Is a holiday high on your agenda at the moment? Can’t get those sunny beaches or bright city lights off your mind? If you’re thinking of booking a getaway but have a modest budget to stick to, we have some tips to help you settle those holiday cravings AND watch your pennies. Music to our ears...
Search for a bargain
There’s a ton of travel comparison sites out there – make the most of them! Whether you’re looking for a great deal on your flight, hotel or travel insurance; take the time to search around to find the best price you can. It’s quick, easy to do and when booking online you can usually get a discount!
Choose your dates wisely
Prices surge during school holidays, so if you’re travelling without children and you’re not restricted to certain dates, always try and travel outside of the holidays. You’ll save money and your destination should be much quieter. Win, win!
Check luggage weight and size restrictions with your airline beforehand (each airline is different) and make sure your luggage fits the bill to avoid a hefty extra payment at the check-in desk. If it’s a short trip, consider just taking hand luggage – you’ll save on the extra cost of hold luggage.
Book transfers in advance
Taxis can be expensive, and public transport isn’t always easy to figure out. So to know exactly what you’ll be paying to get to your accommodation, consider booking an airport transfer in advance. They’re usually much cheaper and mean you can relax when you arrive, knowing that you’ve got it sorted. No need to dig out your phrase book to try and negotiate a price with a local taxi driver.
Be your own tour guide
Arriving somewhere new with a bit of knowledge on where to go is extremely useful. Perhaps there’s a cheaper place to see an attraction with even better views? Could you find your own way around instead of paying for a guided tour? Do your own research, create a personalised itinerary and see the sights your way. Online discussion boards are a great place to find tips and hear about other’s experiences.
Data roaming? Switch it off!
Returning home to a huge phone bill after a holiday? We’ve all been there. The cost of data can be extortionate abroad, so be sure to switch data roaming off and keep an eye out for free Wi-Fi instead. Consider buying a local pay-as-you-go SIM card to keep tabs on what you’re spending on calls and messages – it’ll usually work out much cheaper than the rates charged by your usual provider and there’s no risk of surprise bills.
Back to basics
If your aim is to be a budget-savvy traveller, you have to embrace compromise. Think about the must-haves and the nice-to-haves - do you need the place with the private pool if you’re just next to the beach? Could you go self-catering instead of paying to eat out every night? Making small cut-backs can make a real difference to your total holiday cost.
Leave it ‘til the last minute
If you’re happy to hold off making your booking, you could end up with a last minute bargain. Sites like lastminute.com* and laterooms.com** specialise in spontaneous getaways, and can reward your risk-taking with lower prices.
Get the right card
Paying by credit or debit card is often the most convenient and safest way to shop, but overseas charges can vary depending on the card you’re using and can sometimes get pricey. Check with your provider beforehand, and consider opening a card with no fees for using abroad.
Dine with the locals
Walk a little further from those tourist attractions and you should find some cheaper, more authentic places to eat. Eating where the locals eat should save you some cash. Get chatting and you might even get some insider knowledge and tips on the best places to go!