Savvy travellers know that booking your flight and hotel together, checking in to accommodation outside the city centre and dressing smart to bag a flight upgrade can save you lots of money on holiday and mean a few freebies, but what about the travel tips tourists don't already know?
While Brits might be thrifty spenders and bargain hunters at the supermarket, lastminute.com has found that almost half of us are totally oblivious when it comes to making our money go further and enjoying perks, discounts and upgrades on holiday.
Travel industry experts estimate that Brits could save on average 17 per cent of their holiday spend if they just knew more tricks of the trade.
For example, the early bird really does catch the worm (or the flight) - as one o'clock in the morning is a great time to grab a cheap flight. Or grabbing an amazing hotel deal in a city is easiest on a Sunday night. And did you know, you could save £££s by starting your long haul holiday in a European city?
Flight systems are loaded first thing every morning so flights which were on hold overnight (usually from business customers) will be released. This happens at around 1am, so you can often get better prices the earlier you book – a hack four in five Brits have never heard of.
Starting your long haul holiday from another European city can save you lots of money. You can extend your holiday by visiting interesting European cities and bag a bargain by starting your trip, for example, in Sofia or Oslo. You only need to add a low-cost flight from your home to the city to take advantage of amazing discounts and offers. For example, you can bag a return flight from Sofia, Bulgaria to Dubai for under £150.
The best days to fly are Tuesday to Thursday so you avoid the Monday morning rush of business travellers and also the weekend escapers. These dates often have better availability too and the best availability means low fares!
Many European cities have set days during the year when they open up their top museums at night and offer free access. The European Night of Museums in France, Germany and the UK is in May, while Budapest and Prague offer the same thing in June.
The major airlines all have seat sales over the Christmas period, so this is the perfect time to book your next break at a great price. During Black Friday (at the end of November) and over Christmas, lastminute.com, for example, offers access to these big sales of the airlines with amazing flight deals.
Many cities that are popular for business travellers, such as London, Brussels and Zurich, have fantastic room rates at the weekend once the 'suits' have left. You can sometimes find five-star hotels for under £100 per night.
Hotels want to keep you there for every meal of the day if possible, so ask when you check in if they offer a discount on breakfast or dinner for guests of the hotel. Free 'welcome' drinks are also common to get you into the bar or restaurant.
The cheapest time of year for a city break is January, with deals for flights and a hotel stay for two nights available under £100 in places like Berlin, Dublin, Prague and Copenhagen.
Sunday nights are usually the cheapest night of the week to stay in a city hotel. This is the end of the week when weekend travellers have left and before corporate guests arrive so a great day to surprise your other half with a night away. You’re also more likely to bag an upgrade to a suite when the hotel is quieter on a Sunday.
If you don't want to wait for your food on the plane order special meals in advance – like vegetarian or low calorie. These get delivered to seats first so you’re guaranteed a hot dinner before most other passengers.