Posted 15th Jun 2022
With the hotter weather now here and coming into Summer holiday season, this thread looks to pull together some holiday travel tips to save you money and time. You maybe wanting to book a cheap staycation in the UK, travel in the UK or get away for a package holiday abroad. If you have some tips of your own, then please feel free to share.


15 General Travel tips from the hotukdeals team

Here are some general travel tips from the hotukdeals team


1. Fee free card - Use a fee free card such as Starling, Revolut etc to save on fees spending abroad (this includes online shopping) and also get the best exchange rate.

2. Passport - If travelling to Europe, remember to check Passport Validity including date of issue. The government website says passports must meet two requirements for those planning to visit an EU country (except Ireland).They must be less than 10 years old - from the date of issue - on the day you enter your destinationThey must remain valid for at least three months after you leave.

3. Mobile data roaming abroad - It may be easier to buy a 30 day sim from the likes of lebara with their very cheap 3 month deals currently, to use your data abroad, especially if you are currently with Three, Vodafone, EE, Sky Or Voxi, who currently charge you £2 per day.

4. Airport - Bring food to the airport. We all know how expensive it can be for something really basic, and if you have kids, this can soon add up!

5. Eating out & Travel - Use the free Google Translate app to help read directions, signs, menus etc (saves getting on the wrong train, ordering food you don't like etc)

6. Be flexible with dates - prices can really vary with flights, and holidays, so check the week before / after to see how much you can save by tweaking your dates. You will pay a premium going during school holidays.

7. Make the most of free things to do - Make the most of free things to do in the city: parks, beautiful architecture walks, libraries, churches, some art galleries and museums are free - most in the UK.

8. Entry requirements - If looking to book a holiday abroad, travel is more complex now due to Coronavirus so check any entry requirements against the Foreign travel advice site e.g. vaccination etc. Also when you do travel, leave plenty of time to prepare things such as digital NHS COVID Pass if applicable.

9. Flights - Check the prices via an Incognito mode in your browser so you won't be tracked and most likely you won't see an increased price just a minute later when you recheck the price. Using VPN could also work.

10. Reward Schemes - For further savings on travel check any rewards schemes either directly with the travel operator or via a card provider. For example, American Express provide various statement credit offers for travel across flights and hotels for existing cardholders.

11. Bank - Tell your bank that you are going on holiday via account services in case they block your card!

12. Travel Insurance - Use comparison sites to check for cheap travel insurance and also get additional benefits e.g. 241 on cinema for 12 months on Tuesday/Wednesday

13. Flights - Airlines release cheaper flights at certain times of the year for future travel e.g. Easyjet. If looking to book flights, familiarise yourself with when airlines release these flights.

14. Device charging - Don't get caught out and bring a portal charger / powerbank to charge devices on the go

15. City travel apps - Download city travel apps like UBER, FREENOW etc for city travel, you will usually pay a lot less and they also give codes for new users.

10 tips to save money on Hotel accommodation UK


A lot of hotels have increased their prices this year with smaller discounts than we have seen in previous years and expect the trend to continue given increased costs. For example

  • Headline pricing for Travelodge saver rates has increased from £29 to £32
  • The lowest £29 room rates for Premier Inn now have significantly reduced availability and lowest London rates are generally £40+. Expect prices may increase.
  • Village hotels offer price have increased e.g. Sunday night stay and £40 of food offer used to be from £59, now is from £79

Tips to save money on UK hotel accommodation

1. If booking a Travelodge hotel, utilise the Travelodge price finder tool to find the cheapest rates with saver rates from £25 Rates are typically cheaper booking further in advance. Typically there is a 5% ongoing discount code to use on top.

2. Look out for any flash sales across the hotel chains e.g. Travelodge / Village hotels, which take place at seasonal times throughout the year. Signup for any newsletters to be alerted to flash sales. Discounts tend to be bigger in December/January sales so worth bearing in mind.

3. If booking a Premier Inn hotel, to get the cheapest rates book at least 2 weeks in advance (ideally a few months in advance) and look at Sunday dates as typically cheaper, from £29 including family rooms.

4. There is no matrix on the Premier Inn site to easily search the lowest rates. One workaround is to use Google prices which shows a calendar of lowest rates by hotel location.


5. For UK staycations, Travelzoo offer some market leading prices for UK Short breaks. Check the Top 20 weekly offers or check the UK breaks page to see offers

6. Price compare hotel accommodation at the main booking sites e.g. Expedia, eBookers,, and check for any discount codes on top. Utilise comparison sites such as Trivago.

