The 21st of June marks the summer solstice and the longest day of the year in the Western Hemisphere. 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!
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’re like me and like to be hyper organised, this is going to be actual torture. 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. If transport to the airport is possible in order to catch these flights then I’d recommend booking onto those!
Find other ways to travel
This obviously depends on where you’re going – I wouldn’t recommend catching the bus to Japan. However, 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 great (and much cheaper!) ways to get where you want to go. You can jump on a train, or 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
Alternatives to traditional hotels
If you’re travelling solo, or want a different experience than just the traditional hotel stay, there’re 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.
I appreciate this isn’t possible for everyone, but if you are going to a sunny beach destination for 7 days how many clothes and shoes do you need?! If you want to save 60 or 70 quid then fly with hand luggage only. Flip Flops don’t take up that much space!
Be wise with your apps
There are loads of great travelling apps you can download, but these are the ones I couldn’t do without. 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, honestly, is a total lifesaver! 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.
Look at what your money will get you
Since Brexit and the collapse of the pound I’ve learned to think differently when choosing my destination. Maybe this is preaching to the choir, but honestly, 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 well even out because whilst you’re there it’s so cheap to live. It’s worth costing up things that you don’t even think about, like; transfers to the airport, local taxi prices, how much a beer will cost you etc. because all these little costs are where your cash goes.
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. It’s insane how much prices will vary even just one or two days either side of these 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 throttle every single one of your colleagues 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 wellbeing.
Hopefully by following a few of these tips it’ll make the experience more fun and put less pressure on your wallet.