At a time when lots of us are looking to beat the gloom by planning our summer holiday, we thought we’d help you make the most of your money by revealing our top ten money saving tips.
Tip 1: Forget last minute booking!
Ten years ago, last minute booking was the way to get the best prices (remember Lastminute.com?) – but those days are over. Due to finely-tuned discounting throughout the year, if you book at the last minute you now risk being left with the accommodation nobody wants. And nobody wants to be held to ransom by budget airlines for your last minute flights. Ever since Boxing Day the leading tour operators such as Virgin Holidays, Thomas Cook, The Co-Operative Travel and Expedia have been advertising 10-30% off their holidays. And even more deeply discounted deals are already here, with savings in the 30-60% range – if you know where to look for them. To help you keep track of deeply discounted holiday deals from Groupon, Living Social, Wowcher, Secret Escapes and many more, we’ve created special pages that are constantly updated. Choose from Europe and the Med, Longhaul or UK breaks under £100. We’ve also designed a discount travel search – just enter your search criteria and check back as often as you can.
The deals on all these pages are updated daily from sources such as Groupon, Living Social, Wowcher, Secret Escapes and many more – meaning you only have to check one place for a selection from across all of these.
Tip 2: Know the school holiday dates – and avoid them if you can
If you don’t have kids this knowledge is priceless as it can save you hundreds of pounds if you avoid the holidays. This year, for England at least, Half Term is likely to be 18th-22nd February, and the Easter holidays are likely to be the first 2 weeks of April. Summer Half Term will be the 27th-31st May, and the Summer holidays are likely to start from 19th July and right the way through to the end of August. Holiday dates are different in Scotland, with the summer break starting as early as the end of June until the third week of August. Up-market all-inclusive Mediterranean beach-based activity holidays with companies like Mark Warner can be fantastic value if – but usually only if – you travel at either end of the season and avoid the school holidays. You may also want to check out their “Big Summer Sale” running until 31st January.
Tip 3: Don’t fall for pricing gimmicks – look at the total price
Check the full cost really stacks up against the competition before falling for headline prices that seem too good to be true. Offers such as ‘Kids go free’ which sound attractive, aren’t always what they seem and the overall price can sometimes be even higher than comparable alternatives, so do your homework.
Tip 4: Consider countries which might sound a bit risky
For instance Croatia is a well-kept secret but many don’t consider it because of the war that took place there over 20 years ago. Today it’s just as stylish as Greece or the Balearics and has wonderfully well-preserved coastal towns. The island of Hvar is a stunner and only a short hop by ferry from Split. Another well-kept secret is Slovenia, the only country in Europe that combines the Alps, the Mediterranean, the Pannonian Plain and the Karst.
Tip 5: Go to the mountains, not the beaches
In the mountains near the Med the climate is wonderful during the summer as the extra altitude takes away the worst of the heat. Once the snow is gone, many European ski resorts offer cheap summer accommodation. The chalets and ski resorts of Europe offer some of the best value holiday accommodation out of season like Grindlewald in Switzerland, The Burgenland in Austria or Luz Saint Sauveur in France among others.
Tip 6: Find a specialist holiday company which caters just for you and strips out what you don’t value
For instance if you’re traveling alone you can save money on single supplements by booking with a specialist tour operator such as Solos Holidays. If you want a walking holiday but don’t need a guide, choose a self-guided walking specialist such as Macs Adventure, who offers many European trips including the Tour du Mont Blanc. On the French Atlantic island of Ile de Ré you can find some great-value apartments. This is a great budget choice, offering superb beaches, a long summer season and great cycling across flat paths that crisscross the island.
Tip 7: Go outside the Euro zone
The cheapest Euro zone destinations are Athens, Prague and Rome, but be wary of Venice if you’re looking to watch the purse strings.Northern Cyprus is a great destination for cheap holidays because it’s outside the Euro zone – it uses the Turkish lira. Prices on the ground are remarkably low and you’ll find some great special offers.
Similarly Turkey and Bulgaria offer affordability and a fantastic destination for culture, food and activities, while Budapest and Warsaw are the cheapest cities. Be wary of Oslo, Zurich and the most expensive European city Stockholm.
The cheapest Euro zone destinations are Athens, Prague and Rome, but be wary of Venice if you’re looking to watch the purse strings.
