I can’t believe I’m finally saying this - but Summer is officially here, and I for one am ready to soak up the sun and get away! However, as exciting as this is, Summer holidays (whether at home or abroad) can cost a lot of money - and often push people further into debt. Not to worry - here are some of our tips for saving money this season; all of which still allow you to enjoy your well deserved break to the full!
Firstly, it’s always a good idea to plan far in advance when it comes to paying for your holiday. Although possibly slightly too late to do so this year, in the future we recommend starting to put money aside at least 6 months in advance, helping you budget as you know how much you have available to spend.
You then get to choose where you’re going - and how you plan on getting there. Take some time to research the kind of holiday you want, whether local or abroad, and use comparison websites to find the best deals. If you’re confident you’ll be able to pay it back without increasing your debt, pay for your holiday on your credit card to split the price and hopefully earn some rewards!
Some people swear by last minute bargains, however others say booking further in advance allows you to scan for the best dates and prices - plus many don’t have the luxury to take a last minute week off work or to only holiday where is available at such short notice. We’d propose booking earlier on, and being flexible with your dates; for example:
- Outside of school holidays
- Travelling during the week (such as a Tuesday or Wednesday)
- Going for either 5 or 12 days rather than a week or two
Also scope out your travel options; as it might be cheaper to get a connecting flight, or perhaps to drive rather than fly! You can save even more money by taking public transport to the airport or destination, rather than a cab or paying to park your car for the duration of your trip.
When booking accommodation, make sure you’re avoiding any expensive and unnecessary add-ons - such as hotels that offer a daily breakfast charge, when a local cafe or restaurant would be far cheaper. Avoiding hotels altogether and instead opting for an AirBnB or another form of self-catered accommodation will also add to your savings! However for some, all-inclusive is a better option as they know how much they’re spending upfront - and don’t need to worry about budgeting once they arrive as they won’t need to spend. Do whatever works best for you, but just keep track of how much you’re spending - and on what.
Before you go👜
Once you’ve booked your trip and are preparing to go, work out your spending budget for the holiday - always allowing a little wriggle room for any disasters or unexpected expenses! It’s also a great idea to list what you’ll need to purchase before you go in order of importance, starting first with travel insurance (which is a must!) and ending with items such as clothes and toiletries, as ideally you’ll be able to use what you already own.
When it comes to packing, an easy way to save money if you’re flying is taking hand luggage only - and just bringing the essentials! However, if you do require an extra suitcase, make sure you weigh it before you go to avoid incurring any extra costs at the airport. Sometimes packing it almost to the limit is a good idea too, as it can defer you from making any purchases whilst you’re away.
If you’re planning on having beauty treatments for your holiday, have a look online to see if there are any deals or vouchers in your area that could reduce the price. You can also ask to have your hair or nails done by a trainee, as this can often save you a lot of money!
Finally, avoid converting your money, and instead bring a travel card (whether credit or debit) which won’t incur a foreign transaction fee - and could even save you more through cash-back bonuses. A great option for this is Monzo, a current account that allows you to spend money abroad for free (up to a certain price). If you do decide to bring some cash, make sure you change it back once home rather than needlessly spending it before you leave - as almost £1billion is spent by UK holidaymakers at airports looking to ‘get rid’ of their foreign currency every year!
Whilst you’re there🍹
The day has come, and you’ve finally arrived at your destination; ready for some TLC. Here are some easy tips to make your money go as far as possible:
- Avoid the mini bar at all costs, instead buying drinks and snacks from outside the hotel
- Create a spending budget for your meals, and book restaurants or purchase food accordingly
- Research before you go to see what attractions and entertainment there is in the area - some might be free, and others you can save by booking in advance
- Bring your own towels and umbrellas to avoid paying for them at the beach or pool
- Invest in a travel card to avoid using cabs - or a good pair of walking shoes!
These simple suggestions should help you save money this Summer whilst still having the break you deserve - even if you only incorporate one or two as every little counts (please don’t come for us Tesco). So what are you waiting for? Get researching, booking and budgeting - and don’t forget the SPF!
Have a lovely holiday x