Making the most of your savings: how to holiday on a budget

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Heading off for a well-earned break can be as expensive as it is relaxing so it’s worth taking the time to research ways in which you can save money here and there so that you don’t make too much of a dent in your savings account when enjoying your holiday. There are a few simple steps you can take to reduce the cost, such as:

Shop around
Package deals may seem fantastic at first glance but be sure to check the alternatives. It’s often the case that you can get a cheaper deal by booking the flights/hotel individually. Also use comparison sites wherever possible to check that that great deal you’ve found can’t be beaten elsewhere.

Be flexibile
Where possible, don’t have a concrete set of dates in mind as you are likely to find a more favourable deal if you can go from midweek to midweek. It pays to be open-minded where possible – especially if you can stomach the thought of booking time off work but not knowing your destination until close to your departure time as you can find yourself some serious last-minute bargains.

Sign up for airline mailing lists
Get your name on as many of these lists as you can – you’ll be the first to find out about cheap flight deals and may just steal a march on others when it comes to bagging a bargain.

Take other costs into account
While flights and accommodation are clearly major factors in deciding your destination, you should also factor in general costs for while you’re away. If you’re planning to hit the town as much as possible while on holiday, for example, then be sure to research how expensive the average meal and/or drinks prices in your destination city are

Travel during off-peak times
It’s a fairly obvious one, but the most popular holiday months tend to be the most expensive as prices scale due to demand, so if you can manage to book your holiday towards the end of the summer or at some other, less popular, time of the year then it stands to reason that you’ll be in good shape to secure a reasonable deal.

Pre-book as much as you can
It pays to be prepared, so sort out your foreign currency, airport parking, car hire, etc. in as far advance of your trip as possible. All of these things will be significantly cheaper if you pre-book rather than just turning up on the day and paying the advertised price.

Travel light
Many airlines will charge for extra baggage, so don’t take what you don’t need. Also make sure to take full advantage of your carry on allowance to reduce the risk of going over the weight allowance with your checked-in luggage, which would otherwise incur a further charge.