How to get the best value when booking a holiday

Haggle with travel agents, book at the right time, clear cookies from your computer

The weather is rubbish and the bank account is looking a little anaemic. What better way of mitigating the winter gloom than planning your next holiday?

But does it make sense to commit to plans so early? And how can you get the break you want at the best price? Can you haggle with a travel agent, or will an aggregator website offer the cheapest deal? Travel planning is at best a vague science, but there are some hacks that will help you keep costs down.

Why book early?

January and February are traditionally among the busiest months for travel agents and operators, as they look to secure package holiday bookings that will offset part of their outlay. A range of early booking incentives are available to encourage savvy holidaymakers to book early in the year, from room upgrades and car hire to free child places and airport transfers. Another good incentive for cash-strapped customers is the ability to secure that holiday with a small deposit – in some cases as little as €50, with the remainder to be paid off before they depart.

The Irish Times
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