Desperate for a holiday but keen to save money? We’ve put together some top money-saving tips to help you get the holiday you deserve without breaking the bank. From the best travel booking hacks to the accessories you need to curb your spending, here’s how to make that holiday fund go further…
Travel outside of peak time
This tip is an oldie, but a goodie. It goes without saying that if you can avoid travelling during peak times, you can take advantage of cheaper flights and hotel stays. When it comes to European city breaks, pick Autumn or Spring to avoid peak times and major holidays in the cities. If you’re heading to the Middle East or Hong Kong, and you can handle the heat, travel during their hottest season.
When it comes to booking flights and hotels, the cheaper options are usually mid-week. And always check for discount codes and offers before booking your flight to see if you can knock off a few quid too.
Pack some useful money-saving items into your suitcase to help you keep track of your spending and not go over budget. A pair of portable, hand-held luggage scales will stop you from exceeding your baggage allowance and getting stung at the gates (if you’re partial to a bit of souvenir shopping). A Monzo card enables you to withdraw local currencies without the fees, and a smart water bottle will allow you to filter the local water on the go without having to purchase bottled water. Every little bit makes a difference.
When it comes to holiday essentials like adaptors, eye masks, travel pillows and ponchos – make a list of everything you need and purchase it cheaply from a pound store in advance, rather than at the airport.
Dine on street eats
Fancy restaurants out of your budget? Don’t despair – you can still taste the local delicacies without paying out of your pocket. In fact, some of the best places to find traditional dishes and local snacks are at the smaller cafés, bistros and street food markets. Look up the best street eats in the city you’re travelling to, and tuck into those freshly-made dishes without forking out for a sit-down meal. If you do have your eye on a particular restaurant and fancy a leisurely meal – you are on holiday, after all – consider going for lunch rather than dinner. Often the lunch options are less pricey with more deals on offer, and you probably won’t need to reserve a table.
Get more for your ticket
Hop-on, hop-off bus tours are a great way to get around a city with ease. Your single ticket will cover the cost of all your journeys throughout the day, and you’ll be taken straight to the best attractions with the option to stop as you please. Best of all, most ticket deals come with special offers, discounts, and even free attractions and tours. Browse the bus routes and ticket options for your chosen city carefully to see what else is included in the price. There might be an attraction you already have your eye on included in your ticket package.
Nab the special offers
Flights, hotels and tour companies have various sales and discount codes throughout the year to entice holidaymakers. The best way to find out about them? Sign up to receive tour companies’ newsletters and follow their social media channels to be the first to hear about discounts and deals. Some of them get snapped up quickly, so you have to be quick. And some are rewarded to loyal customers, so if you’ve used a tour or holiday company in the past, opt in to receive exclusive promotions and loyalty discounts.
The best time to sign up for alerts is before big sales periods like Black Friday and the January Sales, so make sure you’re well in the loop to snap up the deals.
Get free entry into museums
Loads of London’s museums are free to enter, so you can exhibit hop to your hearts content. In the US, many of the museums in the major cities are ticketed but usually have discount and free entry days you can take advantage of. Visit each museum’s official page to find out more and then time your trip accordingly. You’ll also find that cities offer discounts and free entries to their museums and attractions over popular holidays. For example, if you’re visiting Paris around Bastille Day, you’ll get free entry to the Louvre and loads of the city’s top museums.
Travel doesn’t need to cost the earth. There are so many ways to save money on your booking and when you’re out and about in the city. Put that spare cash towards a special experience to make it a trip of a lifetime or, better still, towards another holiday.