Clydebank: Barrhead Travel expert gives his tips on saving money


A CLYDEBANK travel agency is busier than ever – and has offered Bankies its top tips on how to make their holiday budget go further. 

Mark Ferrier at Barrhead Travel, based in Clyde Shopping Centre, admitted business is currently “booming” and credited the high demand for holidays since the turn of the year to people finally getting confident to go abroad again post-pandemic.

He told the Post: “We’re thrilled that bookings for travel are booming. I’d say we’re possibly busier than we’ve ever been, even during the week which is typically slightly quieter than weekends. 

“There are a few main reasons for the continued high demand for holidays. Firstly, I think we’re still seeing some people travelling for the first time since Covid this year and pent-up demand continues to release. 

“Secondly, what we’re hearing from customers is that they don’t want to book online – they want to speak to someone local who they can trust and make sure that support is there from the moment they enquire until they return home from their holidays.

“People are after the type of service that can only be found with a reputable travel agent.”

Traditional favourites Tenerife and Majorca have again been popular destinations amongst holiday bookers, alongside US locations such as Orlando and New York, and Mark explained he has noticed people going for more than just the one trip.

“We’re finding that customers are booking multiple holidays in one go just now to lock in prices,” he added.

“A lot of people have booked two holidays at once but we’ve had some customers book three holidays with us over the last few weeks.”

Top trip tips

Here Mark gives his top tips on how to stick to a budget:

1) Aim to book as far in advance as possible.

It’s always recommended to book early to enjoy launch deals and early booking discounts – but the biggest influencer of price at the minute is availability.

People have been booking earlier than usual and demand for popular destinations is particularly high.

Leaving it until last minute won’t guarantee a discounted deal: if you know where you want to travel to, lock it in with a deposit as early as you’re able to. 

2) Book with a reputable travel professional.

As well as saving you time, providing advice and protecting your money, they have the tools to scan the market and source the best deals and savings to suit your budget.

They’ll often have inside information on upcoming flash sales or have access to exclusive offers.

Additionally, if you book with an agent, you can book everything in one go – flights, accommodation, insurance, attractions, car-hire – and have just one total payment that can be split into instalments. 

3) Multi-family and multi-generational holidays are on the rise and we’re expecting to see this trend continue this year.

As well as spending cherished time with the people we love the most, it can have a money-saving benefit too.

Villas abroad come in all sizes and many can comfortably accommodate large groups of friends or several families.

If teaming up with your extended family or friends was on your mind, a villa can offer a very cost-effective way of sharing accommodation costs while spending valuable time together. 

4) Attractions and add-ons, such as care hire or transfers, are always best value when booked in advance.

Think about what you’d like to do when you’re on holiday and book before you go to take advantage of savings.

This also helps with availability: some popular attractions, such as Alcatraz in San Francisco, cannot be booked on the day, while theme-park passes often have special offers for advanced booking.

Booking in advance for car hire will eliminate the risk of eyewatering costs when the car is returned. 

5) If you’re limited to school holiday dates, thinking about your preferred departure airport can really help lower costs.

A Scottish family travelling from Manchester or Newcastle in June or early July (before the English school holidays commence) can sometimes save a significant sum.

The same goes for English families travelling in August after the Scottish schools return.

Our agents keep track of national school holiday dates to help flag money-saving options. 

6) Travel off-the-beaten-track.

Visiting major tourist hubs or the busiest resorts can often hold a higher price tag than lesser-known destinations.

Considering destinations away from the traditional tourist trail can also provide rich experiences and contributes to micro-tourism economies where you can immerse yourself in local culture.

It doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice your favourite destinations either – for every major resort, there are usually plenty of smaller and very accessible towns nearby meaning you have the best of both.


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