Everyone deserves a break, but finding one that suits your budget can be hard to come by. These are my top tips for having a change of scene without breaking the bank.
Of course, no list of budget holidays would be complete without a mention of sleeping under canvas, but it really is a great option. Along with low costs you have flexibility and a chance to get back in touch with a basic and hassle free style of life. If you haven’t been before start with going away for a night or two to help determine whether it suits you. If you don’t travel too far then if all else fails you can always pop home for anything you might have forgotten! It seems that the more we go camping the larger our boxes of essentials become. I’m sure at some point they will start to decrease again but in the meantime second hand sites are a great place to pick up the essentials. We even upgraded our tent this way for a fraction of the cost! Just one word of warning, do shop around for the best campsite deals. There can be big variations depending on the location, sometimes just looking a few miles down the road can make a difference of over 50%!
I’ve written about finding great deals on Groupon before (I didn’t realise that they had holiday offers too) and sites like these really help to cut costs so your cash goes further. By the time you add in food and spending money holidays can add up anyway, so keeping the upfront costs low makes a big difference.
Spreading the cost of a holiday can help you to manage your budget, plus there are some great deals if you book well in advance. Flights are often cheaper a full year in advance, and if needed you can sort some details much closer to your time of travel. Don’t forget to organise your passports in advance too, to avoid the fast track passport charges.
If a direct flight is going to cost too much, have you looked at an indirect option? Consider changing the time you travel to find cheaper options, or the day. Midweek flights are often cheaper than those at the weekend, for example. Consider how you can make an overnight ferry work without a cabin, or whether the price of a cabin is cheaper than the cost of an overnight stay in a hotel and you are willing to incorporate it into your time away. If you can reduce your travel time then perhaps your stay could be reduced by a day which would keep the price down. If you can solve the barriers facing you then often there will be more low cost options available.
‘The Holiday’ any one? It happens with great success in real life too. Not just internationally, but you can organise a city break or a countryside retreat in this way as well.
Check the extras
Travel insurance can be costly so make sure you shop around. Don’t just let your old one renew either, keep your eyes open for other deals. Think about what else you might need. Do you need a hire car for example, will you need car seats? Plan everything out in advance to have better visibility of all of the costs and to see where you might be able to shop around for the best offers. Where possible, take your own supplies and extras too. A packed lunch can save ££s compared to buying one en route.
Change your location
Summer holidays see people flood to coastal resorts in the UK and abroad. Why not consider an alternative destination instead? My husband and I went to Zurich one August at a fraction of the price, and we even had a free room upgrade! We also went to Kalkan in Turkey in the height of the summer heat and, although it was incredibly hot, again the holiday was an excellent price for a fortnight away in a superb hotel with airport transfers included.
So those are my top tips, but I’m always on the look out for more! Please feel free to add yours in the comments below.
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