How To Check You’ve Found a Good Travel Deal

Whether it’s Black Friday or the January sales, there are many discounts and promotions that pop up in the travel calendar but how do you check that you’ve found a good travel deal?

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The good news is that when it comes to flights and hotels, there’s a really simple hack that’s going to make it easy to work out if you’ve found a bargain or not.

The best January sales travel deals 2024 including flights, hotels, package holidays, cruises, attractions and more!

How to Check You’re Getting a Good Hotel Deal

1. Find a hotel deal

First, you need to choose a hotel. I’m going to use ‘Treehouse Hotel London‘ as an example since Hotels.com are currently displaying that you can save up to 30% on it thanks to their Black Friday Sale. This means you’ll save a whopping £207.

(Don’t worry, I’m not about to book a £500 hotel – I’m simply using it as an example!)

2. Compare the price

With our hotel decided, we’re going to head to Google Hotels and search for ‘Treehouse Hotel London’ and pop in our dates. In this example, we were checking in on Monday 12th December for 1 night.

Now, the obvious thing to check here is if the price is actually the cheapest with Hotels.com and from a quick look we can see that it’s not. For this specific example, it’s actually cheaper to book with both Booking.com for £451 a night.

So we’ve already saved money!

However, we have a more important question we wanted answered. Is a night at Treehouse Hotel London on our dates cheaper or more expensive than it was before the Black Friday sale?

3. Check the data

For this bit of information, you need to make sure you’ve clicked on ‘Overview’ on Google Hotels.

Underneath a summary of the different prices should be a little bar that looks like this:

If it’s not there (this can sometimes happen) select some other dates until it pops up. Then, put those dates in the website you want to cross check it with. 

Next, you’ll click on ‘Show price range’, which will reveal whether the price is ‘low’, ‘typical’ or ‘high’ compared to usual. This is really useful in general but actually we can go one step further in determining how good a deal is.

To do this, you need to click on ‘Show price history’.

This is where you feel like a real detective as Google Hotels brings up the price history.

In the case of Treehouse Hotel London, the results are pretty revealing as they show that the price we’ve found is the highest it’s been in the last month. In fact, the room looks like it was as little as £300 just a day or two ago.

Actually, the stand out detail for me is that it has not been close to reaching £689 in the last 30 days. So where has that number come from?

As I hover over the £689 on Hotels.com, a message pops up that says “the struck-out price is based on the property’s standard rate on our site, as determined and supplied by the property”.

That makes sense as Hotels.com just reflects the data that its given by the hotels on its site. So next I headed over to Treehouse’s website itself which also states an original price of £656.

4. Double check the price direct

I did try calling the reservations team to confirm where the £656 is based on and they didn’t know. Therefore, I can only assume that it’s some sort of generic rate assigned to the room, that we not see reflected in the actual price unless the hotel and dates are nearing full occupancy.

In conclusion, whilst you may still be happy with the price, the deal looks a lot better than it actually is.

Does this mean all sale hotel deals aren't worthwhile?

Absolutely not!

Using the exact same method I decided to check this deal from Hotels.com staying for one night at St. James’ Court hotel in London on Mon 12th December.

Firstly, I found a more competitive price with third party site Agoda at just £228 a night. Then, the graph on Google Hotels showed that the price per night was considerably lower than it had been in the last 30 days.

So there will absolutely be some great deals to be had, just make sure you check each and every so that you can be confident that you’ve nabbed yourself an absolute bargain.

How to Check You’re Getting a Good Flight Deal

The method for checking to see if flight prices have gone up or down is very similar to checking hotels.

1. Find a flight deal

First, you need to choose a flight that you’re interested in buying. Then you’re going to head to Google Flights and pop in where you’re flying from, to and the dates you want to go on.

2. Compare the price

On Google Flights, I found a well priced flight between London to New York flight on 7th and 11th December.

3. Check the data

Now, you can already see our friend the price bar lurking beneath the options and this is really handy at giving us a quick snapshot of the prices for the cheapest possible flight across the last 50 days or so.

As we’re getting close to the flight date, this steady rise in price is pretty normal.

However, this is generic info based on the cheapest flight possible and there’s even more price data available once you’ve selected the flights that you’re after.

Therefore, let’s select the £389 round trip with jetBlue.

Once I’ve clicked on and selected their outbound and inbound flight, I can scroll down to see another graph which shows the price history of this exact flight for the last 57 days.

What I really love about this is that if you click on any part of the graph, it will specify how much it was how long ago. It also gives helpful hints as to what it expects the price to do in the next few days.

A reminder when booking flights in low cost airline sales

My final thing to say about flights is if you’re keeping an eye on prices for journeys with low cost airlines like Ryanair and Wizz Air, make sure you check the price of not only the fare but any extras you want as well.

This as because sometimes airlines can drop the fares but boost the prices of seats and baggage to compensate – I noticed it when I was writing up my guide to avoiding extra costs on low cost airlines!

Unfortunately there’s no way to check what the costs were before so if the sale hasn’t started yet, go and check it out rightaway!

How to book with Ryanair, easyJet and Wizz Air to save the most money possible - and avoid all those hidden costs!
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How to check you've found a good travel deal

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