Going on holidays for less in 2021 is one new year resolution it's easy to keep. There are plenty of ways to save money on flights and hotels when you know how to find the best deals and when to book them.
If you want to make your holiday dollar go further this year, you'll find plenty of inspiration below.
Choose the best days to book and fly
Knowing when to book your flights and the cheapest days to depart is key when it comes to significant savings.
According to Expedia's 2021 Travel Trends Report, booking flights on a Sunday can save around 25 per cent on domestic airfares. And when it comes to flying, the best days of the week to travel are either Thursday or Tuesday. These days can be almost 20 per cent cheaper than flying on a Sunday. Once the borders open, booking on a Sunday could save you 15 per cent on international fares, plus start your trip on a Tuesday or Thursday instead of the weekend and you'll save around 20 per cent.
Holiday like a boss
If you have corporate travellers at your office, then discounted hotel rates for your next holiday are possibly only a phone call away.
Large companies pay up to 70 per cent less than the standard rack rate for accommodation at hotels that have cut them a deal based on volume. Ask the person who books company travel for the names of preferred hotels at your destination, then call the hotel direct and book a room using your company's corporate rate. Doing this costs the boss nothing but can save you a fortune.
Sign up for savings
Sign up for accommodation providers' newsletters to receive advance notice of upcoming specials and the latest deals. Large hotel groups such as Accor offer the most variety with brands to suit every taste and budget such as Mercure, Sofitel, Ibis, Novotel, Mantra, BreakFree, and Peppers.
Small can be beautiful too when it comes to getting a good price on accommodation. Keep an eye out for last-minute cancellation deals, particularly at boutique hotels and luxury lodges. If a tour group cancels at short notice, for example, small luxury hotels will often send an email offering the unused rooms at a bargain price.
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Stay on the right day and in the right place
Based on accommodation demand on expedia.co.nz in 2020, the lowest average daily rates for local accommodation tend to occur on a Monday. Instead of booking your romantic getaway from Friday to Sunday, consider taking Monday and Tuesday off instead. This money-saving strategy is also the perfect cure for Monday-itis.
Another way to save on accommodation is to stay at city hotels on weekends when the business travellers have gone home, and visit weekend leisure getaways during the week. Even better, if you're staying at a boutique country retreat during the week, you will probably have all those beautiful facilities to yourself.
Sign up for airfare alerts, and get the deals sent to you
Sign up for airline alerts and deals and you'll be the first to hear about sales, competitions and exclusive offers. When Air New Zealand's Grabaseat offers deals like domestic flights for just $9 one way, some of the first people to hear about them are the airline's email newsletter subscribers.
Being a member of a frequent flyer programme can also help you to receive deals. If points bookings are low on certain routes, the number of points required for a flight are sometimes dropped to stimulate demand. Frequent flyers on the mailing list usually hear about this first and snap up the best seats.
You can also set up airfare price alerts on sites such as Google Flights and Skyscanner. Enter the details for where you want to go and when, and you'll get an email when prices drop for that route.
Book a package
With no international tourists travelling to New Zealand, hotels have to work harder than ever to come up with great promotional deals to tempt the local market. Consumers are the winners as these packages can offer unbelievable value and plenty of added extras.
Keep a look out for romantic getaway deals which include benefits like complimentary room upgrades, chocolate-dipped strawberries and a bottle of sparkling wine for around the same price as the room-only rate. This is especially true if you're planning a weekend getaway at a high-end hotel in the CBD that's popular with business travellers.