1 Thou shalt time your trip well

Go off-peak, or in the ‘shoulder season’ just before the masses arrive. For example, African safaris in the rainy season cost up to 40% less, and offer the chance to see more new-born animals; the Galapagos Islands in May are 20-30% cheaper than December / January or high summer – and offer warmer, calmer conditions

2 Thou shalt not book the first trip you see

Work out your itinerary and then compare prices from different tour operators. Use comparison websites like www.skyscanner.net to check flight prices, and an up-to-date guidebook to assess the going rate for activities on the ground

3 Thou shalt go where the pound is strongest

If possible, avoid the Eurozone, where the pound is weak. Instead, head for economies linked to the dollar (the US, central America) or other weakening currencies (Iceland, South Africa, Bulgaria)

4 Thou shalt be flexible

Be willing to fly a day earlier or two days later, or with a stopover you hadn't thought of, to save money. For example, flying to Australia on 10 December – the beginning of peak season – can cost up to £300 more than flying on the 9th

5 Thou shalt consult other travellers

Talk to people who have already travelled to your planned destination – log on to a travel forum like www.gowander.com or www.tripadvisor.com for recommendations and advice from real travellers

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6 Thou shalt seek out local knowledge

Many destinations offer free ‘greeter’ tours run by volunteers – a great way to save money, meet the locals, and pick up insider tips. Destinations include Paris (www.parisgreeter.org), New York (www.bigapplegreeter.org, and even Thanet in Kent (www.visitthanet.co.uk/greeters/).

7 Thou shalt ask – if thou dost not ask, thou dost not get

“Is that your best price?” “Are you able to offer a discount for cash?” “Could you include breakfast / an airport pickup / an activity for that price?” It’s not that hard, is it…

8 Thou shalt book early (and late)

Book budget airline tickets as early as possible, but keep an eye out for late deals on packages and tours. Sites like www.yapta.com and www.farecast.com help you monitor fluctuations in airline fares to get the best price.

9 Thou shalt travel to former troublespots

Don’t put yourself in danger, but countries rebounding from political turmoil or natural disasters need you – and will lower their prices to entice you. Current bargains include post-election Kenya, post-bomb Bali, and locally turbulent Sri Lanka

10 Thou shalt know when not to save

Some things you shouldn’t scrimp on – travel insurance, for one. And is it worth saving £50 on a flight if you end up flying from a remote airport at stupid o’clock with no meals?