Empowering the Freelance Economy

Brits are overpaying for holidays finds study

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Researchers have found flight and accommodation price differences between comparison sites can mean some travellers are seriously overpaying. A new study shares tips on how to use comparison sites to your advantage

As a freelancer, you’re probably always looking for ways to save money. And when it comes to travel, one of the biggest expenses is flights. But did you know that flight prices can fluctuate by up to 363% across different comparison sites?

A new study has found that travellers could be paying hundreds of pounds more for their flights simply because they’re using the wrong comparison site. The study, which was conducted by technology expert Andersen, analysed the prices of flights from London Heathrow to various destinations around the world.

The researchers found that the price difference between the cheapest and most expensive comparison sites was an average of £158. But in some cases, the difference was as high as £609.

So what does this mean for freelancers? It means that you need to be careful when booking your flights. Don’t just rely on the first comparison site you come across. Instead, take the time to compare prices across multiple sites.

Here are a few tips for comparing flight prices:

  • Use a variety of comparison sites, including both well-known and lesser-known ones.
  • Be specific when searching for flights. Enter your exact travel dates, destinations, and number of passengers.
  • Consider changing either the departure or return flight date to see if there is a price difference.
  • Ensure several airlines and airports are being compared. You might also want to consider using a flight aggregator. These sites can help you compare prices from multiple airlines and comparison sites at once.
  • Sign up for email or Google alerts from airlines and comparison sites. This will notify you when prices drop on flights you’re interested in.

How to avoid overpaying for accommodation

The study also highlights the potential for overpaying for accommodation bookings. Prices for staycations can fluctuate by up to 103%, meaning that travellers could pay as much as £351 extra per person for a three-night stay, depending on the site they use.

Interestingly, accommodation comparison sites offer more flexibility in payment methods compared to flight sites. Hotel sites typically provide an average of 3.8 payment options, compared to 3.4 for flights. This flexibility can be a double-edged sword, making it easier to split the cost of travel but also increasing the risk of overspending and accumulating debt.

The study’s findings serve as a reminder to exercise caution and vigilance when using flight and accommodation comparison sites. By comparing prices across multiple platforms, carefully considering the available destinations and features, and understanding the payment terms, you can make informed decisions and avoid overpaying for travel arrangements.

Flight and accommodation comparison site fluctuations 

             Max. Price Difference Max. Difference in Number of Items Direct Cancellation Provision Average Available Payment Methods 
          Flights         £609         110%         4 out of 5         3.4 
          Hotels         £351         1,435%         3 out of 5         3.8 
Source: Andersen
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