That was a rookie error: How to avoid classic travel booking mistakes

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Do you know someone who almost always snag the best travel deals and never seem to experience any hitches with their booking plans? While I love hearing about the bargain trips that my friends and family have booked, I always wonder how on earth they are getting such great deals?! As soon as I start looking up travel plans, I’m astonished by the steep prices and just give up. I figured out that it’s just because I don’t really know how to do a proper travel search online, so I’ve done my research and found out how to eliminate some of the classic rookie booking errors that so many of us are guilty of making…

Broaden your options for better prices

Not all flight prices are created equal and if you are going to get the best possible price you will need to learn how to play the system to your advantage as best you can. A simple but effective strategy is to remember that most major cities tend to offer a choice of airports and if you limit your option to the major one in the area you could be missing out on a much better deal. Always consider choosing “All Airports” when making a booking instead of entering a specific code for your preferred airport. By offering to be flexible with which airport you use there is a much better chance that you can find a deal that is cheaper than limiting your options to just one airport.

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Don’t give away too many clues

Cookies make your browsing experience a bit easier by storing previous search details but that can work against you if you are trying to get the possible deal on your flights and travel plans. Checking the airfare and route with any degree of frequency can alert airlines on your travel plans and there is the chance that you might not be shown the keenest prices if they know when you want to fly and where you are headed. Try to use a private browser or clear the cookies so that you don’t play your hand and reveal your travel itinerary. You could end up spending more if they know you are a captive audience.

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Don’t forget to compare

There are plenty of hotels both in the UK and abroad (like the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge) who regularly offer member offers or special rates, so check with your accommodation direct and shop around for the best rate before finally confirming your hotel booking. It doesn’t hurt to sign for email alerts on special offers that might interest you and you can also set fare alerts on certain sites, who then email you to tell you when the price goes down.

Get those connections right

One of the most frustrating experiences for travelers is when you have to make a connecting flight to complete your journey and something goes wrong with those plans. Think about how much time you need to leave between flights in order to avoid a disaster that ruins your travel plans by missing the connection. If you can find a way to stay on the same plane for the journey, even if it means a spell on the tarmac somewhere, that is often better than rushing with your carry-on baggage from plane to plane.

So there you have it! If you aren’t thinking about alternate airports when booking flights, giving away vital details to booking sites, and not bothering to compare rates (like I wasn’t!) it’s no wonder that holiday prices can suddenly get ‘spendy’! Let me know your own travel booking habits in the comments below – I’d love to hear your money-saving tips 🙂

This blog post is an advertisement feature that has been written in collaboration with a sponsor. The pink links in this post indicate a sponsored link 🙂

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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in Lifestyle Promotion Studies and is trained in Personal Money Management. She loves to ‘get the look for less’ so regularly shares thrifty-living advice, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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