Are you dreaming of your summer holiday? To help ensure you get more bang for your buck, we’ve put together the top ten ways to save money on your holiday from utilising comparison sites to exploring lesser-known destinations. There are plenty of ways you can make your cash stretch further this summer.
Utilise travel comparison sites
Forget booking directly with an airline or hotel, to ensure you are always getting the cheapest deal use a price comparison website. Websites like Skyscanner, Kayak and Momondo offer you the option to compare prices for every airline that flies the route and a variety of options for hotel and car rental offers.
Travel in the off-season
The easiest way to cut the overall cost of your holiday is to travel during the off-season. Not only will transport and accommodation be cheaper, but without the summer crowds’ attractions will be quieter and easier to access. Another benefit is the milder temperatures will allow for more strenuous activity and you can hike, explore and swim without the worry of the sun’s glare.
Go where the exchange rate is favourable
Ideally, you want to go somewhere you can get a good exchange rate on your currency. If you are travelling to a destination that is more expensive or has a less favourable rate, then it will impact on how you can prioritise and spend on the things that matter to you.
Destinations such as Thailand, Turkey, Indonesia and India all have a strong exchange rate against the GBP so you will be able to enjoy luxury services without the high price tag. Whereas a holiday in Scandinavia can end up costing a lot more for the essentials than you would experience at home. If keeping overall costs down is important, this is something to consider. But you don’t have to travel to the other side of the world to enjoy good value for money, many countries in eastern Europe such as Poland, Romania and Bulgaria are incredibly affordable.
Explore lesser-known destinations
Popular destinations are often expensive, crowded and thronging with tourists. Maybe instead of staying in the most Instagramable destination, why not try somewhere a little less travelled and waiting to be explored?
Iceland is a population destination with over a million tourists visiting the island every year. Considering the population of Iceland is only 360,000 people, you can see how the country would feel crowded with tourists. Instead of visiting Iceland, why not try Finland, Norway, the Faroe Islands or even the Scottish Hebrides?
Santorini is an Instagram favourite, with whitewashed houses and the beautiful Mediterranean Sea as a backdrop, but it can be heaving with tourists and the costs of accommodation reflect this. Instead of Santorini or Mykonos, why not explore the nearby alternatives of Paros, Naxos or Ios? Each will offer fewer tourists, a more authentic feel and most importantly cheaper accommodation and amenities.
Join a frequent flyer programme
If you fly regularly for work or have a particular airline that you always like to fly with, then it’s a good idea to look into joining a frequent flyer programme. Many airlines offer them from the likes of BA and Emirates to EasyJet and even Wizz Air! Some of these schemes offer more benefits than others, but the common perks include discounted fares, speedy boarding and sometimes added extras like luggage allowance or free seat allocation.
Use a pre-paid travel card
When you use your debit or credit to withdraw cash from an ATM or pay for items abroad, you will incur fees from your back and for the currency transaction. To save money on these costs more and more people are opting to bring a pre-paid travel card with them on holiday instead. You top up the card from your current account and can use it similarly to a debit or credit card. You can withdraw money from an ATM or pay for items directly whilst on holiday, without being hit with currency conversion fees. Each card comes with an app for your mobile, so you can check conversation rates, top up your card on the go and most importantly keep an eye on your spending. There a variety of pre-paid travel cards available such as the Post Office Card, Revolut and Caxton to name a few.
Ship your luggage direct to your destination
Airlines can charge excessive fees to put your luggage in the hold. Instead of forking out and wasting time at the carousel, why not ship your suitcases direct to your destination with courier company. Luggage shipping companies like My Baggage who are based in Northern Ireland specialise in sending your luggage ahead to meet you at your destination.
Split tickets on long haul flights
Have you ever considered splitting a long-haul flight into two flights to save money? If you are booking a long-haul flight it can sometimes work out incredibly costly. To try and get around this, you can sometimes save money by exploring two individual flights that aren’t connected. This is where flight comparison sites come in handy, they can help you look for the cheapest multi-flight options out there. These routes can end up taking a lot longer, so this isn’t the most ideal way to save money if you cannot be flexible with time.
Eating in is the new going out
A clever way to cut costs whilst on holiday is to choose self-catering accommodation. This means that you will be able to make your own meals and shop locally for produce at markets and supermarkets. Instead of paying every night for a costly restaurant meal you will be able to create your own dishes at home, make packed lunches for the road and enjoy a glass of wine by the pool without the high prices you might find at a bar. The savings really add up!
Consider house sitting
If you want to save on having to pay for accommodation at all, have you ever considered house sitting? You can choose from houses and apartments anywhere in the world, from an idyllic French chateau to a modern New York apartment in Manhattan. There are options for accommodation that you wouldn’t normally be able to afford or stay in and it’s all for free! You might even get a furry friend to look after. This is the perfect option for a cost-savvy responsible traveller to have a once in a lifetime holiday experience.
Finally, another lesser-known and affordable destination is Romania. With towering Carpathian mountains, medieval cities, well-preserved traditional village life and delicious organic food, this European travel destination will surely surprise travelers. Tours in Transylvania are a good choice for those who are conscious about their budget but want to see as much as possible, from Bran Castle to Turda Salt Mine or hiking in Fagaras Mountains!