The summer holidays may seem like a lifetime away, but now’s the perfect time to start planning for your European break, whether you’re thinking of a gîte in the French countryside, living it up on the White Isle, or backpacking in Budapest. It’s estimated that families spend an average of £4,800 on family holidays each year. How much you can afford to spend will very much depend on your own personal financial circumstances, but there are ways you can have your dream holiday without breaking the bank.
Ask for a discount
Because the travel and tourism industry’s prices are set based on supply and demand, and are time sensitive, you might find that if you ask for a discount you might get one! This works particularly well if you’re booking a trip last minute – especially when dealing with tour operators, travel agents and hotels.
While it may be true that if you ask for a discount on a last-minute getaway you might grab a bargain, if you book early enough, prices are more likely to be cheaper as companies want to book up as soon as possible. You’ll also be more likely to get what you actually want, instead of what is left.
Pick your times
If you’re booking your travel independently, make sure you get an overview of different costs on various dates. Whether you’re flying, catching the ferry, or travelling by the Tunnel for your European break, there are certain dates and times that are cheaper than others. Remember to also check that you’re not travelling on a major holiday in your country of choice as prices can skyrocket, and traffic jams are inevitable.
Consider an indirect flight
It may not be fun hanging around a departure lounge, when you could be lounging in the sun, but it might work out considerably cheaper if you go indirect – ideal if you’re really looking to pinch those pennies. Similarly, you could make mega savings by booking single journeys, instead of return ones. Sometimes it’s cheaper to fly from one airport but return to another one too – so it’s always worth shopping around.
Take your own food
Whether you’re flying or self-driving for your European holiday, take your own food for your travels. Fuel stations, airports, and ferries all have a captive market, meaning the markup on food and drink can sometimes be astronomical. Save the pennies for eating out on your holiday, and stock up before hand on home-made packed lunches and snacks.
While the pound may not be as strong against the Euro as it used to be, there are still plenty of ways you can save for your summer holiday, whether you’re a solo traveller or heading off en famille.