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Save on your Spring getaway

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Paris in the Spring? Tulips in Amsterdam? At this time of year you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to gorgeous city getaways. But Easter is one of the busiest times of the year to travel – as the whole of Britain descends on the airport for the big bank holiday exodus. Not coincidentally, it’s one of the most expensive times of year to travel too. Savvy travellers don’t let that deter them, and save by following these few hints and tips…

1) Be flexible – adding an extra day to your Easter holiday and travelling back on Tuesday could really make a difference to the cost of your flights.

2)  Beware of hidden extras – know our baggage limit to avoid check-in or excess luggage charges, and if you are limited to a very small carry-on bag, think about how you could wear your baggage.  Carry-on limits are based on size and the IATA (International Air Transport Association) standard hand baggage allowance followed by most airlines is 22 in (56 cm), width of 18 in (45 cm) and depth of 10 in (25 cm). These dimensions include wheels, handles, side pockets, etc.  However, some airlines are notoriously less generous – many can be much smaller and if you’re buying new luggage for your trip, many marked as suitable for hand luggage won’t make the grade. Remember to check with your carrier before you start packing.

3) Go by rail and you could save money if you are a senior traveller. Look out for Eurostar’s ‘Senior Fares’ and you could be heading off for a romantic mini-break in Paris or enjoying the pretty countryside of Avignon before you know it. If the travel bug bites, longer trips also offer good value – InterRail offer 10% off their ‘Global Pass’ for over 60’s - allowing unlimited travel across 30 countries from around £452 for Standard Class and around £851 for First Class.

4)   Keep active with a working holiday - they’re a great way to meet new people, and stay fit and healthy in to the bargain.  The National Trust offers cheap breaks offering activities from dry-stone walling to restoring the gardens of a country estate. Prices start from around £35 for a short weekend break, with most including meals and accommodation, as well as a year's free membership of the National Trust – so you can continue to save on day trips for the rest of the year.

5)   Stay at home (or someone else’s) – slash the cost of your holiday accommodation by house-sitting instead. Websites such as Love Home Swap or HomeLink help you find a house or apartment abroad to use as a base. You might need to agree to feed the cat, but you’ll have comfortable self catering accommodation at a fraction of the cost.