Eight ways to save on holiday costs
Holiday season is fast approaching, but in the Brexit aftermath breaks away to Europe and the US are estimated to cost 15% more owing to the weakening of the pound.
As such it’s more important to keep an eye on costs and if you’re planning to spend part of the long weekend figuring out your summer holiday plans, there are ways to keep the costs down.
Matt Fox, co-founder of cottage holiday rental site Snaptrip.com, shares eight top tips to save on holiday costs.
1) Hold your nerve
There’s a lot to be said for a perfectly-planned holiday, but a last-minute approach can save you hundreds of pounds in key costs like travel and accommodation. If you know where you’d like to go but you’re not fussed where you stay, book your accommodation at the last minute. No hotel or cottage owner wants empty rooms, so many will drop their rates as a certain date draws closer. If you can hold your nerve, you could get your accommodation at a fraction of the usual price, or stay somewhere amazing without spending much at all.
2) Do your research
Websites like Skyscanner will tell you which month, day and even time gives you the cheapest flights. Generally weekend flights will be the most expensive, so consider taking an extra day off work so that you can fly for less on a Friday or Monday. You could also take the night flight or travel early in the morning if you can plan a relaxed day to recuperate when you arrive.
3) Stay in the UK
The UK is home to some amazing landmarks, destinations and cuisines, but many are often overlooked in favour of warmer spots overseas. To save on travel costs, head down to the South coast where areas like Devon, Kent and Cornwall can hit temperatures of up to 28C in summer. You can still get your foodie fix, with a number of food festivals and Michelin-starred restaurants scattered throughout the UK.
4) Travel in a group
You might not want to spend all of your holiday time as a group, but travelling and staying as one can secure some of the cheapest rates. Nightly room rates per person can go through the floor if you’re sharing one large house, rather than all booking a hotel room. Similarly, hiring a car or minibus to share while you are there can save on taxi and hire car costs, and you can all take turns being the designated driver.
5) Mix up your travel plans
If you’re taking a flight or ferry, check the prices from different airports or ports. It might take a little more time and planning, but it could work out cheaper to drive or catch a train to one that’s further afield, so that you can take advantage of a cheaper fare.
6) Travel in low season
If you can, book your holiday outside of peak times. Edinburgh’s Fringe Festival, Valentine’s Day and school holidays all cause an increase in demand and push up prices. The government’s Schools and Education website will show you half term and school holiday dates in the UK.
They say if you don’t ask, you don’t get, so don’t be afraid to haggle or make an offer. Most street vendors, independent shops, taxi drivers and even hotel owners will consider an offer if it means they make a sale.
8) Eat like a local
We can become very reliant on restaurants when we’re on holiday, meaning there’s a high chance of paying ‘tourist prices’ for at least one run-of-the-mill meal. Reduce the risk to your finances by finding accommodation with cooking facilities. This way, you can broaden your options and spend your planning time finding great local markets and delis to source ingredients, rather than scowering TripAdvisor for well-rated restaurants.