How to get the most out of your summer holiday booking

As tour operators unveil their special offers they hope will make us rush to book our summer holiday. We’ve listed the most common booking incentives traditionally offered in the peak booking months of January and February, so If you don’t see them advertised, it’s worth asking for them!

No flight extras
Package prices are based on cheapest departures from larger airports, but operators may waive the supplement charged on flights from your local or regional airport – extra fuel charges may also be waived.

Free child places
The operator may charge for the first child but allow the second child to travel free (although many places are only available at off-peak times and confined to a limited number of destinations).

Beat the web prices
High-street agents may offer to match or undercut the deals you can find on the internet.

Cash offers
The package may include a voucher worth £50 or £100 that you can redeem after you’ve booked your holiday. Or a £50-£100 per person on-board cruise allowance may be offered. Better seats on flights, the offer of a roomier seat on the plane at no charge can be worth from £50 to £100 return, depending on the airline.

Cruise accommodation
A free upgrade from an outside to an inside cabin may be used as a one-off booking incentive.

Car hire included
A week’s car hire in main Mediterranean destinations typically costs from about £140. Your operator may offer to include this in the package price, but check there are no extras to pay at collection.

Free in-flight meals
This optional extra can cost £15 per adult and £10 per child return, but will sometimes be included as part of the deal.

Hotel upgrades
You may be offered a better room with a balcony or sea view as part of the standard price. Upgrades from half board to all-inclusive may also be used as an enticement.

Luggage extras
15kg of hold luggage is the maximum allowed on some charter flights, but operators may offer to waive the £15-£20 extra charge if they want to make a sale.

Cheap holiday insurance is a must!
When buying your cheap holiday insurance, don’t assume that every policy is the same. Your needs may be different from others, so make sure the policy you buy provides the cover that you require. Read the small print, check the level of cover and ensure you are covered for any activities that you want to undertake. Carry your travel insurance documentation with you on holiday and keep the 24-hour emergency medical assistance number on you at all times along with your policy number.

You can get an instant quote and immediate cover by going online to 24/7 travel insurance and if you arrange your cover as soon as you book your holiday you will be immediately protected should you need to cancel your trip. For just £5.32* 24/7 travel insurance will cover you for a 3-day trip to Europe!

*Premium £5.32 includes Insurance Premium Tax; based on an individual traveller aged under 55 taking out a Standard single-trip policy for 3 days in Europe excluding personal possessions cover and purchased within 14 days of departure date. Cover details and prices are correct at time of going to press (January 2010) and are subject to change.