Don’t get blue this Monday, get away from it all…

Don’t get blue this Monday, get away from it all…

Holiday companies use Blue Monday for marketing – here’s how to turn the tables and make it sunny for you and for your wallet!

couple on beach sunset

Blue Monday is the third Monday in the first month of the year, falling this year on 15 January… It is claimed by some to be the most depressing day of the year. The term was coined by Cardiff University lecturer, Dr Cliff Arnall, in 2005, when he “scientifically calculated” a formula for a press release for Sky Travel. (See this Guardian article for more information)

Why depressing? Well, it’s cold, we’ve had a nice few days off over Christmas but we haven’t been paid yet and the credit card bills are starting to come in now. Our New Year resolutions are already failing… What can we do? How about getting away from it all or at least thinking about a future holiday?

Holiday companies will clamour to use this “special” day once again to boost their “deals”. So, for the 15th January, some expert money bloggers and I have joined forces to give you 15 tips on saving money when booking that holiday! We look at turning the tables and playing the travel companies at their own game, so you can save money when you book your trip away. Good huh?

sun setting over water consumer rights, ways to shop around, discounts, alternatives, thinking beyond and searching

Rights

1) I’ll kick off, as you would expect, with your consumer rights. “You have numerous consumer rights to cover you when booking your holiday and for when you are on holiday.  Be aware of them when booking. For example, if you feel that you have made a purchasing decision that you wouldn’t have made had you been given accurate information (such as a misleading price) you may be able to claim a refund under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008”.  There is also the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tour Regulations 1992 of which you should be aware. These give you lots of rights regarding any changes that the company may make, amongst other things!”

Dates and shopping around

2) The Money Whisperer, Emma Maslin says “If you are looking for popular times e.g. school holidays for package holidays, it maybe best to book ahead but if you can be more flexible, wait until closer to the date for the best last-minute deals. We’re going to the same island we went to last year but booked ahead this time. We booked just 7 days before last year and it was over £200 cheaper per person. This year, it might not be a last minute option – that’s the risk you take. But if you are flexible and can go elsewhere or fly a different day to save money, then it pays to look around.”

3) Fiona Hawkes from Savvy in Somerset has found that booking accommodation and flights separately has always been cheaper than a package. She also advises looking round at all the various websites that do this for you, as some will also offer free cancellation or low cost cancellation cover for accommodation.

4) “Haggle!” implores blogger Emma Drew.  “We have haggled between Disney and Virgin Holidays for a cruise. Virgin Holidays were selling it for more than Disney, so we went armed with the info and got them to match Disney and throw some on board credit in! Add that to shopping around for flights with sites like SkySkanner where you can find flights cheaper than going direct.”

Discounts 

5) “Try it on!” Catherine Morgan Financial Money Coach cheekily encourages. “Say you are on your honeymoon or it’s a wedding anniversary, sometimes it works!  Be a bit savvy too. We saved a mint last year when we booked a TUI week away to Kos. We contacted the hotel directly and paid them £100 and got an upgrade with a swim up room. Thomson wanted to charge us £700 extra for the same!”

6) Mrs Mummy Penny, Lynn James, suggests thinking of your friends and family who work for a travel company or hotel. Maybe they have a friends and family offer code they can give you? One of her friends is a concierge at Aria in Las Vegas and can always find her a deal. Often it makes it cheaper than package deals.

7) “Use cashback!” exclaims Emma Bradley of Mums Savvy Savings “Look for discount codes and then use sites like Topcashback* which will give you money straight back into your account too. I saved about £150 from doing this last year.” (I got about £70 from Thomson last Summer too. You can also use Zeek* to see if there are any discounted gift cards which you will be able to use with discounts to reduce the cost still further. (*Refer a friend links. So if you sign up you’ll get a bonus and so will I 🙂 ))

Thinking ahead

8) Faith Archer from Much More with Less cuts food costs while away by booking somewhere to stay with self-catering facilities. “Even the odd breakfast in your room or packed lunch can save cash compared to eating out for every meal!”, she says.

9) Andy Webb from Be Clever With Your Cash advises booking car hire far in advance for the lowest prices “AND make sure the car is big enough! It will only cost a few quid more to get a bigger car when booking, but can be hundreds if you have to upgrade at the check-in desk! Shop around for the car hire, looking direct as well various comparison sites. Plus, if the excess waiver isn’t included don’t buy it from the car rental company. You can get policies for a few quid elsewhere that’ll cover you for damage to the car. Make sure you are comparing like for like inclusive totals.”

10) Buy your travel insurance the day you buy your holiday in case you need it before you go! “But also think about how you are going to buy it. Shop around as it will nearly always be cheaper than the one you get offered with a package. And look at all the group (e.g. group, couple, family) options however your group is made up” says William Pointing from Great Deals Made Easy.

