Bargain vacations

Keep in mind that tour operators and major airlines operate throughout the year and have to maintain their profit margins. You can find a good holiday offer, either for last-minute breaks or for next year's vacations if you are willing to work a little on the search.

Booking a vacation is no longer just about choosing a destination and letting the tour operator solve all the details. Vacation offers are becoming more sophisticated and you can get a good deal by paying more attention to what is offered. You can find late offers on the Internet or teletext if you are prepared to travel very shortly in advance. Just consider hidden costs, such as airport transfers, airport taxes, flight meals, individual supplements. The prices indicated are rarely the final amount.

If you want to book in advance, now is a good time to negotiate with tour operators and airlines that need to attract customers to maintain their profit margins.

If you want to leave next year, look for offers that include free places for children. Look for low deposit holidays: if something happens between now and your vacation, it is preferable to lose a small deposit. Use comparison sites: most of these are up to date and some of the best will point out the hidden costs.

If you are looking for a vacation package, compare the rental price with the all-inclusive. All-inclusive vacation deals can offer excellent value for money, especially if you are traveling as a group. If you have children, then this can also be a profitable option: there is nothing worse than paying for a meal that is not eaten!

Sign up to receive holiday newsletters and check them regularly. Also, expand your horizons: if you want a beach vacation, try to move away from perennial favorites to lesser known destinations.

Finally, holiday offers are only good if the holidays themselves turn out to be good. You will not appreciate saving a few hundred pounds if the resort is not to your liking. Therefore, do not choose the cheapest option unless you have thoroughly investigated the destination. A cheaper hotel full of young partiers won't go too well with a family trying to sleep a baby!