Plane, accommodation, excursions … More and more French people are booking their holidays online. This method has several advantages, including the possibility of compare yourself the different options by navigating from one site to another in a few clicks, and take advantage of promotions which can be very interesting.
According to a study published in 2018 by Franfinance, a subsidiary of Société Générale, 87% of holidaymakers organize their stays themselves by using specialized sites or promotional sites.
But be careful, booking a vacation online can sometimes be like a hostile jungle. Promo codes, “Good deals”, “Rare pearl” … Faced with all these offers, it is sometimes difficult to navigate and know if the proposed price is right. Here are our tips for optimize your search and take advantage of the best prices.
1 – Do it well in advance … or at the last minute
For flight and hotel reservations, it is always best to turn into an “early bird” and book well in advance. Not just a month before departure, no: as soon as you know your travel dates.
This strategy is often a winning one. For hotels or apartment rentals, you will have more choices and can therefore get your hands on great offers in terms of quality / price ratio, like the famous “rare gems” offered by the Airbnb platform. You can also benefit from discounts established by hotels to attract customers well in advance.
If you are the type to go on a whim and you love all-inclusive resorts, last minute sites can be particularly interesting. A short week before your departure, choose a destination: you will have access to dozens of “all-inclusive” packages (flight, accommodation and certain meals) at discounted prices (up to -50%). Before booking, find out what is included in the price and check that the dates of the proposed stays match yours.
2 – Be flexible on dates and times
July and August are the summer vacation months in Europe. The prices for these destinations are therefore generally higher, both for flights and for hotels. So prefer take your vacation in low season : according to Franfinance, 30% of holidaymakers opt for this solution.
Also prefer weekday trips, very early or very late – these times often put off holidaymakers.
3 – Book in the middle of the night
If you have enough time and above all a good dose of courage, book your plane tickets instead. in Week (Monday to Friday) and in the middle of the night, between 1 am and 4 am.
4 – Travel at night or make a stopover
Prefer night trips, for example by sleeper train. Many European destinations are served by this type of train. By plane, if you have enough time, make a stopover even if it means taking a detour, you can save several hundred euros and add a destination to your trip.
5 – Depart and arrive at secondary airports
In France, several airlines (Ryan Air, Wizz Air, Volotea, Easy Jet) offer low cost flights from secondary airports and to European and international destinations. From Beauvais, Carcassonne, Angoulême, Tour or Limoges airports, you can for example connect London, Marrakech, Dublin, Porto or Stockholm.
6 – Subscribe to newsletters and alerts
Many websites regularly offer good deals. Private sales, promotion codes, “cashback” … In you subscribing to their newsletters, you will receive all their offers in your mailbox. If you have already chosen your destination but want to try to get cheaper prices, create an email alert on flight and hotel booking sites to receive the lowest prices.