15 ways to save money on your dream holiday

Cruise cost-cutters

1. Never pay brochure price

The pictures in glossy brochures can tempt you into shelling out for cruise packages but don't be fooled. They are putting their most attractive price in there to reel you in without mentioning the extras.

2. Be flexible on dates

Booking a cruise is very familiar to booking a flight in that the prices fluctuate constantly. If you're flexible on dates, try and wait until the last minute to book something for rock-bottom prices.

3. Cruise for free

Persuade a group of friends to cruise together, and you can go free. Many cruise lines reward "group planners" who organize a trip of at least 16 people (two to a cabin) with a free cruise. Those who co-ordinate a minimum of 32 people (in 16 cabins) could nab a free cabin for two. This would work great for a hen do or special birthday celebration.

4. Cruise from home

You'd be surprised at the variety of cruises options available from UK ports. You can sail to Spain, Italy, Canary Islands, Portugal and even Russia without having to book a flight.

5. Watch for sales

'Wave season' from January to March is prime time for cruise sales so make sure to compare on deals before snapping up the best one.

City-break bargains

6. Try a home swap

There are lots of sites that offer great house swaps for holidays. Get in touch with someone and go and stay in their house whilst they holiday in yours for no cost.

7. Use a discount code when booking with a travel site

You can save anything from up to £50 to £500 if you dig around for online codes. It could make a huge difference to your holiday so factor it into the cost when you're booking.

8. Think about your location

Hotel rates at less popular cities will be much more competitive and you can get more bang for your buck as well. If you opt for Madrid over Barcelona for example you could get a four-star hotel for half the price of a three-star one. Other great-value European locations are Budapest, Prague, Lisbon and Berlin.

9. Search incognito for flights

Ever searched for a flight and returned a few days later to find the price has been hiked up? Your search history can be monitored by airlines so use a private window when surfing the web for flights.

10. Sign up for email alerts

Prices can change up to three times a day for hotel rooms and flights. Sign up to newsletters on your favourite travel sites and airlines to find out about sales and deals. Most sites let you personalise your newsletter to your own preference so you'll only get alerts on where you want to go.

For Disneyland Paris savings

11. Phone the ticket office in France

The extra couple of quid you spend on your phone bill could be worth it. If you don’t speak French, just ask for someone who speaks English. You could get a much better deal on packages for up to £200 less than UK quotes.

12. Book an apartment rather than a hotel

This way you can save once you're there on pricey dinners on the park. Stock up at the French supermarket for supplies and make your own pack lunches at home too to save a bit of extra cash. 

13. Book a table at Café Mickey but don’t pre-order the three-course meal

Once you're there your little ones will be so excited to meet all the characters they most likely won't sit still long enough to eat a three-course meal. Go for tea and cake to keep the cost down.

14. Don’t book for a week's stay

Don't get carried away and book a seven-night stay; three or four days should be enough. If you want to stay a little longer why not explore Paris for an extra day instead of extending your tickets.

15. Book for Easter not summer

Not only is it busier in summer but it's much more expensive too. Try and aim to go in Springtime to save a little extra. October half-term is also a great time to go if you don't mind some chillier weather.

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  • There are more money-saving tips in every issue of Yours magazine, out every fortnight on a Tuesday.