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How to Have an Amazing Summer Holiday on a Budget

Summer isn’t far away, so now is the best time to begin planning your holiday - especially if you hope to get the best holiday value for your money. Often the idea of having a truly amazing summer holiday brings instantly the chilling fear of having to spend a lot – a great lot of money. Actually that’s not the case.

Nowadays you can spend large sums and have a terrible and boring summer holiday, or you can spend reasonably and have the time of your life. Wonder how? The following ideas and tips will ensure that you have the best break ever, without breaking the bank.

  1. Transportation

Air flight tips to save money

There are several well-hidden cost effective secrets of which you may not be aware when booking a flight. Take a look…

  • Always delete the browser history when checking for cheap flights on a website. Why? Because prices increase based on the number of times you re-enter the site.
  • The best time to check for flights is 1 am, as flights that have been on hold overnight will then be released.
  • Between 6 pm and midnight are the most economic times or very early morning.
  • It is advisable to book flights about 50 days in advance of your departure.
  • The cheapest day of the week to fly is Tuesday but flights are generally cheaper from Tuesday to Thursday.
  • If possible, try to avoid July and August when prices soar but if you can’t, then make sure you fly mid-week and book far in advance.
  • On long haul flights it is often far cheaper to first fly to another European city and catch another flight from there.
  • Avoid direct flights - stopovers can work out more economically.
  • Ask about repositioning flights. Airlines use these to move aircraft from one airport to another. These flights are much cheaper but still provide excellent services.

“During the Flight” tips

  • You can save quite a bit of money by taking your own food onboard although you can’t take any liquids.
  • Make sure to weigh and measure your luggage before leaving home - excess baggage is expensive.
  • Wear your heaviest clothes and shoes to avoid packing them.
  • There are jackets you can buy with many pockets to pack things in and then stow under your seat onboard.

Travel by Train, Ferry or Coach

It is generally cheaper to travel overnight by train, ferry or coach. If you live in Britain, you should consider coach travel from the U.K. to European destinations which is more economical.

Car rentals?

  • Never rent from the airport - you can save up to 10 – 30% by renting elsewhere.
  • Avoid signing up for additional, unwanted insurance.
  • Inspect the vehicle carefully before leaving and if necessary take photos of any dents or damage.
  • Check for fees tied to GPS, electronic toll collection systems, children’s car seats (bring your own if necessary).
  • Use any discounts you may have, frequent flier clubs, credit cards or hotel status.
  • Chose your vehicle carefully.
  • If late returning the car, check whether it is cheaper to pay late fees or just to extend the rental.
  • Always return the car with a full tank or you will be charged 2-3 times the price of a full tank regardless of how much was in it when you started off.
  1. Accommodation - Hotels

Here also there are plenty of things to do if you want to save money without sacrificing the quality of your holidays.

  • Let us begin with the basics: plan your holidays and book as early as possible - at least a month in advance.
  • Compare your accommodation options and prices online.Remember though that some sites don’t always list all respective fees and charges, so before booking, double check everything via mail or phone.
  • Try to be as flexible as possible about dates and destinations. I know, it’s easier said than done, but that’s an excellent way to get the best deal possible.
  • Search for reliable web sites which advertise holiday packages and specific activities that interest you. If you are a sport enthusiast or love a certain activity, like wind surfing, biking, sailing etc., there are several specialized packages that can be tailored to your wishes by agencies that are experienced in organizing such holiday ventures. Or if you are a family man, find a reliable agency or web site that prepares family holiday offers. Such customized deals are always preferable, because they combine the sort of activities that suits you with excellent accommodation services in an all-inclusive package.
  • Check for loyalty programs.The more points you accrue, the more freebies and discounts you enjoy.
  • Learn the art of negotiation.Certain hotels with vacancies are more than willing to offer some sort of discount – but be reasonable and don’t ask too much.
  • Sundays are the cheapest nights to check in. The later in the day the better, especially if you want a high category at cheaper rates.
  • You can find excellent offers via the internet so check reliable sites. Check our Summer holidays in the Alps.

It is worth noting that week-end breaks in big cities are more economical, especially in hotels catering mainly to businessmen.

“During your stay” Tips

Check for freebies, like free child space, wifi, parking, pool, etc. and make the most of them. We can actually recommend you some excellent accommodations options with a wide variety of sport activities in some of the most charming resorts in Europe.

  1. Exchanging Money

Well, since you probably think of organizing your holidays abroad, here are a few tips about money exchange.

  • Avoid changing money at the airport where you pay higher commission rates.
  • Change money in the country you are visiting for better rates.
  • Consider using a debit card to pay as you will get exact currency rates for the day with no commission rates added.
  • As a footnote, often you may have foreign currency lying around somewhere in the house from past trips which you may be able to use.

Some Sightseeing Tips

  • Make the most of tours and excursions offered by the hotel you are staying. We have some excellent examples for you right here.
  • Purchase a travel pass and city sightseeing pass.
  • Don’t forget to bring with you some I.D. If over 65, under 26 or a student you can often gain free access to museums and galleries.
  • Check in advance for concerts, film festivals, fireworks displays, street parties, etc. which are open to the public during your stay in the area.

Tips for eating out

  • Several hotels offer wonderful food options to their customers with minimum or even zero extra charge.
  • Restaurants and cafes “around the corner” from central locations are cheaper and often much better, less touristy.

To sum up

In conclusion, research your trip thoroughly to take advantage of the best deals possible. Remember you don’t need to spend a lot to have a good time. You can have a wonderful holiday without draining your budget. The key is to plan carefully and as soon as possible.

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