Everything has become much more expensive, including travel. Many vacationers are considering whether they can even afford to go away this year, given an inflation rate of almost ten percent and sometimes even larger price jumps in tourism. The good news is: Yes! Here are 15 useful tips on how you can save money and still have an unforgettable holiday.
Choose all-inclusive: If you put together your hotel and flight individually on the Internet and eat out there every day, you will almost always pay more in popular seaside resorts such as Mallorca and the Turkish Riviera. It's better to look for a package holiday bargain and book "all-inclusive".
Then you know in advance how much it will cost, and your wallet will have a holiday on site - even if you want to get on a surfboard (for example in the Magic Life Clubs) or the children are tackling the fifth ice cream of the day. On top of that, there is the security of having the German travel law on your side in case of trouble.
Children's fixed prices, 14 for 10, saver weeks, grandma for free - the organizers come up with lots of ideas to present their products in an attractive light. Pick out these discounts, it's worth it. Some of these discounts can also be combined with others.
By the way, the most important discount is the early bird discount. If you are specifically looking for it and book your summer vacation in January or February, you can easily save a third or more – even more than 50 percent at peak times. Good to know: Early booking discounts can often be combined with fixed children's prices.
Fixed prices for children, child benefit, family packages – the tour operators woo families with discounts. An example: At TUI, there are 200 hotels with fixed prices for children of 99 euros if you book by February 18th. But at the age of twelve, such offers usually end.
But not everywhere: The Robinson holiday club has children-free offers up to the age of 14, the tour operators Alltours and Dertour and the MSC cruise line discounts up to the age of 17.
The same trip to the same hotel often costs up to 500 euros less with another tour operator. That's why only people who have too much money and too little time book without comparing prices. Incidentally, it is no more expensive in a travel agency than on the Internet, as the Stiftung Warentest has repeatedly found.
Almost every travel agency has a price comparison system called "Bistro", but you can also do a counter-check yourself via the Internet - for example using the price comparison tools from Check24, Holidaycheck or Expedia. Tip: This is also a good way to compare travel destinations. Common insight: Turkey is simply cheaper than Spain.
Look at the service: is everything included on the chosen ship or does it have to be paid extra for each glass of water? What good is the most beautiful 499-euro cruise if later a glass of wine costs 11 euros and a cocktail 15 euros extra? Drinks packages are often offered. But they easily cost 40 or 50 euros - every day, even if you spend the whole day on a shore excursion.
Extra tip: With some shipping companies, the tips on board are already included – for example with Aida and TUI Cruises.
Cruises are package tours, just at sea. As on land, guests who decide very early are lured with high discounts. Conversely, if ship and route are not so important to you, you will increasingly find lucrative last-minute offers, because in the end some ships could not fill all 3000 cabins at the normal price.
You have to get to the ship somehow. The shipping companies offer additional travel packages for this purpose. However, they are not cheap. If you do it yourself or have it done by a travel agency, you can often save a lot of money. Sometimes a saver fare from the train or a Flixbus ticket is enough.
Hundreds of euros can also be quickly saved on shore excursions. The city tours and bus tours of the shipping company easily cost 100 euros and more per day. If you plan your own trip (for example with the help of the excursion community Cruvidu), you will already know the bus stop when you arrive at the port and can later spend your money shopping or in a good restaurant. But beware: You are responsible for getting back to the ship on time.
They are also called flex or vario tariffs, but they always mean the same thing: you only book one category on the cruise ship, i.e. “outside” for example, and wait to see what’s left over from normal sales. With bad luck, that can be the cabin at the end of the aisle above the machine, but with luck it can also be the expensive balcony cabin, which did not find a buyer at twice the price. With the lucky cabin, the cabin is just a lottery game. What is certain, however, is the low price.
Compare bargain hunters: When looking for bargains, it is best to start with one of the many price comparison portals that exist today. According to Stiftung Warentest, the best include Check24, Kayak and Skyscanner. But it would be better to let them compete against each other again, no one is always ahead.
Important: You often only see the final price shortly before you make a binding booking. Because the prices often increase in the course of the booking process - although the ECJ has expressly forbidden it. When comparing, it is crucial to pay attention to the ancillary costs: there are often additional fees for luggage, meals or credit card payments.
"We have found 1247 suitable offers" - who doesn't despair with such a message? Especially if there is a lot of rubbish. In order to prevent this, it is necessary to set filters, for example for the maximum number of stopovers and the flight duration.
Often you can also choose to have luggage included in the price and whether to accept flight dates of up to three days plus or minus. Tip: The flight search engine "World of Flights" has a filter "only short flight duration" built in, which sorts out useless items quite successfully.
Early means at least eight weeks before departure, preferably immediately after the flight plan has been activated, i.e. one year before departure! Because the 29-euro tickets advertised are available, but they're gone in no time. After that, it gets more expensive week by week. Shortly before the travel date there are sometimes discounts again - but only if there are still places available.
Price comparison websites make their money by providing the cheapest flights they find themselves. That's okay, but bargain hunters check the price on the airline's homepage before booking. Stiftung Warentest has found that the best prices are usually available there - and the better service too. In the travel agency around the corner, a service fee of 20 to 30 euros per booking is usual. This can also be worthwhile if you don't want to fight your way through the price jungle.
No hassle: "Only two seats left" - that's how flight and travel portals like to entice. Consumers should believe that they have to hurry. NDR television has proven that this is often a ruse. The reporters simply called the hotel - and could have booked dozens of rooms there without hesitation. The booking portals then excused themselves by saying that the availability information only referred to their site. Decide in peace.
Nothing is as expensive as a spontaneous jaunt over the weekend. If you have to save, it is best to take a really long annual vacation and avoid the second and third trip. The family finally finds time for each other, and from a recreational standpoint it makes more sense anyway.
Why not travel at the last minute? Anyone who doesn't mind surprises and is actually primarily looking for sun and beach will always find a bargain two weeks before the desired travel date. But you shouldn't expect it to be the most preferred place on your favorite island.
Tip: If you are flexible in terms of time, it is best to travel outside of the school holidays. Between April 24th and May 14th and again from June 12th to 22nd, 2023 there are no school holidays in any German federal state.