The time has come for you to catch a flight to your dream destination for that long-awaited and much needed break. You paid out a hefty sum for the flights and accommodation and you want to enjoy your time away to the full, but you know you need to watch the pennies. Millions of Britons get into debt to fund their summer holidays each, with many having to turn to an IVA or Protected Trust Deed to help them get back out of debt.
So with this in mind, here are ten tips to grab a bargain while still making the most of your holiday…
1. Book airport parking in advance
If you’re driving to the airport, don’t leave it to the last minute to book your parking. Usually, booking during the week prior to your departure or even on the day will be costlier than booking a week or more in advance.
2. Avoid excess baggage charges
You may want to pack a different outfit for every day of your holiday, along with various accessories but you can’t fit everything into one suitcase. Wearing additional items and layering them, as well as wearing additional jewellery, you won’t need to pay for another suitcase to join you on the trip. Weigh luggage before leaving home and consider wearing a jacket with multiple pockets and stuffing them with the heavier items that would go towards making your suitcase overweight.
3. Pre-pack your own food
Many airlines have switched from offering food free of charge to providing only paid for options. You may have noticed that the menu in the seatback pocket in front of you will contain exorbitant prices, so taking your own snacks on board will save you some cash.
4. Download helpful apps
There are myriad apps available for free download that can make your travel life easier and cheaper. Use travel guides, phrasebooks and maps for your destination on your phone or tablet instead of buying them from bookstores. They also save space and don’t weigh anything!
5. Eat with the locals
Find eateries that are off the beaten track which could be half the price of their touristy counterparts. Shop at local supermarkets for food and enjoy a tasty picnic, try a delicious snack from a street food vendor and remember to peruse the menu before you enter a restaurant so you will know whether it is in your budget or not. Aim to choose locally sourced foods because anything that has travelled thousands of miles to get to your plate is going to be pricier than a local alternative.
6. Change currency before you get to the airport
Generally, currency exchanges in airports won’t give you as good a rate as what you will get from your local post office, currency exchange facility, the bank or even via a reputable online provider. If you don’t manage to exchange currency prior to departure and need to use your debit or credit card to draw money, it’s more cost effective to draw a larger sum so there will only be one charge, rather than a few smaller sums and getting charged each time.
7. Use discount codes
There are numerous websites which provide voucher codes for well-known attractions. A quick Google search of discount code websites in the country you’re heading to will throw up the best options. Groupon is an excellent option with a vast array of choices, available in many countries.
8. Travel like a local
Avoid using cabs to go from place to place and use the local bus service. If you’re unsure, ask a local for help on which bus to catch or download a timetable for the area you’re in if there is one available. It might not be the most glamorous form of transport but you can sit back and take in the sights along the way. Renting bicycles can also be a great cheap way to travel around. It’s good exercise and you can even explore where cars can’t go.
9. Find free activities
Most destinations will have a host of free activities and sightseeing options such as museums, local architecture, art galleries, beach activities, hiking, walking tours, cycle tours, visiting a local park, going to see a live gig in a pub… the list is extensive!
10. Don’t be tempted to buy souvenirs
Instead of buying souvenirs of your holiday, whether it’s a fridge magnet or a larger home décor piece which will likely eventually find its way into storage, take a lot of photos along the way. They are free, you capture all the great memories and you can look back at them any time you want to.