Nobody wants to count the pennies whilst on holiday; we work hard for our two weeks in the sun, and we want to enjoy ourselves without being on a strict budget. Unfortunately these days money is tight for everyone, and it’s important not to be too gung-ho with the finances, as it’s sure to bite once we return home!
There are ways to enjoy holidays, not watch the pennies too much, but be careful all at the same time, and you probably won’t even notice you’re doing it.
If you’ve ever considered booking your flight, accommodation and transfer separately, now’s the time to do it, as you’ll find you save when compared to booking a package holiday through a tour operator. Transfers from airports to resort can often be done via a shuttle bus, which can be lengthy, is often cheaper than taxis. The way I look at it is, I can check out the scenery en-route!
Accommodation-wise, remember your hotel is often a base, and not where you want to be spending 100% of your time. In many countries such as Greece and Turkey, what is rated as 5 star, is often less in our eyes, when compared to 5 star hotels here. Be prepared to book a hotel that will suffice as a base, as it’s often only for sleeping, showering and the occasional day around the pool. I’m not suggesting you slum it, but be prepared to think a little out of the box. My friend often books hostels – which can often be much more upmarket these days, and great for short city stays.
All-inclusive is a good option, as the price of your food and drink is included in the cost, which is fantastic if you’re traveling with children. Whilst the price of your accommodation might be higher at initial booking, it will even itself out with what you save whilst you’re there.
On the flip side, I’ve found that booking a self-catering apartment can save money, as you have cooking facilities, meaning a few nights’ eating in, or cheap meals out. It all depends on how you want to spend your time.
If you have an early flight, which unfortunately is common, cut down on early morning taxis to the airport by staying over at the terminal the night before. I’m not suggesting you sleep on the chairs either! Airport hotels are a great way to cut down on stress, and work out extremely cheap when there are a few of you. I’ve recently used one of the Gatwick Airport hotels with HolidayExtras.co.uk, when booking a cheap flight out of the capital, and can certainly vouch for it. The cheaper flights do tend to be from London, and you may find you save on travelling cheaply to the capital and going down this route of a night at one of the Gatwick hotels, of which I can’ recommend the Sofitel Gatwick highly enough, a fantastic hotel and a great way to start your holiday. Most large UK airports offer a range of hotels regardless, so I’d certainly suggest looking into this idea.
Whilst you’re out in resort, one major tip for saving cash is not to book your excursions through your tour operator. Many street vendors will sell you the same excursion for a cut of the price, and if you’re booking more than one, you’ll get an even bigger discount. I do this a lot when I travel to Turkey, and in these places, haggling is always the way to go.
There are ways to look after your holiday cash without cutting down on enjoyment; take my advice and you’ll return with a happier credit card!