Despite being one of the biggest industries in the world, it isn’t always easy being in the tourist trade. Those who own holiday homes are also subject to the pressures of a sluggish economy, both in the UK and abroad. Utility bills, holiday home insurance and day-to-day maintenance all take their toll on the owner’s bottom line.

So getting a discount from them can be hard to do – and in many cases can be found to be fairly annoying from the owner’s viewpoint. But if you’re very tactful and a little bit clever, you just may be able to get a better deal. Here are some key tips:

1. Always be polite in any communications you have with the holiday home owner. First impressions count, so you need to give them the idea that you are a polite, law abiding citizen; an easy guest to deal with.

2. Stay for a long period. The owner may be more open to negotiation if you’re staying for two weeks or more. If you’re just booking for a few days, a discount will be unlikely.

3. New properties: if an owner is new to renting their property out, they may not know when to expect bookings and may also be open to offering discounts, just to get people through the door.

4. Be prepared to stay at less popular times of the year – these can be hard to fill.

5. If you’re booking in low season, it is very unlikely you will get a discount – profit margins will already be very low, and making them even lower may not be worth the hassle for the owner.

6. Try booking at the last minute. If you book within a couple of weeks before you wish to take your break, you may be able to secure a discount.