New Delhi: Want to spend quality time with your family on a vacation, but by not causing a hole in your pocket? Travel at less popular times as the price of flights varies considerably depending on the month, day and time of travel and try a private room instead of a hotel, experts say.
In 2015, 49 percent of travellers planning getaways for Dusshera and Diwali favoured international destinations over domestic breaks. Experts from Skyscanner.com, travel search company, have shared secrets to make holiday getaways in 2016 lighter on the pockets of Indian travellers.
* Travel at less popular times: The price of flights varies considerably depending on the month, day and even time of travel. Avoiding the weekends can make a huge impact on the price.
* Fly indirect: In case there is more time but less money, try flights with a stop-over. Indirect routes to the main destination will cost much less and will even give one the time to explore more than one destination; thus making the most with the least.
* Mix and match your flights: Using a combination of airlines can also prove to be an effective cost saving strategy. Different airlines charge differently on similar routes. Mix and match the airlines to find the best price combination to suit the pocket.
* Fly from an alternative airport: Even though there may be an airport at the doorstep, don't rule out the possibility that it may be cheaper to fly from one slightly further away. It may work out cheaper, even with the cost of a train or bus ticket to reach the alternative airport.
* Bring your own food on board: Many low-cost airlines charge for food on board and it is often extremely pricey. Save yourself a small fortune by taking along snacks instead of buying them on the plane or in the airport.
* Beat the baggage fees: If you're worried about excess baggage charges, why not wear your extra items instead of cramming them into your case? There are some fantastic products on the market that let you take additional belongings on your person ensuring they won't count as excess baggage.
* Weigh your luggage before you leave home: Some of us get to the airport to find we're over our baggage limit and end up paying inflated charges. Avoid this by weighing your bag before you leave home and take out any unnecessary items if you find you're over the limit.
* Try a private room instead of a hotel: Over the last few years there's been an explosion in websites that allow locals to rent out their sofas, spare rooms, whole apartments and even gardens! Sites like AirBnB have transformed accommodation options, and for travellers, the experience can be far more rewarding than a stay in a chain hotel, as well as being cheaper.
* Eat like a local: Not only is tasting new cuisine part of the joy of travelling but you're likely to eat far better as well as saving money, when you eat like a local. From $1 bowls of noodles in Vietnam to backstreet French bistros, produce is usually locally sourced and tastier, rather than imported.
* Save on foreign currency exchange: Withdrawing money abroad can cost a lot in charges. Although using a debit card can be cheaper than a credit card, be aware that most banks will charge for each cash withdrawal on top of a commission fee. Best practice is to take out larger sums so you're charged less frequently, only take care and don't keep all your money in the same place. Getting your currency before you arrive at the airport is also a way of securing the best rate you can and works out a lot cheaper.