So you need a holiday, but money is pretty tight this year for everyone. How can you get away on a trip without breaking the bank, or even robbing one? You don’t have to take a caravan trip to your nearest campsite to have a cheap holiday away.
There are some easy ways which you can take a holiday that doesn’t end up costing the earth. If you book in advance, you can often manage to get a great deal. Likewise, if you book last minute, you can often get a deal as flights and hotels look to fill all of the seats.
If you book with a budget airline, you can often get great deals such as cheap flights to Faro, Portugal. You can also try travelling out of peak season, but schools can be funny about you taking your kids out when it’s not the holidays. Try going away at half term in October, when it can still be quite warm if you go somewhere like Portugal.
Try going on a DIY holiday instead of having everything mapped out for you whether you’re vacationing in the Canary Islands, Italy or the United States. By all means, try half board or all inclusive to save money on your food budget, but instead of relying on reps and tour guides, plan out your holiday using books or internet resources before you go. Planning your own itinerary can be fun and it means that your family can see what will really interests them instead of the general fare.
To not overspend while you are away, it is best if you make a budget and stick to it. See what deals you can get from internet vouchers and go to attractions such as museums on days when it is free if possible. Buy your currency when you are at home and not from the airport where you will get a terrible exchange rate. Do take your debit or credit card, but leave it in the hotel safe for emergencies only.
Another tip is to try not to use your mobile phone when you are away. If you can leave it on airplane mode and just use the WiFi in your hotel or the bars and coffee shops that you are in, and communicate with home via Facebook or Skype – it’s much cheaper!
If you are on holiday in Europe, take your EHIC card with you, as this can get you free or cheap medical care. Check that it is in date, and remember that it is not a substitute for travel insurance.