With the pound falling sharply against the Euro and Dollar and question marks surrounding the future state of the economy following Brexit, many are becoming more conscious of their spending, especially on summer holidays.
However, getting away from the stresses of everyday life is important in ensuring you remain psychologically healthy. So rather than striking it off your 2017 calendar, we’ve got some helpful tips to ensure you get the vitamin D you need without the hefty price tag.
Pick your dates carefully
If you’ve got children, then you are somewhat limited by the summer holiday when it comes to picking dates. This doesn’t mean you can’t save significant money on flights and accommodation. Many will simply plan their holiday into the first few weeks of school holidays which is when prices are at their highest. By waiting until the last week in August or the first week of September you could find yourself saving 15% on the total cost.
If you’re keen to get some of Europe’s best weather and are not restricted by children’s term times then early June or late September are probably your best bet. Temperatures frequently exceed 30 degrees in parts of Spain and the Canary Islands and prices are typically very affordable.
Compare flights online
Once you’ve got an idea of the dates you’d like to travel, it’s time to start comparing flights. There are a few comparison sites to choose from and each will have a different set of operators that they work with. To ensure you get the best possible deal try a handful of different sites and pick the best option for you.
We conducted a quick experiment to illustrate the difference in prices you can pay. We choose a 7 day return flight direct from London Gatwick to Malaga (economy class) on June 5th to June 12th.
The cheapest flight we found was £88 per person, the most expensive was £417 – that’s a whopping £329 difference!
Pay a small deposit and spread payments
Now that you’ve picked your flights, it’s time to choose your accommodation and extras. There are now several websites that allow you to pay as little as £1 deposit on your accommodation and spread the remaining cost over the coming months. This is great as it means you don’t have to pay for everything up front and can budget for the repayments according to your disposable income.
For example, you could choose to pay just £1 in the first month (as you’ve just had to cough up for the flights) and then pay a fixed amount each preceding month until you’ve covered the rest of the balance. Making overpayments can also be helpful as they allow you to pay the balance off quicker so you can turn your focus to saving for travel money.
Save on luggage
A lot of budget airlines will charge hold luggage as an extra which can add significant amounts to the total cost of your holiday. Instead of paying this extra charge, try packing light (<10kg) and using a smaller bag that will fit inside the cabin as you won’t get charged for this.
You’ll probably be surprised just how little luggage you need when you’ve got a tighter limit!
Get travel money in advance
A big mistake that many make when going abroad is purchasing their currency at the airport or once they get out there. This is likely to mean that you don’t get as good a rate as you would if you purchased travel money in advance.
Much like flights, you can get a better deal on your currency by shopping around and whilst it’s unlikely to be a huge saving, it may mean you can afford an extra sangria or two by the pool!