Money is tight for so many individuals and families at the moment. Every season brings its own expenditure items and many of us are thinking about our Summer holiday right now.
My dad was a very wise man. One of his key bits of life advice was that you should always take a summer holiday no matter how much money you have in the bank. He knew that holidays turn into memories that can sustain us in the most challenging of times. Now I am older, I will share my advice which is life for all of us is a series of ups and downs so we need everything to get us through the harder periods. Holidays help a lot not just at the time but in the coming weeks, months and years.
Here are my top tips for saving money whilst still ensuring a happy Summer holiday.
Consider different ways of getting to your destination. Which is the most-effective? Why just go ahead and use your usual mode of transport without checking fuel prices, fares and even things like car sharing schemes? Are you happy to go for no frills flights or rail journeys to save money? Can you book well in advance which often means cheaper tickets? Is it worth considering an indirect flight? Be travel savvy!
You can make magical memories anywhere so don’t rule out things like a camping or caravan break. Youth hostels are also an option which too many people think is only for the young. If you are looking for hotel accommodation, check out Groupon for some striking deals.
Food and drink
It is all too easy to over-spend on food and drink on holidays. Research can help particularly if you are going overseas. Find out whether you will be better off self-catering some or all of the time. Eating out in Europe and other destinations can be much cheaper than in the UK in my experience. Rather than worry about it all on holiday, get food and drink savvy before you go. Also remember that you can make great memories with a simple picnic.
Negotiate and shop around
There are some great money savers out there who negotiate on every transaction. Sometimes companies even expect this so it is worth a try particularly if you are booking late as many travel and accommodation providers will offer reduced prices rather than make no money at all.
Shop around because you might find that really can save you a lot of money. Falling for the first clever marketing offer is not the way to go when planning a holiday. Look at the slick words and images and then shop around to see if you can get something the same or markedly similar for a cheaper price elsewhere.
Prepare for emergencies
We all hope we won’t encounter an emergency on holiday. Make sure you have appropriate insurances in place just in case. Have some contingency money set aside. Ensure you know the basic driving and other relevant laws in the country you are visiting to avoid costly fines.
My Dad always used to research our holidays in detail and as I have got older, I realise that is because he was money savvy. He would always choose a hotel one street back from the beach rather than pay a premium for a sea view knowing we could walk to see the sea easily enough. It really is about checking every item of expenditure (including cash point withdrawals and mobile phone costs) in advance and working out how to cut costs.
Happy holidays and please do leave a comment with your top money-saving tips when it comes to Summer holidays.