Alternatives to the usual booking routes

11) Hollie Gregersen from ThriftyMum recommends house sitting or pet sitting! “There are a number of websites that provide details of homes you can stay at providing affordable options for holidays in the UK and abroad, including house swaps”.

Getting there

12) Pete Chatfield from Household Money Saving suggests taking a coach if travelling in Europe and saving a fortune.

13) A Thrifty Fox blogger Emily Rowley considers stopover flights; if flying long haul you could save hundreds by planning a break in your journey (tie in with meals if it makes it more bearable!)

14) Joseph Seager of A Thrifty Chap tries to be flexible when booking. Midweek is nearly always cheaper than a weekend. So are less sociable hour flight times. You can save by flying from other airports too, but make sure to factor in different travel to airport/parking/stay costs for your final comparison.

Everytime you search!

15) Above all, if you go back to a website, clear your cookies first. The travel website will put that price up if it knows you’ve looked at that holiday before!

For everything you need to know about your rights when booking, during and after, your holiday see All you need to know about booking/complaining about holidays/flights for lots of different rights and what you should do when and how.

How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide to Getting Refunds, Redress and Results!

 

For even more information, advice, tips, your consumer rights and template letters for most sectors GET THE BOOK! How To Complain: The ESSENTIAL Consumer Guide to Getting REFUNDS, Redress and RESULTS!

 

 

 

 

 

All you need to know about booking/complaining about holidays/flights

Links to information, consumer rights and advice on complaining effectively regarding most problems with holidays and flights

Look out timber frame on a beach "researching, booking and complaining aabout holidays and flights. Tips, ideas and your rights"

Booking

Make sure your holiday in the sun doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket advice on how to book a holiday and your legal rights

Don’t get blue this Monday, get away from it all… Money bloggers look at lots of ways to beat the holiday companies and save money when booking holidays

How to prevent problems when booking a holiday let (plus what to do when things go wrong)

The essential knowhow regarding medical care when you book a holiday! all about health

How to complain when booking a service based in the EU booking on a non UK but within EU site

Hotels

How not to be ripped off by a hotel your rights when you have a bad stay

Where there’s blame there’s a claim (even when there isn’t?) details on complaining about food poisoning real and fake

Your rights when your hotel overbooks your rights and what to do

The ultimate guide to complaining when eating out your rights when booking and eating out

Packages

The Minimalist Guide to Complain your consumer rights, ATOL and ABTA

How to Make a Complaint About Your Holiday Booking story of how I helped a couple in their fight complaining about poor service and holiday not matching the description getting nearly  a full refund even when not an ABTA member!

How to Get an Extra 3 Hours on Your Holiday! story about transfers

Lake mountains canoeists

Flights

What to do when your flight is delayed – the full guide all you need for complaining, your rights, what to do and how to do it.

Landing in court with Ryanair Summer of 2018 and strikes what was/is happening and what you can do if Ryanair doesn’t pay up with warnings about the ADR process.

How to Win When EasyJet’s Customer Service Fails helping someone get refund when had to return early

What to do when your flight is delayed information regarding flight delays

BA powercut debacle: Airline keeps passengers in the dark about their rights 2017 B/H over 70k passengers affected, article on the mis informationa nd lack of information provided and what you should do.

Airline claim compensation letter template for use with any airline plus all the amounts to which you are entitled depending on length of delay and length of flight

ECJ ruling on flight delays: Consumer champion warns against third-party claim firms – do it yourself to get 100%

BA flies in the face of consumer law and decency what to do if you bought your tickets before free food change and fly after the date comes into force!

Plane greedy – Are airlines holding families to ransom? – details on the main airlines and their charges including Ryanair which has mandatory charge, looking at inaction of regulatory body

Monarch – Everything you need to know details about situation with airline going into administration

Other forms of travel

Rail your rights with cancellations and delays

Your rights and how to complain about ferries and cruises

All you need to know about complaining about car hire – how to prevent problems and what to do if you get them

Other related holiday and flight legal rights

How to ensure banks don’t break the Misrepresentation Act – regarding travel money and commission when taking money back

Quick guide to lost luggage – your rights

All you need to know about roaming charges your rights and what you can complain about

How not to pay a charge made after transaction (and why!) not – template letter and further information for if you have been charged a fee after booking

The Consumer Rights Act 2015 for services relating to any purchase or service

Further help for complaining effectively

Top 20 Tips for complaining effectively

ceoemail.com for contact details for CEOS

From October 1st 2016 airlines are covered by The Consumer Rights Act 2015

How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide to Getting Refunds, Redress and Results!

For more advice, tips, information and template letters covering holidays and more: GET THE BOOK! How To Complain: The ESSENTIAL Consumer Guide to Getting REFUNDS, Redress and RESULTS!