- Be flexible on the location
Okay, for some people this is not at all what they want. But, if you don’t have your heart set on anywhere specific then this is great.
Check out websites like skyscanner where you can put your destination to anywhere. Then see where the cheapest flights are to. Some of these lesser known destinations are great due to the much smaller foot flow. Also, with a little research you could find some gems that get overshadowed by the bigger city weekend destinations. Be open to new ideas.
Also, you could hire a car from the airport to take you closer to your intended destination.
- Be flexible about the time
- This is an obvious one really-but try and avoid school holidays! Tough obviously if you have children but the prices do soar. This is not just for flights but hotels as well, and often there are fewer deals on attractions and food. That being said, in some areas there is competitiveness causing restaurant prices to come down.
- Avoid the weekend when going on “weekend breaks”. You will find that flights and hotels will be considerably less.
- Go out of season or in shoulder season. You will also benefit from a much quieter place to visit; although you may have to compromise on the weather. Many beach holiday destinations still have good weather until October- but you are at more of a risk of experiencing rain- Make the most of the weather whatever it does.
- Don’t limit yourself to hotels. Hotels are great but are often more expensive than renting an apartment (especially if there area lot of you). You could also consider a hostel; shared rooms are usually really cheap but most offer private rooms that are much cheaper than a hotel- and I have stayed in nicer but cheaper upmarket hostels compered a budget hotel. If you are going on a road trip consider renting a motorhome- it certainly extends the number of places you can stay; though not as spacious as your hotel room. Or if you are feeling adventurous pitch a tent!
- Get a place with a kitchen (or at least a fridge). Piggy backing off the last point of, staying in an apartment and having you own kitchen can lower the costs as you can cook for yourself in the evening (but on a shorter holiday, for me, eating out is one of the best part). But primarily as you can make breakfast- which is often over priced as an add-on with a hotel. Making yourself a cup of tea in your kitchen is loads cheaper than in the trendy but pricy café that may be around the corner. Look at websites like airbnb and homeaway.
- Ditch the check in luggage– Okay so this isn’t always an option but I am a strong believer of leaving the big suitcase at home. Realistically how much stuff do you need? If it is a long holiday, then I’m sure there will be a washing machine? If it is a short holiday, then just take what you need? It is now easy enough to get travel sized toiletries or you can pick them up for cheap in a supermarket on the other side.
- Do your research!
- Read about how the cheapest way to get around is. Often it is the journey from the airport that can end up costing a pretty penny if you don’t see what other options are out there.
- Also look up in cities if there are any kind of passes you can buy that will get you into X amount of places for one price. Be aware that you will only save if you actually make use of it. Same goes for travel, many cities offer tourist cards that last for around three days.
- See if there are any discounts for your age range (in Europe of often under 26 and over 60). Some places also offer discount for students, NHS workers (only in the UK), and military
- Look for bargains. Websites like groupon have made this easy to look for and they even do foreign holidays. Also check the facebook pages, websites, twitter feeds etc of places you want to visit to see if there are free entry times and discounts.
- Hit the flight sales– sign up to email notifications to see when you can get your hands on cheap flights. Usually after Christmas and then in the summer.
- Comparison websites for the super boring but super important stuff like insurance.
- If you have the time, consider indirect flights for long haul. If you are leaving from the UK we have a log haul flight tax so it is much cheaper to have a stop in Dublin, Amsterdam or Madrid to cut the cost.
Saving money in a variety of way on the bits that you are not so concerned about can free it up to spend it on more exciting stuff, whatever that is for you; sightseeing, drinking, eating, shopping or adventuring.