New research from Which? has revealed that holidaymakers could make savings of over £1,000 when extending a 10-night trip to 11 nights.
The consumer champion analysed the prices of 400 package holidays from providers including easyJet, Jet2, Love Holidays, On The Beach and Tui. In 26 instances staying for 11 nights rather than 10 worked out cheaper overall. Which? also found cases where extending a trip by one night would cost less than £5 extra per person.
One impressive example revealed that two people taking an all-inclusive, four-star package holiday in Fuerteventura with Tui in August 2023 could save £1,188 by extending their stay from 10 nights to 11, a saving of 28 per cent. The shorter holiday would have cost £4,148, but opting for an 11-night stay reduced the price to £2,960.
In another case with Tui, two people sharing a twin room with a balcony or terrace in Corfu on a bed and breakfast rate could collectively save £584, or £292 per person. This would slash the cost of the holiday by almost a third (31%), from £1,862 to £1,278.
The consumer champion also noted examples where staying an extra night would cost just a little extra spare change.
In one case, for £1 more per person, two people could extend their 10-night stay in Crete with easyJet to 11 nights, bringing the total cost to £2,544 for two people sharing on a bed and breakfast rate (versus a 10-night rate of £2,542).
A range of factors can determine the final price, but supply and demand (11 day holidays are often less popular) and different flight dates can all play a part.
While this type of bonus is fairly uncommon, the savings can be substantial– so it’s worth holidaymakers keeping their eyes peeled to check whether adding a day to their trip could result in a price reduction.
Jo Rhodes, Deputy Editor of Which? Travel, said:
“If you’re booking a holiday, it’s worth checking if you can save money by making some small changes to your travel dates and duration of your stay. While it seems counterintuitive, occasionally there are substantial savings to be made by extending your trip.
“Of course, there are plenty of other ways to cut the cost of holidays. Shop around online to find the best price for accommodation and flights – using price comparison sites can be a good place to start. You can also slash money off your airfare by opting out of added extras – for example, we’ve found that most airlines will seat you together even if you don’t pay for pre-selected seats.”
Which?’s tips for saving on holidays:
Don’t pay extra to sit together on the plane
In June 2023, Which? found it could cost a family of four £112 to reserve standard seats together on a return flight with British Airways. But 95 per cent of short-haul passengers who didn’t pay extra reported being seated together anyway. In fact, the consumer champion found that most major airlines will automatically seat you with the people you booked with. For easyJet the figure was 93 per cent and for Jet2 90 per cent.
Book flights directly with the airline
Booking via an online travel agent (OTA) could inflate an airfare by more than £100, Which? found. Headline prices may look enticing, but by the time you’ve factored in luggage and other extras, that figure skyrockets. For instance, when Which? looked at return flights from London to Orlando, eDreams initially came out cheapest at £556. Once researchers added hold luggage and a seat reservation, the price shot up to £814 (£100 more than exactly the same booking direct with BA).
Stay in cheaper accommodation nearby
No matter which country you’re visiting, you could save money by staying in less obvious locations. For example, Which? research found that staying in Dartmouth instead of Salcombe (11 miles down the road) would save £59 a night, on average. Likewise, Tenby in Wales is £43 cheaper per night on average than Saundersfoot, three miles away.
Use comparison sites to find cheap flights and hotels
Travel comparison websites such as Skyscanner and TripAdvisor can be a good starting point for your research, saving you a lot of legwork by trawling the market for the best airfares and cheapest price on hotel rooms. though it’s worth booking directly with the airline or hotel in most cases.
Pick up the phone to save on your hotel
Online travel agents want the best prices for themselves and often prevent hotels advertising lower rates on their own websites. However, there’s nothing to stop you emailing or calling the hotel directly to ask for a better offer. Even if they can’t offer you a discount, the hotel might throw in a perk – like a bottle of wine or a free room upgrade.
Notes to editors:
Which? is highlighting free and useful money-saving advice every Monday to help consumers manage the ongoing cost of living crisis.
Prices for two adults collected in April 2023 for flights departing from London in August.
Which? is the UK’s consumer champion, here to make life simpler, fairer and safer for everyone. Our research gets to the heart of consumer issues, our advice is impartial, and our rigorous product tests lead to expert recommendations. We’re the independent consumer voice that influences politicians and lawmakers, investigates, holds businesses to account and makes change happen. As an organisation, we’re not for profit and all for making consumers more powerful.
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