Tip 8: Go a little further afield
If you just want cheap sun on a one-week or two-week package, we recommend Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt, a five-hour flight from the UK. Tunisia also has great beaches, delicious food and good-value hotels, though it can get a bit chilly in the mid-winter months. It’s better in October or March. The Canary Islands are popular choices and with good reason. The flight is 4-5 hours but the climate is excellent. Tenerife has a great variety of destinations from lively package resorts to charming country hotels. For nature lovers, we suggest La Palma, for walking, culture and quiet beaches. We also recommend The Gambia on the west coast of Africa – six hour flying time from the UK, with excellent beaches, friendly hotels and plenty of excursions on your doorstep. The Cape Verde islands are also great value.
Long haul options include Thailand where it’s possible to get by without spending too much at all.
Tip 9: Use the shoulder seasons to your advantage
The Aegean coast of Turkey has a very long season, as does Malta. A little further afield, Egypt has superb autumn and winter weather with near guaranteed sunshine, even in January. We also recommend Morocco, which combines great weather with cultural treasures and fascinating street life.
Tip 10: Go overseas without going abroad
The Isle of Wight is often overlooked, but it has a great diversity of sights, beaches and great-value places to stay, ideal for families. Steeped in history with 60 miles of stunning unspoilt scenery and a wealth of attractions, the Isle of Wight has something for everyone. From historic sites to music festivals and major national events, it’s a unique holiday destination.
While browsing the web this weekend, I happened to stumble upon a “full Monty tank driving experience.” For just a couple hundred pounds, I too could be the proud pilot of 4 different military vehicles including a nuclear missile launcher as well as try my hand at shooting different weapons. Once the initial series of exclamations and interjections had passed, I sat down and got ready for a new week at the office with somewhat of an issue to overcome. I already had a blog post done and dusted for the beginning of the week, but my idea for today’s article “5 ways to get great discounts from retailers using only a tank” had been turned down. Armed only with youth and lots of free time, I decided to brainstorm with the team and ask: Where is the market going?
We wrote about this in an article back in January. Our predictions were mainly spot on with a development of the major players and a stronger focus on customisation. Recent figures show a long-term slowing down in the growth of the daily deals market. Projected to grow by 86% this year, figures will likely fall to 23% next year and single digits in the years after. This market came to light in 2008 with the emergence of Groupon and its rapid expansion into a multi-billion pound company. Merchants had the ability to run offers with no upfront cost and benefit from the voucher company’s marketing strength. With the emergence of strong competition from players such as Living Social and KGB deals, merchants can now choose from a wider source of partners, but also benefit from the laws of supply and demand to pay out a lower commission to the voucher company. With declining revenue and an increasing number of institutions looking to share the cake, the voucher industry has no choice but to take one route: diversification.
For the average consumer, this path has 2 outcomes. First of all, it means that there is going to be an increasing diversity in offers available. Whereas the market was previously service focused with spa days, restaurants and experiences, there is now an increased availability of goods. This means, you’ll be seeing an increasing number of retailers partnering with deals aggregators (our fashion section is a good example of this). Travel has also experienced a massive surge with the development of websites such as Secret Escapes offering high discounts on exotic holidays and destinations closer to home offering hotel breaks at lower prices.
Another development is an increased demand for mobile. Voucher websites are often unfriendly for mobile navigation and though Scotland may be an attractive destination, most people just want to know what kind of deals they can easily access instantaneously. In an ultra-connected society where individuals are used to instantaneous communication and deliverability, it is necessary to implement a solution which removes the difficulties around this and can provide a hub for deals navigation.
However, this evolution does not only benefit the consumer. Indeed, a recent survey demonstrated that a quarter of small businesses were seriously thinking of running a deal within the next 6 months. What this translates into for the voucher companies is an increased base of businesses. Following the trend of diversification of revenue streams, companies are now offering an increased array of B2B services to these businesses and, in most cases, giving preferential terms to those who have already run deals with them. Whether it be payment processing, mobile redemption or assistance with business processes, once a company runs a deal they are effectively a new prospect for upselling. Considering the size of voucher companies, this means that small businesses may effectively end up outsourcing or at least collaborating with these larger companies to benefit from an expertise that may be too expensive to implement at store level.
