Whilst inflation is falling and the economy is definitely on the up again, many of us are still feeling the pinch. In survey after survey, consumers say a holiday is one of the last things they’re willing to forego, so if you’re planning on going abroad soon, here are some ways to keep the cost of your next family holiday in check.
1. Pick your dates well
Schools are becoming stricter and stricter about ‘no jet setting’ in term dates, so if you have to stick to the holidays make sure to pick the latest dates possible (last week of August or first week of September). In July, prices soar and flights can be ferociously expensive so aiming to get away towards end of the school holidays may well be your best bet at finding a bargain.
2. Try October half term
If you can hold on a little longer, October half term is the time to get away. Whilst Mediterranean weather may be a little hit and go think about travelling a little further afield if you can. Look at Morocco, the Canaries or even Florida.
3. Avoid expensive frills
Flights can appear really cheap until you realise you’ve added on nearly £100 with baggage, seat selection, insurance, text confirmation and priority boarding. When booking keep an eye out for those added and often unnecessary extras.
4. Weigh and measure your luggage
Making sure your baggage, whether hold or carry on, is within the weight and size restrictions can save you a lot of money. Just a kilo over and you could be subject to paying up to £50, and there’s definitely no way you can sweet talk your way around this – so double check!
5. Bring your own plastic bags to the airport
If you’re forgotten those plastic bags for liquid makeup, toiletries and perfumes, you could end up having to buy them at the airport. Bring your own, but remember the bags must be re-sealable and hold no more than a litre.
6. Take your own food for the journey
Airport food is always expensive and you could find yourself paying £7 for a sandwich so bring your own. You’ll pay a cut of what you would in the airport or on the plane. Remember you can’t bring liquids, so you’ll have to buy water, soft drinks and coffee in the departure lounge.
7. Swap your house…or buy a timeshare
Guaranteed huge savings here. If you live in a relatively desirable area and are willing to let out your home you can do a house and car swap with like-minded holiday makers abroad. But make sure you sign with a reputable agency. Timeshare is another great way to save on holidays, as you pay upfront and won’t be subject to fluctuating hotel or apartment rates. You’ll just have to pay for flights and food.
8. Stay by the beach
We all love to lounge by the pool on holiday while the kids splash about, but a villa or hotel with a private pool can add hundreds of pounds to your stay. Instead, stay close to the beach so you can swim and sunbathe without the added luxury – and cost – of a private pool.
9. Travel overnight
This won’t be for everyone, particularly if you have children, but you can save the cost of a stop over hotel by travelling at night. Travel is usually cheaper overnight plus such as the Dover-Calais crossing but make sure to double check the prices of a cabin on longer channel crossings – some could be a little more expensive than a cheap B&B!
10.Check wireless access costs
Most hotels and villas now provide free internet access but before checking your emails or posting those sunset photos on Facebook make sure you double check. Roaming fees can add up to huge amounts – and an unwelcome surprise when your next bill comes in!