With so many financial demands to meet, Britons can use all the help they can get cutting costs. That includes money-saving possibilities for holiday travelers.
As the season unfolds, flexible travelers are squeezing-in last minute getaways, before fair weather fades and school resumes. If you are ready for a frugal, season ending holiday, review these and other travel tips, highlighting easy ways to save money, without sacrificing the perks of a well-deserved break.
Make the Most of Your Holiday Budget
Spending power is at its lowest point in years. The pound is worth about 1.13 euros, which is down significantly from even 2015’s prime summer holiday season, when it was valued above 1.40 euros. With less purchase power at your fingertips, making the most of summer holiday calls for cutbacks, starting with these money saving tips for holiday travel.
Dine Like a Local Resident
Who knows better than locals where to find the best food? Not only are they tuned-in to the most authentic spots, but locals can also help you save money on food. If you are staying in a top hotel, asking for meal advice might get a pricey recommendation from the concierge. Instead of acting like a tourist, try a more personal local approach. Ask hotel staff, taxi drivers, and other residents about their personal favorite restaurants. You might be surprised how passionate the population is about local fare, including advice about the area’s tastiest and most unique culinary creations.
Holiday is a time to let loose, enjoying a break from everyday life. It’s nice to pamper yourself, but you may be tempted to spend recklessly, using holiday as an excuse to go overboard. To keep costs in check, don’t let the holiday spirit interfere with financial discipline. For the best results, set limits for holiday spending and do your best not to exceed them. Side-trips, gratuities, souvenirs, and hotel amenities can all drain your budget, so it is important to choose activities and keepsakes you can afford.
Find Affordable Financing
If you decide to finance your trip, consider taking a personal loan or using another affordable form of funding. Relying on your credit card to cover holiday costs encourages you to overspend. And you’ll suffer high interest charges, paying off the balance. Even if your credit is bad, exploring loan alternatives may yield an affordable financial solution you and your lender can agree on.
Have a Meal on the House
A good morning meal sets you off on the right foot, fueling your holiday activities. Breakfast can be a budget-breaker, however, especially for large families. When you travel, try to take advantage of complimentary breakfast options. Not all hotels and resorts offer a morning meal as a standard room-night perk. You’ll appreciate the savings lodging where your breakfast is free, but if it isn’t offered, look beyond your hotel’s dining room for coffee and eggs. A diner or café may offer traditional local food you can’t get at your hotel and you’ll save money, compared to the inflated price of hotel meals.
Finding the best travel deals can be a consuming process, hashing over transportation, lodging, and dining details. There is something to be said for leaving it to someone else. But are all-inclusive packages really the most affordable way to enjoy top-shelf vacations? A recent survey reported they are indeed cost-effective, when compared to some other forms of travel.
Travel package providers handle large volumes of business, giving them sway with hotels, resorts, and other hospitality specialists. That means preferred pricing for all-inclusive operators, which they can pass down to frugal travelers. Depending upon your destination, savings can be substantial versus arranging every detail yourself. And during busy travel times, all-inclusive package providers may have the best access to prime destinations.
Delay Your Break
Timing is everything in terms of travel costs, so frugal travelers take advantage of seasonal pricing, using it to their advantage. Whenever possible, set your travel dates outside the peak summer season. That may be easier said than done for busy families, working around pre-set school schedules. But pushing your holiday back by a couple weeks might be worth the savings – even if the kids miss a few days of school.
Sidestep Baggage Fees
Baggage policies are different for each airline, so it pays to shop around for affordable fares, without excessive luggage charges. You may be able to dodge baggage fees altogether, relying on a single carry-on. And for convenience and economy, sometimes it makes more sense to ship your travel souvenirs, rather than pay the cost of adding a bag. Airlines notoriously lose track of baggage too, so the last thing you want is a major inconvenience, starting your holiday. A free, single carry-on that makes it to your destination is more useful than a paid, checked bag with all your favorite gear, never arriving due to airline error.
Travel costs can quickly rise beyond what you can afford, particularly with steadily rising prices and today’s stagnant salaries. Make the most of your travel budget with these and other money saving moves. Your summer fun won’t suffer, and you’ll come out of it without financial distress.