Cheap tours: where to look and how to buy? Our 10 rules!
Psst, need a tour? Check it out – we’re here to tell you how to get it as painlessly as possible for your budget. How to find a hot tour and where is cheaper to buy a regular tour?
Groups vkk and telegram channels – this is certainly good, but too fleeting and momentary. How can you find the cheapest tours not only for today-tomorrow, but also for a week, a month or a year in advance? Let’s break down the actual options for 2022 (for example, the article presents tours to Europe/Asia, but they are not on sale at the moment – although ways to save money are relevant).
Here’s our guideline, worked out over 8 tours, which included Thailand for 60,000, Greece for 26,000, and Spain for 35,000. In Turkey for 40,000 in a good hotel 4* on Fortuna went. All for two and from 2018 to 2022, not when the dollar was thirty
Buying a tour online.
If you’re used to visiting the offices of a travel agent, it’s time to try the alternative, a tour aggregator, too. If you haven’t yet looked into the nearest Pilgrim Travel, should you?
Buying a tour online is easy, convenient and modern. Everyone has been booking hotels on Bookings and airline tickets on Skyscanner on their own for a long time now, it’s time for ready-made travels too!
Where to look for cheap tours?
Their idea is very simple: services analyze tour operator databases, compare prices and show available tour options, ranking them by cost or rating.
- Search for tours on all tour operators, and, moreover, reliable. With this scale no budget tour will not go unnoticed.
- Prices directly from tour operators. No extra fees for office rent, employee compensation, tea and cookies.
- Really inexpensive trips, which will not offer even the cheapest travel agencies. Searchers will point you to Turkey for 30 000 for two, well, because that’s how they are programmed, but travel agents – they are programmed for profit. Which increases with the amount laid out by the client.
- Your own choice . And don’t let that phrase scare you! Feel free to study hotel reviews and prices – then you won’t get the “what if there was something more profitable / closer to the sea?
- All the conditions for the hunt for burning: saw + immediately bought = made it .
This is me – on the edge of Europe, in Portugal. It turns out you can do this: take a tour to Spain for 10 days and fly on your own for 2 days in Porto
+ Documents – straight to email + 24-hour customer service and offices in major cities + Secure card payment + Installment/ability to split payment into two stages
Which is the best tour finder – can’t say so, it’s worth looking at all three. We noticed that TravelTrevel, for example, has a wider list of cities of departure, at Travelat you can book a tour with a discount by promo code, and Onlinetours always displays the final price with fuel surcharge (if any).
Rating of cheap countries by season
It’s useful to know where the cheapest trips are sold as well. At each season there are several mass destinations, which are notable for their budget. Here is a brief rating of the cheapest countries and the minimum cost of the tour in 2022 (7 nights, 2 people):
|India (Goa) – from 70 000 rubles||Turkey – from 65 000 rubles|
|Thailand – from 100 000 rubles||Greece – from 52 000 rubles|
|Vietnam – from 90 000 rub||Russia (Sochi, Anapa) – from 30 000 rubles|
Price is per person when buying a tour for two people
Smart search tours to all tour operators
Where to look for tours – we have identified, now the question – how? First, use the smart tour search: online aggregators allow you to set parameters that will weed out uninteresting suggestions.
Let’s say you intend to buy the cheapest tour, that’s just to get out of the country. It is logical that a 5 * hotel on an all-inclusive is not part of your plans, so put the appropriate check in front of the filters “star rating / hotel class” and “food. You can also play around with the distance to the sea, type of beach, rating, etc.
It’s clear-cut here: from time to time, searchers delight you with promo codes. At the moment, it’s Travelata – a cheap tours site that allows you to make them – tours – a little more profitable.
- UAF300howtrip – coupon for 300 rubles for any tour from 20 000
- UAF500howtrip – coupon for 500 rubles on any tours of 40 000
- AFT2000howtrip – coupon for 2000 rubles on any tours to Turkey from 100 000
Low prices and flexible dates calendar
Travelata and Onlinetours have a handy widget – a low-price calendar, with which you can fish out cheap tours. It appears after you click the “find” button and presents a chart of trip prices for days before and after your desired date.
Be sure to find out about the neighboring numbers. Clearly from the screenshot above: the difference between departures June 25 and 26 is ≈15,000 rubles!
Level.Travel also has a calendar, but of a different plan: it shows the best prices for tours to the selected country for 4 months ahead and by duration:
So, in order to pick up a trip optimally, flexibility in the dates of the trip is desirable, at least a day or two.
Flight from Moscow or neighboring cities
Usually we fly from Moscow – from here the tickets and tours are cheaper. But, for example, we flew to Greece for 10 nights from Kazan, as well as to Dubai for 5 days for 33,000 rubles.
