 nights at the Hotel Victoria, with breakfast (double room)
departing Gatwick @ 08:10 on 01/12/2016. Arriving in Basel @ 10:45
Returning 04/12/2016 @ 17:05. Arriving in Gatwick @ 17:35
Transfers not included but there is a shuttle from the airport to the city
Top Tip! Don't forget that in Basel the hotel will give you a free transportation card for you to use within the city
3 nights from £439 per person or 4 nights from £489 per person
For more information or to book, call Fred.\ Holidays free on 0800 988 3369,
or email firstname.lastname@example.org