How going on holiday for one day longer could cost you less

Which? has revealed that holidaymakers could save money if they extend a ten-night stay to 11 nights in some cases.

Holidaymakers could be hurting their own pockets by cutting their getaways short in some cases, according to consumer group Which?.

As the cost of living crisis continues to rumble on, many people have had to cut back on luxuries and essentials alike.

However, for those looking to go on holiday, Which? has revealed that holidaymakers could save money if they extend a ten-night stay to 11 nights.

How can extending your trip make it cheaper in the long-run?

After analysing the prices of 400 package holidays from providers such as easyJet, Jet2 and Tui, Which? found 26 instances were staying for 11 nights rather than ten worked out cheaper overall.

Which? also found cases where extending a trip by one night would cost less than £5 extra per person.

Experts at the firm believe a range of factors are to blame for determining the final price. Chief among them are supply and demand – especially given 11-day holidays are often less popular – and different flight dates.

One example revealed that two people taking an all-inclusive, four-star package holiday in Fuerteventura with Tui in August 2023 could save £1,188 by extending their stay from ten nights to 11, a saving of 28%.

The shorter holiday would have cost £4,148, but opting for an 11-night stay reduced the price to £2,960.

In another case with Tui, two people sharing a twin room with a balcony or terrace in Corfu on a bed and breakfast rate could collectively save £584, or £292 per person. This would slash the cost of the holiday by almost a third (31%), from £1,862 to £1,278.

While this type of bonus is fairly uncommon, the savings can be substantial– so it can be worth holidaymakers checking to see whether adding a day to their trip could result in a price reduction.

Is it always cheaper to extend?

In short, no. Which? found just 26 instances out of 400 package holidays where it was cheaper to extend your trip from ten days to 11.

However, they also found a whole host of other package deals where it cost very little to lengthen your stay.

In one case, for £1 more per person, two people could extend their ten-night stay in Crete with easyJet to 11 nights, bringing the total cost to £2,544 for two people sharing on a bed and breakfast rate (versus a ten-night rate of £2,542).

Jo Rhodes, Deputy Editor of Which? Travel, said“If you’re booking a holiday, it’s worth checking if you can save money by making some small changes to your travel dates and duration of your stay.

“While it seems counterintuitive, occasionally there are substantial savings to be made by extending your trip.”

How else can you save money on your holiday:

  • Don’t pay extra to sit together on the plane

In June 2023, Which? found it could cost a family of four £112 to reserve standard seats together on a return flight with British Airways.

Often airlines will seat you together even if you haven’t paid for allocated seats. / Credit: PA

But 95% of short-haul passengers who didn’t pay extra reported being seated together anyway.

Most major airlines will automatically seat you next to those with whom you booked. For easyJet the figure was 93% and for Jet2 90%.

  • Book flights directly with the airline

Booking via an online travel agent (OTA) could inflate an airfare by more than £100, Which? found.

Headline prices may look enticing, but by the time you’ve factored in luggage and other extras, that figure skyrockets.

  • Stay in cheaper accommodation nearby

No matter which country you’re visiting, you could save money by staying in less obvious locations.

For example, Which? research found that staying in Dartmouth instead of Salcombe (11 miles down the road) would save £59 a night, on average.

  • Use comparison sites to find cheap flights and hotels

Travel comparison websites such as Skyscanner and TripAdvisor can be a good starting point for your research, saving you a lot of legwork by trawling the market for the best airfares and cheapest price on hotel rooms.

It’s also worth booking directly with the airline or hotel in most cases.

  • Pick up the phone to save on your hotel

Online travel agents want the best prices for themselves and often prevent hotels advertising lower rates on their own websites.

However you can always email or call the hotel directly to ask for a better offer. Even if they can’t offer you a discount, the hotel might throw in a perk – like a bottle of wine or a free room upgrade.

Ms Rhodes added: “Of course, there are plenty of other ways to cut the cost of holidays.

“Shop around online to find the best price for accommodation and flights  – using price comparison sites can be a good place to start.

“You can also slash money off your airfare by opting out of added extras – for example, we’ve found that most airlines will seat you together even if you don’t pay for pre-selected seats.”

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