It’s a shame, but it’s a fact: cheap tour packages for the regions, especially for distant destinations, are quite rare. But cheap tours from Moscow are quite logical, because the development of air service is decisive.
If you do not have trouble getting to the capital, you can think about. We often take a trip with a flight from Moscow and get by train (and the amount is still an order of magnitude lower than from Kazan).
Well, and if no RZD, Pobeda and BlablaCar does not help, look for where the tours are cheaper, the nearest major cities (St. Petersburg, Samara, Novosibirsk). But don’t forget to evaluate whether this way of saving money is worth your comfort (especially with a child)?
Flexibility in directions.
Conservatism is a good thing, but sometimes it hits your pocket. So if you once again decided to buy a trip to Turkey, but the price hinted that something is wrong, it is advisable to change priorities.
- So look for “fallback” options among the traditionally budget-friendly destinations (list above).
- When choosing a resort study the prices for each (the site itself will prompt the names)
For example, cheap tours to Greece are quite common; although in 2022 this point does not work yet. And for the cost of an average Turkish five-star hotel you can take an excellent Greek “five”. Yes, it won’t be all-inclusive, but it will be breakfast + dinner, but do you feel the difference in level? In addition, it is very easy to get a Schengen; and if it is open – no obstacles at all .
In general, shuffle the countries and places on the search engines. Fortunately, there are places to fly to from Russia.
Our hotel in Greece on a fortune (tour for 11 nights cost us 27 000 rubles)
Low season for a holiday
From our experience, the most effective tiphack how to buy tours cheaply – is to choose the low season. More precisely, the off-season – when the weather is already or still ok, but there are no crowds on the beaches / streets, and prices are not inflated.
- In European seaside countries and Turkey it is cheaper to go in May and the second half of September-October. It works for both beach holidays and sightseeing. Here is, for example, our article about Turkey in December (and even at this time there is good).
- In Thailand, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, and even the Maldives is cheaper to fly in May-June and September-October (except for the Maldives)
- And the UAE – in December (up to 25th).
We once flipped through a whole forum to find out if it’s normal in Thailand in late May. All as one, frightened of downpours, but somehow unconvincing, in words. Well, and a cheap tour (Phuket, 10 days, 3 * with breakfast, 60,000 for two), in the end, did his job. Non-seasonal May island – without tourists and, amazingly, without rain – we liked it much better than the January (when a similar tour costs 1000 000 rubles).
Photos from our trip to Krabi province in Thailand
Early booking saves, but not always 100%. It is advantageous when you need to buy a cheap tour to luxury or wildly popular hotel, which by the date of departure will stand still or skyrocket in price.
With hotels easier early booking works as it happens. Based on feedback from tourists, it happens that even in the negative. The above tour to Thailand, we took an early booking for 5 months, but a week before the trip it was only 2 thousand more expensive.
By the way, in advance is roughly six months in advance. Summer Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, etc. “open” in February. Winter resorts – Thailand, Vietnam, Dominican Republic – from June to July.
Last minute trips
Most cheap tours are last minute. Tour operators “throw” them away a few days before departure in order to get at least a small portion of the cost. We’ll tell you right away where to look: at Level.Travel and Onlinetours. Tweak your inputs and choose (if available, of course)!
If you’re not carried away(-s) in the online far, where you can buy hot tours, with luck, can be a one-two punch, know this: it’s a lottery. First, hotels are usually not sold out for certain reasons (guess what?). And secondly, they don’t come along very often, and it’s better to count on them for a spontaneous trip, but definitely not for a planned one.
Our charter to Rhodes from Coral Travel – the main advantage is that there are no transfers
Fortune is for the adventurous and unpretentious optimists. Well, or for super-chip travelers. It is found, as well as a burning ticket, not always and not everywhere.
In a nutshell, tour-fortune – is when you only know the resort, duration, hotel star and type of food. For example, 7 nights in Kemer in a 4 * all-inclusive hotel. The hotel itself will be known upon arrival in the country. Read more about Fortune, using Turkey as an example, here.
What is the point? In exchange for this mystery you get the cheapest tour – all the “certain” hotels cost 3+ thousand more.
How do you find fortune?
- Go to Travelate, LevelTrevel, or Online Tours.
- Type in a destination (ideally a resort)
- Rank by price.
- Tick the star rating you want – fortuna, if available, should show up in the top positions
Before you choose and buy a tour, take a look at the available hotel options from the tour operator offering fortune. Some of them will get you settled in! Plus, there’s an opportunity to knock off the already low price with one of the promo codes above
You can take excursions on the spot on your own – we look on Tripster (3 hours on a private yacht in Barcelona cost us 5,000 rubles for two!)
