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The 21st of June marks the summer solstice and the longest day of the year. It also means it’s time to start thinking about your summer holidays! We’ve put together some tip-top tips on how to prepare for your time away, and how to save money on your holiday without sacrificing the fun!

1. Book your flight at the right time

According to Skyscanner, booking seven weeks in advance is the optimum time for getting the best price on your airfare. If you like to be hyper organised this might sound torturous. For the sake of your wallet though, try and hold yourself back and book at the time when it’s cheapest for you. Early morning and late night flights also tend to be cheaper.

2. Find other ways to travel

This obviously depends on where you’re going. If you’re doing relatively short haul holidays, you’re not tight on time, or you're looking for a bit of an adventure, then there are some cheaper ways to get where you want to go than flying. You can jump on a train, book a cheap coach, or even go by boat. Check out these great websites for more deals on alternate ways to travel: flixbus, freighter cruisers, eurostar

3. Alternatives to traditional hotels

If you’re travelling solo, or want a different experience than just the traditional hotel stay, there are loads of different things to choose from! You can look at air bnb, and stay in a room or apartment right in the heart of a new place. Couchsurfing is also a great way for you to meet people if you’re travelling solo and make new connections in different countries. Staying in a hostel is also a cheaper alternative to a hotel and hostels usually have great social activities planned every evening for you to get involved in.

4. Travel light

If you are going to a sunny beach destination for 7 days ask yourself how many clothes and shoes do you really need? If you want to save money on hold luggage then pack light and fly with hand luggage only. Flip Flops don’t take up that much space!

5. Be wise with your apps

There are loads of great travelling apps you can download. Trip Advisor is a tried and tested app that gives you a good place to start preparing some of the bars and restaurants you want to visit whilst away. Get an idea of a few good places to visit before you go so you don’t waste money paying for a terrible meal.

Google translate is another one that could get you out of a jam. It can be useful if you’re lost, if you’re trying to agree on a price, or ask for a certain meal or drink. It also can be an easy fun way to break the ice.

6. Look at what your money will get you

If you just want to "get away" and are not fussy about a specific destination – look at where your currency will get you the best value for money. Sometimes, even if you might have to shell out a bit more for a flight, say to Vietnam for example, it could very easily even out whilst you’re there as it’s so cheap to live. It’s worth pricing up things that you don’t even think about, such as transfers to the airport, local taxi prices, how much a meal will cost you etc.

7. Timing is everything

Everyone knows that airlines and hotels push up the costs over the school holidays, so if you’re lucky enough to be flexible with your holiday times don’t book over those dates.

Holidays are one of those things that are hard to go without. You know that it’s not exactly a necessity, but you also know that you'll burn out by Christmas if you don’t manage to get away for a week at some point. R&R is important. It’s good for your mental health, your productivity, and just your general well-being.

Follow a few of these tips and it’ll make the experience more fun without putting too much pressure on your wallet.