Your summer holiday is in sight. Whether you’re jetting off to another country or travelling around the UK, it’s time to start getting ready for a new adventure.
More importantly, it’s time to start gloating to co-workers and putting updates on social media to let them know exactly how many days, hours and minutes until you will be bombarding them with holiday snaps. At least you’re giving them fair warning.
However, as much as it is an exciting time as your holiday gets closer and closer, a big consideration is money. Going on holiday can get expensive, especially if you have a big family, which means that finding ways to save money is essential. Thankfully your resident Guru has put together some wisdom to help you follow the backpacking trail to financial enlightenment.
Read on to find out how you can save money this summer and still have a fantastic trip away.
11 money-saving tips for a thrifty summer holiday
The following tips are appropriate for those booking holidays or wanting to save money whilst on holiday. We will be updating this list frequently to make sure you keep up-to-date with saving money this summer.
- Take a staycation
The best way to save money over summer is not to book an expensive holiday abroad at all, but instead to organise a staycation. That means staying at home but taking trips to see local sights or events happening over the summer holidays.
With a bit of imagination, you can easily have a budget staycation and save money for the 2020 (see booking in advance for 2020 below).
Why not set up a tent in the garden complete with sleeping bags and blow-up beds? Along with being a hit with the kids, if it stays sunny you can easily have a BBQ for lunch and head out in the afternoon to do something fun. Whether you’re going to a local zoo, visiting a museum or going on some country walks, you’ll be surprised how much there is to do just on your doorstep.
- Spread the cost of your holiday
When it comes to booking a holiday, having to pay the full amount all at once is often the most expensive part. Instead, why not spread the cost with a 0% purchase credit card?
In this way you can plan ahead and make sure you can put money aside for the next few months so you don’t struggle paying all in one go. With a 0% credit card you won’t have to pay any extra interest making it preferable to any finance deal offered by a holiday company.
In addition, you will also have added protection when purchasing a holiday through your credit card. Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act means if you struggle claiming a refund, you have the option of claiming through the credit card company instead. This can come in handy if your flights are cancelled or the company you’ve booked the holiday through has to shut down.
Find out more about 0% purchase credit cards here.
- Go self-catering or with an AirBnB
Hotel bookings can often be a big expense, especially if you’re planning on a city break. Instead, why not look for some alternative self-catering accommodation or find something through AirBnB? This can cut the cost of your holiday dramatically, and still put you in close proximity to all the sights you want to see.
If you’re booking in this way, make sure you can locate local supermarkets or shops so you can stock up on meals during your time on holiday. This will also mean you can save on food whilst away, cutting the cost of spending whilst abroad.
- Avoid transaction fees abroad
For anyone who has been on a holiday outside of the UK, you might already be aware of foreign transaction fees. This is a fee added on by your bank every time you make a non-sterling purchase.
However, if you spend using a travel credit card, or use a certain current account provider such as Starling Bank, you will often find you won’t have to pay a transaction fee at all. This can be a great way to keep within your holiday budget and not get overcharged whilst on holiday.
- Be flexible with dates and find the cheapest flights
Rather than booking a package holiday, if you’re trying to book flights separately from your accommodation, try to browse for flights online using an app like Skyscanner. This will allow you to find the cheapest flights available and cut down your costs.
The more flexible you can be with dates and times, the better. It might mean you will be flying overnight or taking an indirect flight to reach your destination, but you can sometimes pay a fraction of the price you would usually pay for a direct flight.
- Cut down on holiday extras
When booking a holiday there are always extras that you can add on. Whether you’re getting a private car from the airport to your hotel, or would like an upgrade to first class on the plane, you will find that the extras can end up costing as much as the holiday itself!
Therefore, it’s worth cutting down on extras altogether. You can still have a luxury holiday without flying first class and it might be preferable to take public transport to get to your accommodation rather than forking out for private transfers. The more you can cut down, the better it will be for your bank balance.
- Always weigh your luggage beforehand to avoid extra fees
The age-old story. You stuff clothes into your suitcase the night before (or even the morning before) you’re due to fly, rush to the airport and find that the case is massively over the weight limit. That means you either have to pay extra to fly with the case, or do some very last-minute redistribution of clothes and end up putting shoes in your hand luggage.
To avoid this situation completely, always weigh your luggage before leaving the house to make sure you aren’t over the limit. This cuts out the chance of you having to pay anything extra at the airport, ensuring you can keep your holiday budget intact.
- Get travel insurance
This seems like a no-brainer to some, but getting travel insurance is a must. We wouldn’t like to think it would happen to us, but sometimes there are delayed or cancelled flights, problems with accommodation or even injuries sustained whilst being on holiday.
You should be able to get this through the holiday provider but you might already have it through a packaged current account or as part of an exclusive perk with a premium credit card. Either way, check if you already have it and if not, start comparing insurance providers to see what would suit your circumstances.
- Claim tax back outside the EU
If you happen to be travelling outside the EU, you should be able to claim VAT when heading back through the airport on your return trip. If you’re planning on making a few purchases whilst abroad, this can save money in the long run so it’s important to keep all of your receipts.
You can also use a 0% purchase credit card (as mentioned above) to spread the cost of purchases and to protect any purchases between £100 and £30k, which comes as standard through Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.
- Start saving for your next holiday
It might sound ridiculous saving for your next holiday when you haven’t been on your 2019 one yet, but there are plenty of ways to save money gradually and end up with enough to pay for a holiday in the future.
You will find that most high street banks offer a savings account but there is also the option with some challenger banks to move money over to a savings ‘pot’ on a regular basis. For example, Starling Bank has ‘Goals’ which allows you to put money aside using their associated app.
Try and set up a savings goal and over the course of 12 months, you’ll be surprised how much you can save.
- Book in advance for 2020
If you have already started saving in advance, why not book your next holiday in advance? By booking in advance you can often get a good deal and if you have the option to travel outside of peak times, then your bank balance will be grateful!
Remember, you can always use a 0% purchase card to spread the cost of the holiday, so booking now will mean you can have it paid off by the time you travel.