- If you go abroad more than once a year: think about travel bank cards that refund up to 7% of your tour/ticket/hotel purchases
- Some tour operators can sell both a traditional tour (flight + lodging + insurance) and a “ground package” – just lodging. Don’t worry, you won’t stumble across this by accident; you have to select a separate “hotel only” box yourself in the window of a particular hotel. Sometimes a landline is cheaper than a reservation on Bookings.
- An important reminder: the cheapest tours abroad does not always mean quality. Still you have to “pay for something”: comfort, food, uncomfortable flight.
- There are no cheap tour operators, there are only economical offers for various destinations. Therefore, when searching for a trip win online aggregators that handle all tour operators and all resorts.
So, will you try to find a tour on your own? Share in the comments how budget holiday you had and where!
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How to buy a cheap tour. All the tricks of the search
In the past, in order to buy a tour, you had to go to a travel agency. Only they had information from tour operators. Today you can buy any tour online from the comfort of your home. All known operators such as Tez Tour, Biblio Globus, Pegasus and dozens of others, place all the information on special online services.
These sites, uniting operators are called aggregator sites or tour search engines. The most popular and long-established search engines are Travelate and Level Travel.
They systematize data from all tour operators, they can choose the best and cheapest options. The search can be done from a desktop computer, as well as with a smartphone on the way to work or home. Using these sites you can find the cheapest tour and buy it online without getting off the couch.
How to Search for Cheap Tours in All Operators
Buying a tour at the last minute is very profitable. The advantage of last minute trips is a great discount. Sometimes there are very tempting offers. Taking advantage of them, you can rest a week together in Turkey for 9 000, in Cyprus for 17 000 or in Thailand for 38 000 rubles. But more often than not hot tours are sold at 30-50% below the original cost. This, too, is profitable. At the time of writing this article I could buy a cheap tour to Turkey for two for only 17 702 rubles.
An indispensable tool to find the cheapest tours on any date is the low price calendar . Enough to choose a departure city and point the direction of interest to see which date the lowest prices.
Many tourists can not decide how best to buy a trip? Catch a last minute tour just before departure or book in advance, when there is a wide range?
And the early booking and buying a last-minute tour allows you to save money. But each option has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Disadvantages of last minute tours
- If you decided by all means to save money by taking advantage of last minute deals, you should be ready to go at any time. The lowest prices appear shortly before the trip and you have to catch them literally sitting in your suitcases.
- There is no guarantee that cheap options for your desired destinations will be available on the expected dates. Prices can either go down or up, or no tour will be available at all.
- If you get a last minute ticket you will certainly be offered to choose from a few cheapest hotels.
- If the main thing for you is the price of the trip, if you are not too worried about the quality of the hotel, its location and you can wait even if there are no offers on the scheduled date, catch a last minute tour.
- If the quality of rest and the dates are critical for you, then buy the tour in advance, two to three months in advance. Then you will have a wide choice and a discount for early booking.
Early booking. 7 rules for buying cheap tours
The undoubted advantage of early booking is a wide range of hotels and rooms in them, which allows you to choose the best option in terms of price and quality.
The only downside – the discounts for early booking are small, incomparable to the burning tours. But even here there are secrets that are sure to help you save money and relax inexpensively where you want to go most.
1. Buy tours online yourself without intermediaries.
Pros of online shopping:
Huge selection. You compare prices from all tour operators and find the cheapest option. By comparing prices you have the opportunity to save!
Fast and convenient. No need to spend time traveling to travel agencies and long negotiations with their managers. You can find and book a trip in a few minutes without getting up from the couch. This is especially true for buying last minute tours, which sell out very quickly!
Independence. Buying a tour on your own you do not need to explain your preferences to the manager. You yourself know what you want to find and choose the best option. Managers in offices often try to manipulate their clients in order to impose the purchase with the benefit for themselves, or are simply incompetent.
Package of documents. If you buy a tour online, all vouchers, insurance, tickets and other documents will come to your email immediately after payment. The agency will ask you to come separately to get the documents, and in most cases tourists get the whole package only on the day of departure at the departure airport.
Once, receiving documents from the tour operator before boarding a flight, we found that we have not received vouchers for the hotel accommodation and we had to address this issue promptly, calling the head of the travel agency. As a result, a hotel room in Nha Trang we got, but nerves and money to negotiate had to be spent.
Reliability. Travel Search engine echoes tours only from proven official tour operators, with a full set of documents for the Russian market of tourist services. Payment is made only on the protected protocols. Hotline support is available 24 hours a day.
Going to the offices of tour operators who happened to come across on the street with names like “South Wind”, “Dream Travel”, “Premier Holiday”, you risk ruining your vacation and losing money.
2. Promo codes, promotions and bonuses for buying tours online
To buy a tour cheaper, keep an eye out for promotions. The search engine Lavel Trevel arranges them constantly to attract new users of the search engine. All promotions and promo codes can be viewed on the Lavel Trevel search engine page
All tour finders give their customers bonuses for every purchase, so if you use one of these sites a second time, the price of the tour will already be cheaper.
