Hey! I’m Laura and I’m thrilled to be writing for Epril and Amy today. After spending 8 months travelling in the last year, my travel and lifestyle blog is filled with adventures, stories and advice about backpacking around the world. Follow my adventures on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook or subscribe to my blog to keep up with the latest travel, food and lifestyle updates. Now, onto those money saving tips…
It’s time to book a holiday! Among the excitement, picking the right one can sometimes be a minefield: we want the best deal but also convenience and hassle-free booking. While these things don’t always go hand in hand, I’m going to share with you a couple of really simple ways that you can save money on your next holiday. Whether you want a solo adventure, couples retreat or a fun family getaway, these tips should work for everyone!
Plan your dates
It’s an old favourite but if you can avoid peak travel times, you can save hundreds on your breaks. July and August is peak summer season in Europe while the price of travelling to Asia soars during the cooler months of December to February. If you need to work around the kids holidays, the best deals can often be found in October and February half terms – and the weather is still warm in parts of southern Europe. Bonus tip: if you’re unable to avoid jetting off in peak season, flying midweek is often still cheaper than weekends!
Search for added extras
Bonus freebies are my favourite thing. You know those deals where they throw in a three course meal or free upgrade? Yep, I’m all over them. From kids eat free offers to free airport transfers, it’s always worth having a look if your tour operator or hotel is offering any extras that you’re already expecting to pay for. Backpackers, even hostels are on the ball with this one! My favourite hostel extras include free breakfast, social activities and even a load of laundry – hey, it’s the little costs that add up!
Think outside the box
Often, the first thing we do when we search for accommodation is head to one of the popular booking sites or get it all wrapped up in a package deal. Now, I’m definitely not knocking the ease of these deals but with just a little extra time to look you can find awesome places to stay that could even save you a chunk! Take Airbnb: if you prefer to self cater, apartments or holiday homes to rent can often be a better, cheaper option than a hotel room. Plus, you’ll often have a host contact who can give you local tips to help you see a new side of the area.
Location, location, location
Unless you’re staying in a small town with everything in walking distance, location is crucial. It’s all a balance between the cost of your accommodation and transport. You might save £50 on that hotel outside of the city centre but if you account for the cost of transport each day, it can sometimes work out better just to pay a little extra to be right in the thick of it. This isn’t always the case but it’s definitely worth checking it out before you pick an area.
This advice, I live by. Whether you’ve got a hangry other half with a seemingly bottomless stomach (I’m definitely guilty) or you’re trying to save money on pricey cafes, carrying a couple of snack bars can alleviate a surprising amount of troubles. If you’re enjoying a day out at the beach, heading to a supermarket to buy a picnic can be way cheaper – and more fun to eat! – than having to pack up and leave for a restaurant. Similarly, if you’re packing in a ton of city sights into a short time, having something in your bag means that you can eat on the go with more time for the sights!
Keep an eye on the exchange rat
It sounds boring but a saving is a saving, right? Before you go, use a comparison site to find the best, commission free rate for more money in your pocket before you even start! While you’re away, a good rule to keep in mind is to live by the local cost of living. For example, if you visit Vietnam, paying £5 for a meal may seem cheap by UK standards but actually, you’ll end up spending way more than you should.
Busy area? Take advantage
In popular tourist hotspots, there’s often a ton of competition and this can mean that ou can bag yourself a great deal by being a little savvy. Different restaurants will have happy hour deals or special lunch offers to persuade you to eat there – scope out the best ones and enjoy! Venturing off into a quieter side street can also reveal hidden gems. You can often bargain tour prices down a little too, especially if there’s a group of you. But remember, while not being ripped off is important, be sensitive in poorer areas too. While haggling down an extra one or two pounds may not make much of a difference to you, that could be a days worth of meals in Cambodia.
How do you like to save money on your holidays? Leave your comments below, I’d love to know more!
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