7. Utilise Tesco Clubcard vouchers for 3 x value on selected chains e.g. Best Western, - link

8. Check discount sites such as Groupon / Itison as sometimes run offers on UK breaks for hotels looking to fill rooms.

9. If looking for a budget family break check Haven / Butlins for low cost breaks e.g. Butlins sometimes have offers of 4 people for 4 nights for around £68

10. If looking for theme park breaks including hotel and tickets e.g. Legoland, Chessington, Alton Towers etc then you can either pull together your own break by getting low cost cost tickets e.g. Sun Superdays and pair with a cheap overnight stay at a nearby hotel. Alternatively look out for package offers direct from providers such as Legoland Holidays, Chessington Holidays which run promos throughout the year.

10 More Tips to save on travel including Trains

1. Trains - If looking to get a discounted railcard to save a third on train travel, use Tesco Clubcard vouchers to save money on the railcard purchase e.g. Clubcard vouchers have 3 times the value to buy a 1 year railcard (£10 of Clubcard vouchers = 1 year railcard, saving £20). Alternatively the trainline sometimes run a sale on discounted railcards, discounted by up to 50%.

2. Trains - If looking to book Eurostar train tickets e.g. London to Paris, try to book around 3 months in advance directly at Eurostar to get rates from £39 each way or wait until there is a sale which gives more date availability for reduced fares.

3.. Trains - Look out for any individual train operator sales. For example, LNER main sale maybe in August (based on when they ran last year). Also check app for further savings e.g. LNER gives £5 free credit for new app signups. Signup for operator newsletters to be alerted of promos.

4. Trains / TFL - In London use your contactless debit card to travel rather than buying tickets to save time in airport/underground queues. Plus, there is a maximum spend per day on the TfL network.

5. Trains - Utilise split ticketing and associated apps to help save money on train fares.

6. Coaches - National Express offer fares from around £5 within their offers section and check any discount codes on top.

7. Flights - Budget airlines such as Ryanair run flight flash sales, with the cheapest available flights from £5 each way. If looking for a cheap European break it maybe worth waiting for a sale, but please note this does not include extra luggage so only suitable for those willing to travel light.

8. Flights - Signup for Jacks flight club to see more regular daily/weekly flight offers

9. Flights - Use comparison sites such as skyscanner and Google flights to compare and check flight prices and setup alerts.

10. Package holidays - Some of the biggest discounts can be had booking a holiday abroad last minute. Various of the operators have offer sections dedicated to last minute holidays e.g. TUI. If you are able to be flexible then savings can be had.
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  1. Avatar
    IMO...and may not suit all
    Travel to airport by tram ..
    Bury to Victoria station ....change here then direct to Manchester Airport....£4.60 every 12 mins Approx 80 mins duration
    again flight time dependent ....Think last tram 22.45......
    so will not be for everyone ..
    nice one thanks
  2. Avatar
    Park for free near to airports. You already pay Road Tax which covers you to park for free, so why not. Been doing it for over a decade now (3x weeks sometimes) and no problem whatsoever. Number one rule and its a huge one, is never park in front of someones house.

    I usually leave luggage and family at airport (or short stay parking) then drive to park and make my way back to airport, if this is inconvenient for you then this is not for you.

    If you require parking near for Gatwick, Stansted, Luton and Heathrow please DM me. I do not know any other airports so please dont ask. (edited)
    Even parking away from people's homes can cause a lot of disruption. Most of the UK had inadequate parking.

    The other issue is your insurance. Chances are you told your insurance that your car is kept at home overnight. If you leave it on a road somewhere else for three weeks and it gets damaged, you now have two problems. First the chances of getting the details of the person who damaged it are slim to none, and second your insurance will want to know why it wasn't parked at home. Obviously they allow for holidays, but if it was airport parking outside a secure parking area they may be reluctant to accept the claim.
  3. Avatar
    Using vacuum storage bags allows you to pack more clothes into a suitcase.

    Replying to

    We roll all our clothes before placing them in the vacuum bags and it works really well for us.
  4. Avatar
    Regarding food and airports - are you allowed to bring food past security? Surely there's restrictions? I mean you can't even bring a water bottle past security. You would have to either drink it, empty it or bin it.
    After security you can buy a bottle of water/coke and take it on board no problem. If you want to save money, take an empty bottle then fill it after security in water dispensers.
  5. Avatar
    Great thread, thanks for the info.

    Can someone advice me about the passport rule to EU please.

