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How to save money on holiday

Save money on hotels and car hire

[February 13th 2009]

Canary islands

It’s possible to save lots of money on holiday, including on hotels, restaurants, taxis and car hire.

New research by accommodation website hotels.com shows that Brits are saving £1.7 billion a year simply by haggling on holiday. And when it comes to haggling, Brits are the best in Europe, with 76% regularly trying to save money off the asking price, compared to just 61% from Spain.

“Haggling is fast becoming a buzz word for 2009. Whilst Brits have long been used to bartering for the occasional holiday souvenir, we are now seeing more people successfully wrangling over prices that previously would have seemed immovable - from hotel extras to designer dresses,” says hotels.com director of communications, Alison Couper.

Seeking out a holiday bargain is certainly not restricted to the markets in places like Morocco and Tunisia anymore. The research indicates that 42% of Brits on holiday haggle about the price of taxis, trains or car hire; 37% haggle over activities and excursions; and 34% over hotel room upgrades.

Other areas where Brits are keen to haggle are the price of sun loungers (13%), restaurants and bar bills (10%) and meals at hotel restaurants (7%). Average savings amount to £32.20, giving Brits a total saving of £1.7 billion.

Hotels.com has come up with a five step guide on how to haggle successfully. Holiday tips include spot opportunities – if deals are already on offer there may be the opportunity to get a further discount; haggle face to face so you can analyse body language to identify signs of weakness; and politely ask for a discount and try not to express emotion or lose your cool.

There are also tips on how to save money on hotels. Take advantage of sales is the number one tip – for example, hotels.com is currently offering up to 40% off. Hotels.com also recommends booking with a provider that offers a best price guarantee – that way if you do find the same deal cheaper the company will match it.

Trading down a star rating is also recommended. For example, the latest hotels.com hotel price index shows that you can save £50 by staying in a 4 star hotel instead of a 5 star hotel in Berlin.

Written by: Nick Purdom

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