Money Saving Expert Debunks Chat GPT Holiday Budgeting Hacks

Discovering new ways to save money on trips abroad are often a priority for many holiday makers. A recent viral TikTok has seen creator’s use the AI programme, Chat GPT, to help plan a trip around Europe, asking it to keep costs as low as possible.

However, the money saving experts at Sambla have investigated to see whether Chat GPT’s advice is actually credible. 

Here they break down some of the myths.

1. Book flights on Tuesdays or Wednesdays 

A common travel myth discussed online is that airlines release their discounted fares on Tuesdays. While it may have been true in the past, there is no concrete evidence to support this claim. 

Airlines can release sales and promotions at any time, and prices are constantly changing based on demand, availability, and other factors. It’s best to compare prices regularly and book when you find a favourable deal.

2. Clearing browser cookies gets you lower prices

A travel hack that’s been widely discussed for years is that travel websites track your search history using cookies, adjusting prices based on your perceived interest. However, there is limited evidence to support this claim. 

Clearing cookies or using incognito mode is unlikely to significantly impact the fares you see, because the reality is that airfare pricing is always changing. Airlines are constantly altering their prices as tickets sell and demand changes. 

To guarantee getting the best deals, it’s best to book far in advance with most airlines releasing their flight schedules and tickets around 11 months in advance. Booking early gives you a better chance of securing lower fares.

3. Buy a package deal to make the entire trip less costly

Package deals that combine flights, accommodation, and other components can be convenient, but they may not always offer the best savings. 

It’s important to compare the individual prices of flights, hotels, and other services with the bundled package price. Sometimes booking each component separately can result in lower overall costs, especially if you find better deals or have specific preferences for different aspects of your trip.

Additionally, if you’re travelling as a family, many hotels offer free stays for children and infants when booking family package holidays. The age limit of a child can vary depending on the hotel, but is often up to the age of 12, with some hotels even going up to 14 and 16 years old.

4. Exchange your money at the airport 

Currency exchange services at airports are convenient, but they often charge higher fees and offer less favourable exchange rates compared to other options. 

We advise you to research and compare exchange rates at reputable currency exchange offices, or consider applying for a travel credit or debit card before your holidays, or even a prepaid card that allows you to lock in the exchange rate.

Our top tip for paying by card abroad, is that you may have noticed that the card terminal gives you the option to pay in either the local currency or your home currency. Always select the local currency. Even though you won’t be able to see the exchange rate immediately, it will be cheaper than paying in the latter.

Your bank or payment provider will want you to select your home currency, as often this will mean that you’re given a poor exchange rate, allowing them to profit off the difference.

5. Take advantage of the Duty Free

That holiday-feeling often kicks in as you walk through duty free, the initial travel stress is out the way and you can get tempted by the perfume, cosmetics, chocolate and alcohol. Similarly, when you’re heading home and want to take advantage of any last deals to soften the blow of returning to drizzly Britain. However, duty free doesn’t always mean it’s a good deal. 

Duty free simply means taxes won’t be collected, it doesn’t mean that prices are necessarily lower. There are numerous other factors that can influence the prices, including the location’s higher operating costs and exclusivity of certain products and brands. 

It’s crucial to compare duty-free prices with prices in regular retail stores or online before making a purchase. In some cases, especially with electronics or luxury items, you may find better deals outside of the duty-free environment. 

Anabel Cooper

Anabel is a graduate of King’s College London and upon graduating, she set out on a journey to inspire and empower women through her words. Besides working as a digital marketing expert, Anabel is a freelance copywriter.