8 tips to cut your holiday costs

MoneyPlus Features Team

We’re well in to 2017 and if you’re anything like me you’ll be trying to plan a little break abroad. Some time to rest, revitalise and relax.

But how are you going to truly unwind when your wallet is straining due to the costs, which can quickly add up?

Well, look no further, because we have compiled some top tips to help you cut the mounting costs of that all-important summer holiday.

1. Package vs DIY

Ah, the eternal debate, the package holiday or do it yourself. Which is cheaper? And which is less hassle? Well the Money Advice Service may just have the answer;

‘Package holidays include flights, accommodation and sometimes food and drink. They can be cheaper, but less flexible than holidays where you book everything separately.’

A package holiday can be a great way to find an all-inclusive deal, or even to find a quick bargain with everything you need including flights and transfers. So give it a try and see if you can save both money and time by booking everything together.

2. Cheap flight checkers

Flight prices can vary hugely depending on where and when you look, so using a cheap flight checker can be a great way to find the best price.

Skyscanner is a great example where you can find cheap flights and it even shows you which days are cheaper to fly on.

Or maybe you’re undecided as to where you want to go, or even the exact date you want to depart? No problem, using sites like Skyscanner and Kayak you can even search for flights to ‘anywhere’ and for ‘anytime’ during a selected month.

3. Haggle

In some situations I find it second nature to haggle or negotiate. If I’m at a market I always try and barter down the price, and as the Telegraph suggests, try it with your travel agent too;

‘Negotiation is the lifeblood of the travel industry. Its products are time-sensitive: a room left empty one night or an airline seat that isn’t filled can’t be resold the next day. So, particularly if you are booking at the last minute, bargain – especially when dealing with tour operators, travel agents and hotels. ‘

4. Bag yourself a breakfast bargain

Hotel breakfasts can set you back a lot of cash, often you don’t even get much for your money. You don’t want to be forking out over the odds for a measly bowl of muesli.

But a lot of hotel rooms come with breakfast included, and often these can be buffet style where you can eat until your heart’s content. Search these kinds of deals out, it could save you a pretty penny and fuel you for the whole day ahead.

5. Remember to cost your connectivity

Keeping connected with your family and friends while abroad is a must for some, so it pays to make sure you know how much it’s going to cost you before you set off.

Find a room with Wi-Fi included, as some hotels can catch you out and make you pay a daily fee to get online, or find a free Wi-Fi spot in a café nearby.

Look to your mobile provider and see how much they charge for making calls and sending texts abroad. Some providers offer free roaming in certain countries with no cost difference when contacting loved ones in the UK, so check before you head off as you could end up with a nasty bill if you don’t.

6. Transport needn’t be taxing

If you’re planning a lot of sightseeing , why not walk around the town instead of paying for transport? Often it’s a far better way to see a city.

Or if you’re planning on going further afield, check out the public transport options in the area. Travel cards can be a great way to get out and about without breaking the bank and can often include discounts or entry to tourist hot spots.

7. Head off the beaten track

When you’re ready for a bite to eat, or a few drinks, it pays to walk that little bit further and visit some eateries off the beaten track. As the Telegraph explains, it’s all about proximity to tourist hot spots;

‘Restaurants and cafes a few steps away from the big sights are invariably cheaper than those whose main trade comes from tourists. A five-minute walk can halve your bill and get you a much better experience. The obvious example is Venice: a capuccino costs €15 in St Mark’s Square, €3 in a cafe in the Castello district.’

8. Shop around for your cash

When it comes to getting the most for your money, it definitely pays to shop around for your currency. And in the digital age, it is so easy to search for the best possible deal. Try the Money Saving Experts ‘Travel Money Max’ to find the best rates out there.

There you have it, eight money saving tips to make sure your time in the sun doesn’t send your bank balance into the dark.