With the current cost of living crisis and our pockets feeling a bit tighter, the thought of a holiday – or even a staycation – can often feel like an unreachable dream.
However, if you still want to get that mini-break away or a few days in the sun sometime this year, there are a few things that you can do in order to save yourself some cash!
Holidaying on a budget takes a lot of research and planning, but it can be done. If you’re looking for advice on how to achieve the perfect low-cost holiday, then look no further! Below, we have set out our top tips on how to budget accordingly for your trip:
1. Flights first
When starting out with planning your holiday, it is best to purchase the most expensive items first, so then you will know what your remaining budget will look like. Typically, the most costly purchase will be your flights. If at all possible, we would recommend being as flexible as you can when it comes to choosing your flight dates and times. The summer months and public holidays such as Christmas and Easter tend to be pricier, as these are the typical times of year when people wish to jet off on holiday. If you can, try to fly ‘off-season’ and preferably in the middle of the week, as these tickets also tend to be a bit cheaper.
2. Accommodation second
Aside from your flights, the next important thing is where you will be staying. We always tend to find that when it comes to a city mini-break or a holiday with lots of activities, we’re not super fussy about the accommodation we book as we won’t be spending much time in it. If, for example, you are going to a city like Amsterdam or Rome, you will be too busy taking in the wonderful sights and visitor attractions – you likely won’t be spending all day, every day in your accommodation! With this in mind, we would recommend booking accommodation as budget-friendly as possible. As long as it has a bedroom, bathroom, is clean and in a safe area, that is all that matters!
3. Embrace the self-catering
This tip goes hand in hand with our accommodation suggestions! Although we love the concept of eating out every single day while on holiday, sometimes, it is a luxury that we simply cannot afford. If you want to travel on a budget, we would highly recommend that you book an apartment or a house – essentially anywhere with a kitchen – for you and your group to stay in. If you have the availability of a kitchen, you will be able to alternate between going out to restaurants for meals, and staying in to cook. Plus, groceries abroad tend to be fairly inexpensive – of course, this does depend on the location you are staying in and what kind of supermarket you visit!
4. Prioritise attractions
When we’re travelling to a new place for the first time, we always tend to prioritise the most beloved visitor attractions. Before setting off on your trip, we would suggest that you should sit down with the other members of your holiday party, research the visitor attractions on offer in your destination, and make a list of each one that you would like to prioritise. This list will subsequently prevent you and your group from arriving on holiday, only to be met with an overwhelming number of exciting activities, and struggling to narrow down which ones to choose. Once your attraction list is complete, you can then begin to budget and save accordingly. Also, don’t be afraid to book attractions ahead of time – many locations offer online and group discounts, which your bank account will always appreciate!
5. Cut back on souvenirs
Lastly, we know that when you are abroad, it can be very tempting to purchase every souvenir you see – t-shirts, fridge magnets, water bottles, jewellery, they can all entice us in! However, if you are on a budget and you are trying to save as much money as possible on your trip, a great way to do this is to cut back on the amount you spend on souvenirs. Each time you find yourself drawn to something being advertised, ask yourself if you really want it, or if you will really make use of it at home. If the answer is no, then step away from it! Another thing that we love to do is to take photos while on holiday. Instead of bringing home a bunch of items that you don’t really want, make sure to take lots of photos throughout your trip, and they can be your souvenirs. At the end of the day, holidays are all about making memories, and that’s exactly what photographs capture!