That’s why we’ve been working on aggregating an increasing number of partners and expanding the offerings available to you. As our regular users have seen, there has been constant evolution on our website as we work towards making Buyometric your natural hub for offers around the web. We hope your experience continues to be as seamless as possible and welcome your feedback, so drop us an email and we’ll be happy to see what we can do for you.
When I’m not studying or conceiving ways to drive a tank into Harrod’s, you can contact me on email@example.com or LinkedIn.
Just when you thought we’d have London back to ourselves, journalists, fashionistas and strangely clad men and women will be invading London from today onwards for London Fashion Week. Since we didn’t get invited to Paul Smith’s supermodel jacuzzi party, we’ve decided to retaliate by launching our new Fashion collection pages, where you can find the web’s best fashion offers for men and women, all in one place. The pages will alert you to online sales for individual brands and department stores as well as premium designer sales from private buying clubs such as Brand Alley, Secret Sales and Cocosa – all offering discounts of up to 80%.
London Fashion Week is taking place in and around Somerset house, which housed the Casa Brasil (and some great dancing) during the Olympics. You can expect a wide variety of events with designers such as Burberry Prorsum, House of Holland or PPQ invading the catwalks. Socials, showrooms, and much more await the lucky attendees. However, there is so much more happening behind closed doors and smoky rooms that we want to know of.
- An inside view to the designer’s world
As we all know, high end fashion is a very creative world sitting under a lot of pressure. Between a designer’s whims, the people stitching creations up, and deadlines having to be met by project managers, you’d think the average decibel level is quite higher than usual. Since we are talking about rather eccentric individuals, why not feature a video at the end of LFW with the most emotional (or loud) moments of the week? Surely the fashion world would seem less cold and soulless with designers screaming and people crying. We want human emotions! Which takes us to…
- Catwalk fails
One of Murphy’s laws dictates that if something can go wrong, it will. In this case, why can’t we see the catwalk fails when a model inevitably trips because 12 inch heels really seemed like they could become THE new trend? What about that model who just lost too much weight and had their trousers fall or the redhead and brunette who work for the same brand but just hate each other and decide to turn the catwalk into a ring? The point being, brands at LFW will not accept failure, yet it is an essential part of the human experience. Why not embrace that and capitalise on it? Dear brands, your Fashion Week bloopers video will definitely go viral compared to that mildly amusing video your marketing department has been pushing on us for ages. Talking about fails…
- Finally knowing the basics to dating a model
Undeniably, we have all pursued a love which unfortunately didn’t turn out the way we wanted. Behind closed doors and at social events, models are meeting other people and some may even find themselves at the start of a relationship. For those of us who won’t be with them, we’d like to know more. How do we stalk them without it being creepy? How do we approach them without looking like a strange man in a car with sweets? (Although that last approach probably doesn’t work on people who are devoted to maintaining their physique). The point is, LFW, can you just give us some advice on what they like and where they hang out so we can approach them and hopefully even converse? Alternatively, an invitation to the next pool party will suffice.
That’s all for today. We’ll be back next Tuesday with more updates and a piece about our newest addition to the team as well as other news. In the mean time, don’t forget to check out our Men’s Fashion and Women’s Fashion collection pages
We recently entered into the travel space in a big way! Secret Escapes offer daily deals for the travel industry with savings of up to 75% – how could we resist?
If, like us, you love a great deal on holidays – these guys offer regular deals on hotels and flights but you have to be quick, their deals go fast – as you’d expect…
Like with private buying clubs, you are required to sign up to these guys in order to buy their deals, but don’t panic – you don’t have to receive their daily emails. You’re already getting their relevant deals if you’re signed up to Buyometric’s daily email, so simply unselect the option to receive daily emails or newsletters when signing up to them, and get all their great daily offers in your Buyometric email instead.
Secret Sales was the first private buying site to work with us. Offering a slightly different solution to the group buying and daily deals space, we love the fact that Secret Sales offer fantastic discounts on premium products from designer handbags, sunglasses, watches and jeans to the latest converse trainers and much more.
There’s definitely something for everyone here…
Some of the great brands they offer include:
Boss, Converse, Diesel, Chloe, Armani, D&G, Adidas, Nike, Christian Dior, Lacoste, DKNY, Karen Millen and French Connection.
They don’t stop there!
Most recently, Secret Sales has started offering great discounts on selected holidays and hotels so keep an eye out for these fantastic offers and more and let us know what you think.