    My passport expires in 2025 but i'm planning to visit Switzerland next month, I shouldn't have any problems right? Not sure what they mean by last 10 years.
    your absolutely fine. the ten years is say your passport was issued july 2010 and they gave you extra 6 months in so your expiry was Dec 2020. EU would count up until july 2020 only!
  6. Avatar
    In the last year we have been to Portugal, Greece, New York & Turkey
    2 vac adults and 2 non vac kids,
    Portugal 🇵🇹 was last sept adults had to test 3 times, before during and after, oct Greece 🇬🇷 no testing for any of us, April New York 🇺🇸 we all had to test, Turkey no testing at all,
    But I’m a bargain Hunter the most cost friendly was dochq I ordered cheap anti gen / lateral flow test online £6 for 4 and booked a FaceTime with doc hq £32 for 4 was always so easy and test results certs emailed within 10 mins, the airports are not as bad as the papers are making out

    Dochq code for £32 is return30 (edited)
  7. Avatar
    Great thread! Looks like another staycation for me this year.
  8. Avatar
    Great thread. Whilst on the subject of holidays. What covid tests have people with kids used on them before going away? I have 3 unvaxxed kids under 14 who I need to sort out getting tested via pcr or antigen. Just wanted to know if anyone has experienced this.
    Go turkey or Greece no problem
  9. Avatar
    If you work for the government central or local join the civil service social club. Just joined as a retired member for £4.05 a month. Now got free entry for self companion and up to 6 kids to english heritage sites. Also lots of discounts on sealife and other parks. I'm well happy with it. Saved £40 already.
  10. Avatar
    Brilliant thread, thank you! Any recommendations for fee free cards? Seems like a bit of a mine field to me!
    Starling is the daddy.
    Chase, new bank is next best.
    Halifax Clarity for a (credit card) with no loading fees.
    Revolut has its advantages but they charge outside EU zone.
  11. Avatar
    Book accommodation way ahead for the cheapest flexible rates.
    Keep checking prices nearer to your travel dates, sometimes the rooms get cheaper or have a special rate, so you can easily book again and cancel the original booking.
  12. Avatar
    If you are booking accommodation and flights separately, don't believe that all holiday insurance will cover accomodation costs if the airline cancels your flights. I phoned several companies and only 1 out of the 5 (Sainsbury's) said they would, but only if I had it in writing from the airline and airport that they wouldn't pay, and also an email from the accomodation owner confirming it is non refundable. Also, the policy only kicks in when the holiday starts, IE at point of departure (the airport) so if you get an email from airline 10 minutes before walking out the door, no cover!

    Always worth phoning the company to check you are covered. They all say cancellation cover, but that is only if you cancel because of health, redundancy etc etc.
    Since the pandemic, I always book cancellable accommodation on a flexible rate.
    It's saved me on several occasions when flights have been cancelled, or new restrictions have come in.
    Also, when a cheaper room rate pops up, I can cancel and rebook the same room and save money that way.

    Booking flights and hotels independently like this, and due to policy excesses, I don't rely on cancellation cover provided with my travel insurance. (edited)
  13. Avatar
    I have always used a lounge at airports. Get there 4 hours prior to get the full 3 hour slot .
    Have a nice 6-8 drinks and food in a relaxing lounge and sleep on the flight . Always pay £20-£30 for a lounge.
    Alcoholic drinks at the airport now are £6-£8 each . Plus food .
    I use Avios for flights and it saves me a fortune. Flying to Singapore with BA direct and it’s only costing me £250 for a £900 ticket as prices of flights are stupid money now Long Haul .
    For hotels I put my dates in Tripadvisor and it compares 20-30 different sites for the best price for the hotel you want . And see if you can pair a live 10% discount code as well , but they are getting harder to find . Sometimes have the Bonus Free Breakfast at certain hotels too .
    Some countries Revolut ect are not Great as CASH IS KING , like Thailand. Exchange you £s in Thailand as the rate is better than the UK . Same in places like Vietnam and Cambodia too .
    Avoid the USA for Now , if you think things in the UK have gone Up , it’s worse in the USA from my experience of a 6 week trip February/March of this year .
  14. Avatar
    Tip no 1 - don't bother flying from the UK until airlines have got their act together...
  15. Avatar
    Re: Mobile data roaming abroad - Whilst EE charge £2 a day, you can buy a roaming pass which allows you to roam for £10 a month, 30 day rolling contract.

    Twilight Check-in - some operators like Jet2 allow you to check in your bags the afternoon/evening before a morning flight. Useful if you are staying near the airport the night before. On the morning of your flight you can head straight to security.
    If you have a new phone you can also start new method of using an E Sim like Airalo. No sim invoved or needing any network from here.

