So, I’ve just come back from holidays with my girls, and I thought I would give some advice as to how to save as much money as possible on a holiday.
First off, definitely shop around. There are a lot of travel comparison websites out there, and so checking as many as possible would give you the best chance of finding a good deal. Another way to get a cheaper holiday would be to leave it until the last minute. Whilst it may be a risky tactic (in that there may be no offers that appeal to you or any at all), it is a way to get a good holiday for a fraction of the price.
Another factor to consider is the destination. Places that have a reputation for being good for night-life or are seen as a desirable holiday destination are going to be much more expensive than lesser-known destinations. For example, my friends and I just returned from the Costa Brava in Spain. Going there was over £100 cheaper than going to other more popular Spanish destinations, such as the Costa del Sol or Canary Islands, and it had a good variety of nightlife, with a diverse range of pubs and bars. By going somewhere less well known, you stand a better chance of finding a good deal, and discovering a new area of the world at the same time.
Board basis is another factor to consider. Whilst all inclusive sounds very tempting (all of the alcohol for free!), choosing to go full board or even half board could save you a bit of money. By having some meals provided, you are ensuring that you don’t go hungry. However, the free alcohol may not be necessary. For the holiday I went on, going all inclusive cost almost £150 more than full board. As myself and my friends discovered, alcohol is a lot cheaper abroad. We managed to find a litre bottle of vodka for just 6 euros, so going full board and buying your own alcohol could end up saving you money. Also, continental Europe tend to serve much stronger drinks. Whilst beers and wines will be the same percentages as they are in the UK, drinks made with spirits are a lot stronger. This means that, even though you may have to pay for the drink, you are getting much more for your money than you would back home.
One thing definitely to watch out for is the ‘hidden extras’. A lot of websites that sell package holidays don’t include things like transfers and baggage in the price that they show you, and then add it on at the end. Whilst a transfer may not be necessary (especially if you are going on a city break), baggage is something that everybody needs. My advice is to fit as much as possible in your hand luggage. This means that the amount of space and weight taken up in a case will be drastically reduced, and you could probably reduce the number of bags you take with you. For example, if a group of six go, instead of having a bag each, share one between two. That would mean you would have to pay less for checking cases onto the plane, and shares they cost between everyone. Another thing to watch out for are seat reservations and priority boarding. Whilst it may sound tempting to have these luxuries, most airlines charge a lot extra for these, and so this can bump up your bill even more.
So, to find the perfect summer deal for you, shop around and take into account your destination, board basis and any hidden extras.