Summer is nearly here, although don’t say it too loudly or you might scare the sun away again.
With summer comes holidays, whether it’s a trip away you booked months ago or a last-minute deal you just can’t resist. But just because you’re treating yourself to a well-earned break doesn’t mean that you need to resign yourself to a less-than-healthy bank balance when you get home.
Here are a few of our top tips to help make sure your pennies go as far as possible at every stage of your summer holiday.
- Pick the dates that you travel. If you do have to go in the school summer holidays, choose the latest possible dates. The last week in August and the first in September are normally cheaper than the start of the summer holidays .
- Don’t dismiss indirect routes – If you’re happy to spend a bit longer travelling to or from your destination, an indirect flight can save you up to 15% on the price of travelling direct. It might mean a couple of hours to kill in an airport terminal, but if it means making a saving then it’s definitely worth considering.
- Do away with unnecessary frills – Getting rid of extras such as priority boarding and seat selection can help to keep the cost of a flight down. Going for an early check in means you and your group will almost certainly be sat together anyway, and you’ll have a bit more money in your pocket too.
- Give yourself the best chance of a flight upgrade – If you want a first class or business class flight but don’t want to pay for it, timing is key. Most upgrades are given when the economy cabin is full, so if you wait until fairly late on to arrive for your flight, you’ll have the best chance of bagging a free upgrade. Just make sure you don’t leave it too late and miss your flight!
- Consider a home swap – If you live somewhere that others are likely to consider for their holiday and you’re happy to allow someone else to stay there, a home swap is a great way to save on accommodation costs. Sites such as HomeExchange.com and HomeLink.org.uk help holiday-makers connect and agree to swap homes to enjoy a holiday without either needing to book a hotel.
- Buy your own car Insurance. When you hire a car on holiday one of the most expensive add-ons is the charge to waive the insurance excess you would be liable to pay if you were to damage the car. You can cover this much more cheaply if you buy cover from an insurance specialist in the UK before you go.
- Don’t eat breakfast in the hotel. Either negotiate a bed and breakfast rate with the hotel when you book or head out to the nearest cafe. In more expensive hotels you can pay €40 or more just for a continental breakfast. Needless to say if breakfast is included in your rate, then fill up the buffet for the day!
- Avoid the mini bar – The cost of drinks from mini bar can be huge. Stock up of drinks for your room from the local supermarket