    USA is 1gb for 7 days at 4.50dollars.
  16. Avatar
    It is free with Plusnet mobile plans, at least in Europe anyway. All their mobile plans still provide free 'Roam like at home' so you can make and receive calls, send texts and use data up to your allowance for no extra charge currently. (edited)
  17. Avatar
    If using sites like Booking .com, Expedia, Hotels .com to book accommodation, remember to check TCB and Quidco for any cashback available. Can easily get 10% back on hotel bookings for just a few extra clicks.
    If using booking .com don't forget to go through the mobile app as prices for lot of the places is cheaper on the app. (edited)
  18. Avatar
    Can anyone suggest the best travel agents at the moment? I wouldn't use loveholidays for example due to problems with refunds and covid and not being ABTA protected.

    Replying to

    I meant online agents, not brick and mortar
  19. Avatar
    don't spend all your money on a holiday and then take a sad face photo and blame someone else when you can't afford the bills in winter. baahumbug.
  20. Avatar
    You forgot If you have a car it's cheaper to find a hotel outside of the place you want to be, staying 10 miles or so away can be £50 a night deference or more. So even with added parking and petrol costs its way cheaper.
  21. Avatar
    Avanti Trains still have a 'Book With Confidence' scheme until the end of September, where you can change Advance tickets without a fee and just pay the difference in fares. CrossCountry Trains have had this for years though.
  22. Avatar
    Avoid Edinburgh in August. Just don't even bother.
    .... unless you're going to The Fringe
  23. Avatar
    We're off to Wales again. been twice this year so far. Beautiful scenery, nice and peaceful
    Two hours in the car with no stressful check ins, weighing baggage or screaming kids jumping on the seat in front of you getting there!
    Me and the Mrs used to go abroad three times a year, but since Covid we haven't bothered and by the look won't bother for a while
    I've been abroad 3 times a year for the last 3 years during covid, and not really had any problems either. Just need to pick the right destinations, book flexible rates and not plan too far ahead. Things are getting a lot better now.
    Also been to Wales a few times, was very nice. (edited)
  24. Avatar
    + avoid flying
  25. Avatar
    How do you contact @qatarairways baggage for lost luggage? It's been seven full days without an update and being on hold
    Maybe try on Twitter (public message, but don't give your personal details until they ask you to DM them privately) - they often respond better if you're publicly shaming them, very much depends on the company though...
  26. Avatar
    I thought it's free to use your data abroad? (Plusnet)
    EU yes, further afield no.
  27. Avatar
    Chase seems to be the best card for spending abroad, no fees and 1% cashback!
  28. Avatar
    I am trying to book flights to Turkey (Istanbul) from 18th July for 10 days.
    The cheapest option I am getting is a self transfer in Dalaman.

    Does anyone have experience with self transfer, would I need to check the bags again? Any worse case scenario that I should be aware off?
  29. Avatar
    In addition to travel insurance, you can still get a free EHIC/GHIC card for travel in Europe.

    For all hotel/accommodation bookings, check what cashback is available through Quidco & TopCashback.
    You could get 10% or more with booking sites like Expedia, Booking .com, Hotels .com
    Cashback may also be available for bookings with package holiday companies.
  30. Avatar
    Try to get lifts, my dad took us to Birmingham airport from Nottingham and my gf's dad picked us up and dropped us back off, simples, saved us some £200 in taxi fare or £250 in car park (edited)
    £250 in car park? It's £63 to park at Senital car park near Leeds Airport.
  31. Avatar
    Does anyone know how to get this for teens who have not been vaccinated but eligible for a covid recovery certificate? NHS say go to your doctor's and the doctors say go to the NHS??? Adults can get this on the app but teens can't!
  32. Avatar
    Thanks for the tips @Chanchi32
  33. Avatar
    My husband just came back last Sunday and it was a log wait through immigration. Thankfully his luggage turned up and this was at terminal 3. He said, you know the pictures that show luggage, it was true and more as well so he got very lucky. I actually left the moment he landed and he was still not out so had to wait out at Mcdonalds so a 6-7 minutes drive, less than that.

    Also, it took like 25 minutes for him to get off the plane.

    So TIP: Don't park at the airport parking, find a food place that has parking and you can sit there, I think Mcdonalds was max 1 hour or something so got a drink from there. It be best to have the address ready, just in case the person is not out of the airport. It would have cost me over £12 in parking fees so saved that why waiting it out.

    TBH, was very shocked how chaotic everything was, I last flew in February and we were out in less than 20 minutes, very quick but summer, worse time to fly out as cancellation is high so make sure you are protected if anything goes wrong.