3. Choice of tour dates and duration.
Very often vacation time is strictly limited by the vacation period, which does not allow you to choose the start and end dates of the trip. But if you have the opportunity to shift your vacation at least a few days, take advantage of this chance to save on the cost of the tour.
It often happens that if you leave on Friday you will have to pay much more for the tour than for the same exact tour starting on Monday.
Check the prices for tours of different lengths. Very often a 5-night tour is more expensive than a 7-night tour. Take your time and check all your options. Very clearly this paradox looks at the price calendar of the search engine Lavel Travel
4. Choosing a resort.
If you want to go on vacation to a particular place and nothing else interests you, then the question of choosing a resort is irrelevant to you. In all other cases, when you consider vacations at different resorts, the chance to buy a cheaper tour will be much higher.
What tours are cheaper than others
1.There are destinations that are traditionally more expensive than others – Dominican Republic, Cuba, Maldives, UAE). The cheapest destinations are Abkhazia, Turkey, Greece, South of Russia, until recently Egypt.
The time of a year is of a great importance. Some resorts peak season in summer, others in winter, some in spring or autumn. 3.
There are other factors affecting the price of the tour. Any tour operator is not insured against accidents. For example, he didn’t calculate the demand for tours to certain destinations, and he left unclaimed offers. Then the tour operator lowers prices, and it appears the cheapest tours.
In order to buy the cheapest tour, check as many destinations as possible, not only in different countries, but also in different resorts of the same country.
5. Buy tours with a flight from Moscow
It doesn’t matter what direction you choose, the cheapest tours are always from Moscow. And the difference in price can be two times. This is due to the great competition and more developed system of air travel of the capital.
What to do if you do not live in Moscow?
First, find the cheapest tour from your city, and then check the price of a similar trip from Moscow. Depending on the price difference you can decide which tour you should choose.
You can get to Moscow by bus, train or plane. From many cities in Moscow fly cheap flights of low-cost company “Pobeda”.
Of course, each case is different and you have to compare not only the prices, but also a lot of other conditions. So only you can decide which option is better for you.
Sometimes the route of the trip passes through Moscow, regardless of the city of departure. For example, flying from Novosibirsk or Ekaterinburg to Europe, the flight path will inevitably be drawn through the capital. So if you fly to Moscow on your own, you can save a lot of money.
6. Use filters
The search engines Travelata and Level.Travel not only look for tours from all tour operators, but also help you filter the options that interest you. To do this, you can check only those search options that match your preferences:
For example: Food – all inclusive, breakfast or breakfast and dinner Amenities – holidays with children, air conditioning, Internet, couples holidays Rating by reviews – Excellent, Very good, Good, Satisfactory Beach type – pebble, sand And many more
The most useful filter I always use is the rating by tourist reviews. Before booking a tour, I make sure to read all the reviews about it left by tourists on the site.
Thanks to a smart search with filters included you can find an inexpensive tour on your own, discarding all the unacceptable offers
7. The Fortuna System.
For those who want to buy a slightly cheaper tour, tour operators offer the Fortuna system. You do not choose a particular hotel, but only specify its level – two, three or four stars. Then the tour operator itself decides which hotel to put you in. In practice, tourists on the fortune system often settled in the cheapest hotel, which still has free rooms.
To understand how much you can save on a tour by “Fortuna”, read the list of hotels and their costs in advance. If you are satisfied with the accommodation in the cheapest hotel of the chosen category, and you see that it is your advantage, then buy the tour with this system.
But it is better not to take any chances. This is my opinion. If you do manage to save money by buying a tour on the “Fortune” system, a maximum of 2-3 thousand rubles. By saving this money you run the risk of ending up in a cheap hotel with a lot of flaws and located in the most uncomfortable place of your chosen resort.
Why do travel agencies always have more expensive tickets?
Buying a tour in the office of the travel agency, you fully rely on the professionalism and decency of the employee, who selects for you the trip. But it is unlikely that he will spend your entire working day to find the best tour. On the contrary – first he will offer the most expensive and unpopular tours, because the manager will get the highest percentage, and the number of available options may be limited by the list of tour operators, working with the office.
How do tour finders work
These sites compare prices from all Russian tour operators and give you a list of tours, sorted by increasing their value. In the results you see comprehensive information about each trip: price, hotel name, food type, flight details, as well as photos and reviews of tourists to help you choose a cheap tour. You can search from your desktop computer as well as from your smartphone on your way to work or home.
Consultants and offices. If you can’t find answers to your questions while choosing a tour, ask a question online to a consultant in chat or by phone. These search engines have offices in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg and other cities. There is also a hotline, where you can ask for support if necessary.