1. Book early
It sounds logical, but you’d be surprised how many holidaymakers hold off in the hope of rare last-minute discounts. “Booking well ahead does two things,” says Stephen McKenna of gohop.ie. “You book at a price you can budget for and you get to look forward to the trip.”
January is a good month for early- booking discounts, low deposits and offers such as free child or grandparent places. But why wait? Right now, CaminoWays.com is offering 10pc discounts for 2014 bookings.
2. Hailing Hailo overseas
We all know Hailo, the taxi app. Thanks to the yellow branding on cabs in Dublin, Cork, Galway and Limerick, thousands of iPhone and Android users have been able to summon local chariots with a couple of taps. But does it work overseas? It does. Once you download it and register (and presuming you’re on Wi-Fi or data roaming), you can get a cab in London, Toronto, Boston, Chicago, Madrid, New York and Barcelona. Indeed, a Hailo hail is accepted every four seconds around the world. Hailocab.com.
3. Click and collect shopping
You don’t have to cram airport shopping into the hour between security and take-off. The Loop, at Dublin and Cork Airports, offers a click and collect service, whereby you can buy online and collect items in person. While you won’t find the same savings as the glory days of duty free, the beauty of this shopping option is that you can collect goods on your return, so you don’t have to mess with baggage allowances on the way out. The service is only available to shoppers travelling within the EU, however. See theloop.ie.
4. Crash on a couch
Twenty years ago, the idea of travelling to another city and crashing on a stranger’s couch would have horrified all but the most independent travellers. Today, it’s another story. Sign up with San Francisco-based couchsurfing.org, establish a profile, send requests and proceed to sleep for free in more than 100,000 cities worldwide. “You have friends all over the world,” as the site puts it. “You just haven’t met them yet.”