I work a job which is infamous for having an unappealing salary, and adding on top the fact that I can only fly in peak times (gold star if you can already guess what I do for a living), it can make travelling an expensive hobby to have! However, over the years I’ve learned some tips and tricks to using loyalty programmes, comparison sites and cash back from offers to my advantage!
As a side note – I am not affiliated with any of these companies, this has been a few years of trial and error of working out which companies offer the best schemes for my spending habits.
I initially started booking consistently through Expedia as I had downloaded the app and it just turned into my go-to for comparing hotel prices! Then, during the pandemic, I found that Expedia had fantastic customer service whenever I needed to contact them, and many of their hotel listings have free cancellation and pay-on-arrival options.
Over the past couple of years of using Expedia consistently, I have built up a gold membership which gets me extra points when booking through the app, extra discounts and, on a few occasions now, free room upgrades.
The best part for me is that when you earn points, these translate into money to use towards your next trip! I managed to save up some of my points this year and put £80 of them towards car rental, plus another £30 for a hotel! That’s over £110 of money off my bookings when including the few pounds here and there I’ve used towards bookings before I decided to start saving my points!
In fact, over the pandemic when hotels were cheaper, some of the London hotels were coming up as low as £5 a night for me with my points and member discounts – crazy!
A relatively new concept to me – Quidco offers cashback for your everyday purchases including from companies such as TUI, Expedia and London Stansted Parking!
When my husband first suggested Quidco to me as a recommendation from someone from work, I had my reservations. In my head, cashback required filling out forms and signing up to potential scams, but within about two months I’ve made £60 from Quidco with absolutely no effort and no additional spending – all of the things I have bought through Quidco’s links have been things I would have purchased anyway!
It’s really easy too – you just see if the retailer you are looking for is on the app, then click the link and Quidco will redirect you to the retailers website and automatically credit you whatever percentage cashback stated on the app! We used it when booking our TUI cruise and got back £40 – something we can put towards our next trip!
As stated above, I am not an affiliate, but I do have a refer a friend link which will get you an additional £5 cashback when you earn your first £5 with Quidco! Click here for it!
If you’ve been travelling for a while, you’ll probably already know about BA’s Avios points scheme. I joined years ago and was getting small amounts of points in dribs and drabs through purchases but didn’t really find it worth it. It wasn’t until we started looking into their American Express Scheme that we realised we could be getting points for our big purchases! Plus, my husband’s excitement for how many points we’d be getting when he found out that TUI accepted Amex when we were booking our summer cruise for this year was entertainment in itself!
I’m adding Skyscanner on here as although to me it is my absolute go-to for booking flights and comparing cheap deals, it became apparent recently during a conversation with my mum that not everyone knows about it! In fact, she had booked flights to Portugal through Easyjet (without really doing much comparison with any other flight company) for about double the price of flights that I had found her through Skyscanner!
If you enjoyed this, check out some of my other posts on budget friendly travel!