For those a little strapped for cash, going away for a summer holiday is a luxury that can be a struggle to afford. However, while there’s always going to be some expense involved, managing to take the family away needn’t cost a fortune.
Here are some ideas for taking a holiday without breaking the bank:
Watch the ‘Beach Barometer’
Keep an eye on the Post Office’s ‘Holiday Costs Barometer’, which identifies the cheapest popular places to head for a holiday.
It compares the cost of a basket of holiday essentials, such as a meal for two with wine and a bottle of sun cream, and is a great indicator of how much you’ll spend. This year, the cheapest resort destinations include those in Marmaris, Turkey, Portugal’s Algarve, and the Costa Blanca in Spain.
Bag a ‘cancellation’ bargain
A good number of travel websites offer ‘cancellation holidays’, where they offload holidays at a discount that people have cancelled at the last minute. A quick Google will show you which.
Go on a Tuesday!
Travel experts suggest that booking on a Tuesday can save you cash. It seems to be the day that many adjust their pricing, depending on what’s selling well and what isn’t.
Additionally, mid-week flights with EasyJet and Ryanair etc. are often cheaper than those on the more popular days of Friday and Saturday.
Book flights in the early hours
Holiday website Kayak recommends booking flights around 4am, which it’s worked out is when they’re at their cheapest. It’s not quite clear what the science behind the theory is, but could be worth giving a go, so set your alarm!
Book private accommodation
Rather than going for a holiday arranged from start to finish by a big provider like Thomas Cook or TUI, booking accommodation direct with owners via sites like Airbnb or Owners Direct can work out considerably cheaper.
It might take up more of your time, but could save hundreds of pounds, or even more.
Book your holiday early (or very, very late!)
As with flights these days, the longer you leave it, the more you tend to pay. If you want to be sure you’re going to be able to stay in a certain place at a certain time of the year, then it’s nearly always best to book as far in advance as possible.
However, if you’re more flexible and don’t mind the uncertainty, booking late can mean you get a great deal as holiday companies try and shift what they haven’t already sold.
Camping holiday companies, as with many others, usually offer incentives for you to book early in the year for the summer ahead.
Those booking in January to March often sees discounts of around 20% for holidays in July and August as companies try and seek the security of filling their summer pitches as soon as possible.
Shop around for travel insurance
Though it may be tempting to save a few pounds by skipping the travel insurance, it’s worth remembering that delays, cancellations and illness on holiday could leave you seriously out of pocket. The best way to save on travel insurance is to make sure the cover is suitable for you – there’s no point paying extra for extreme sports coverage if your idea of strenuous activity is strolling to the tikki bar!
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