It may seem obvious but the holiday industry is like any other business affected by the basic economics of supply and demand. The best time to book, according to travel agent Trailfinders, is 11 months before you're due to travel. The flights have just been released and there's plenty of cheaper seats available.
The rules of supply and demand also apply in last few days before the departure date. If there are unsold seats and hotel rooms, you can bag a bargain with a few clicks of the mouse, or a phone call or two.
The internet has been a godsend for people who wish to bypass the travel agent and arrange their own trips. But here's a little-known tip: if you are booking a flight and a car, or flight and accommodation, by packaging the two deals together, an agent can often offer a much better deal than if you were to book separately, even online.
After years of outrageously high fares, the cross-Channel ferry operators have woken up to the fact that people aren't prepared to pay up to £600 to cross a stretch of water so short you can see the other side from our shores - especially as you can fly to Spain for a few quid. As a result, fares have plunged and if you can travel at night, it's even cheaper.
A change is good as a rest so why not move into the spare room or swap rooms with your kids for a week or two. It's free and can be great fun – especially if you can agree to swap roles so the children do all the cooking.
A holiday home that sleeps 12 people isn't usually six times more expensive than one that sleeps two. So if you can bear to share with friends or family you could save a packet.
You may think you live in a horrid, torrid suburban time warp - but to an American visitor your home could well the quaint historic corner of Britain that they've been yearning for. Likewise, their 'small' tumble-down hovel will probably feel like a mansion. Give it at try.
As part of the Government's Every Lesson Counts campaign to cut down on truancy, major holiday companies have developed special deals such as free child places and money off for adults. Ask your school for details or contact the travel firms - but bear in mind that many of these offers may still be cheaper elsewhere.
It's one of the things the internet does best. Compare flights, create your own holidays and book online - or use it for research then phone around the High Street chains and haggle.
Travel agents and internet users can reserve flights and holidays for several days without purchasing them. So if at first you find a deal is unavailable at the price you want to pay, you have a choice: pay the higher price or wait a few days to see if the places become available again.