I am a bargain hunter, but one thing I do LOVE to spend money on is holidays. I think travelling is one of the greatest pleasure’s in life, but it can be costly. But there are easy ways to save money on your holiday.
Yes, it does require a little more effort – but I’ve saved tons of money in the past just by doing a bit of shopping around.
Here’s my top advice…
1. LOOK FOR AFFORDABLE DESTINATIONS
Okay, so you might have your heart set on that dream destination, but there are less pricey alternatives that are equally as beautiful.
For example, if you’re dreaming of the blue domed landscape of Santorini but can’t afford the hefty price tag, try some of the smaller islands such as Naxos or Paros.
My boyfriend and I also opted to go to India on holiday which worked out INCREDIBLY cheaper than an alternative European beach holiday.
If it’s a city break you’re after, cities like Budapest, Talin and Prague are all purse-friendly options compared to places like Paris, Berlin and Copenhagen.
Or scrap flying completely, and save money on your holiday by taking yourself on a UK break to somewhere like Dartmouth in Devon or Newquay in Cornwall.
2. FIND CHEAP FLIGHTS
(Credit: Eva Darron / StockSnap)
Shopping around for cheap flights is no longer a struggle, with plenty of online tools you can easily save money on your holiday.
My favourite is Skyscanner, which compares the cost of various flights to your chosen destination. What’s more, if you’re not in a rush to book, you can set up a travel alert which notifies you when there’s a price change on your selected dates.
If you’re in London, flights tend to get cheaper too if you choose to fly from a different airport, but weigh up the cost of travelling to that airport.
For example, my nearest airport is Gatwick but it’s cheaper to fly from Stanstead. However once you throw in the cost of travelling to Stanstead it works out pretty much the same.
3. CONSIDER FLYING INDIRECTLY
This option personally isn’t one for me, but I know plenty of people that choose to stopover to make it a little cheaper.
For example, flights to Thailand go up by around £100 each if you choose to fly directly rather than stopping for a few hours in another destination.
BUT BE WARNED: While this can be a great option for penny-pinching travellers, take a look at that stopover time. When doing a search on Skyscanner, time hanging around the airport for your next flight could be up to 16 hours!
4. SHOP AROUND FOR ACCOMMODATION
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Sites like Trivago can help you find the best deal for your chosen hotel, but don’t let that stop you from delving further. Sometimes contacting the hotel directly can help you get that price even better.
Also see exactly what’s included in that accommodation price. Is it better off paying for breakfast beforehand? Is there free Wifi or do you have to pay extortionate amounts to get your Instagram fix?
5. GO SELF CATERING
Often the cheapest way to save money on your holiday is to go self-catering. Even if you eat out in the evening, you can make breakfast and lunches at your apartment meaning serious pennies are being saved.
But make sure this option doesn’t make you lose out on the holiday experience you’re after. If you want to be by the sea, or have a pool etc. make sure that self-catering apartment can accommodate that.
For city breaks in particular, try Airbnb for some good, purse-friendly homestay options.
6. BUT DON’T RULE OUT PACKAGE HOLIDAYS
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Some of the best holiday deals I’ve got are through sites like Travel Republic, or by booking a package holiday directly through an agent such as Thomson.
Booking through tour operators like Thomson allows you to get flights, accommodation and extras such as transfers included. This is also your chance to find a good all-inclusive deal. While they’re often pricey, if you’re someone that loves to eat and drink… having it all included in your package can be a pretty cost-effective deal.
7. GO OUT OF THE SCHOOL HOLIDAYS
This one is a no-brainer, if you want to save money on your holiday, don’t go when the kid’s are off school. Prices sky rocket during this busy season.
However, if the school holidays are a must, you should read Money Saving Expert’s guide on the Flexifare trick, which allows you to switch your date by a few weeks, meaning you could bag yourself an out-of-term-time holiday for term-time prices.
8. CHECK THOSE T&C’S
(Credit: Michal Parzuchowski/StockSnap)
This is especially important with a budget airline: make sure your luggage allowance etc. is included in the price of that ticket. While a £40 flight might seem a bargain, you’ll soon realise that it’s an extra £21 for a bag (one way) plus an extra £15 if you want to sit next to your travelling companion.
Be wary of those excess charges and question whether you really need them.
9. CLEAR YOUR COOKIES
Travel websites use sneaky tactics to take note of our browsing history. For example, if you’ve searched for the same destination multiple times on a travel site, it’ll change the destination’s demand and potentially increase the price.
By deleting your cookies you’re effectively deleting your search history. So do that and try again and see if it makes any difference! Read this guide by Business Insider to find out more.
(Main image: Syd Sujuaan)