During the summer months most of us dream of taking a week out of our normal hectic schedule in order to get away, recharge our batteries, and discover somewhere new. There can be a fair amount of anxiety caused by the cost of this break, and some people even feel that they are unable to afford it and so forgo the whole experience altogether. However, there are ways a means of being a savvy traveller and using all the resources available to you in order to make your trip away a great experience, and one that isn’t quite as expensive as you would have thought.
1. Use air miles or sign up for travel deals
First things first, you need to cover your travel costs. If you’re thinking of going abroad then most likely you will be looking for air deals. There are a number of things you can keep your eye on in order to make sure that you get the best prices.
The cheapest days of the week to fly tend to be Tuesdays and Wednesdays. So if you can be flexible, capitalise. Furthermore, the earlier you start looking into air miles reward schemes, the better for you.
If you are a frequent flier, then signing up to a specific airline frequent flier scheme, such as the BA Executives Club, is a great idea. This gives you rewards points for each flight you take, which can be saved up, and then the accumulated amount can be put towards a flight so that you can travel for free.
Another points system you can access if you are not a frequent flier is to research large travel rewards systems, like Avios, which are not linked to only flights. You can earn Avios points shopping online at places like ASOS, or in store at M&S. Many credit card companies offer this credit card reward scheme so it is worth doing some research about where you shop and how you will be able to purchase the most amount of points for your money.
2. Search those coupon codes or find alternate accommodation arrangements
‘Coupons’ is no longer a dirty word, and the industry has come a long way from paper cut outs at the back of the weekly newspaper. If you want to go away then start looking early for great accommodation deals on the giant coupons sites like Groupon or Secret Escapes. These sites have dedicated pages to holiday arrangements and offer amazing deals during off peak periods that could allow you to bag a hotel room for next to nothing.
In addition, other sites like Air BnB offer cheaper alternatives to the traditional hotel holiday accommodation. They cater to all budgets and are worth looking at in tandem with any hotel deals you may find.
3. Do your research and bring walking shoes
Wherever you decide to go, do your research about the places and landmarks to see. Having a detailed thoroughly researched itinerary, including travel to and from the sites, will reduce any waste in both time and money.
It’s also worth asking the locals when you arrive if there are any places that they recommend you visiting that are within a reasonable distance. Finally, always bring walking shoes, as learning a city from the ground is the best way to do it. You will see all the human sights and sounds that you would miss on a tour bus, and you can take everything at your own pace. Best of all, walking is still free!
4. Get culinarily creative
Of course eating out is one of the great luxuries of going on holiday. Not having to worry about what to cook that everyone will like, or having to eat leftovers for the third day running, you are completely free to eat whatever you like whenever you like.
However, in order to keep down costs it’s recommended that you take advantage of great lunch deals in many European cities that often offer two courses and a glass of wine for as little as 10 euro, but to opt to cook your own dinner in the evening, as prices jump quite substantially. Staying in a place that will allow you to cook your own meal at least once a day will save you substantial amounts of money. Furthermore, you can cut costs further by shopping for local produce and eating meals that are typical to the region.
Finally, by using your Oval Wallet whilst you are away, and sweeping up those extra pennies, you will also be saving whilst you are on holiday. Which should make the whole experience utterly guilt free!
Your perfect summer holiday doesn’t need to be expensive. Experience is free, and you deserve it.