Belgium is the perfect location for a cheap shopping trip or day trip from the UK. It is also a convenient gateway to Europe from England. With direct ferry services available to Belgium, it's possible to book cheap ferry tickets if a few valuable tips are followed.
The best time to travel
Holiday and ferry companies work on supply and demand, so the more popular a destination is, the more it costs. The busy, peak summer season and national holidays are best avoided if trying to find cheaper ferry bookings. If you travel out of season, you may find that ferry companies offer substantial discounts as they try to fill unsold tickets.
Travel time Most tourists travel at the end of the week or on weekends, so try booking a ferry for sailings at the beginning of the week. They may offer cheaper options for the short trips. Also, try sailing at unsociable hours as these may be on offer at cheaper rates.
Many holiday and ferry companies charge hefty fees for booking a ticket by debit or credit cards. By law, they have to offer at least one free option to book a ferry, either online or in store. Do your research in advance and check out which debit and credit cards are free to use and which come with hefty fees. If you decide to book with a company but don't have the free to use debit or credit card, open a basic bank account at the respective bank, simply to obtain the card.
Savings can sometimes be made by booking a ferry directly with the ferry company, and therefore avoid additional charges from a travel agent or online travel website. Many companies will also offer a complete package, taking care of hotels, transfers and car hire. Late deals A late or last-minute ferry ticket may offer large savings. However, be prepared to change your travel plans if you're relying on this service. A ferry may be full and you have to wait for a later service.
The internet provides the user with complete control over ferry ticket bookings. Exact times of travel can be booked and different ferry services and routes can be compared. For cheap trips try Directferries.co.uk, Aferry.co.uk, Poferries.com and Ferryonline.co.uk.