Counting the pennies while travelling abroad is one of the last things I want to do. Aren’t holidays meant for splurging? The reality is that the pound is down, making super-affordable Europe not as affordable as it used to be. Americans and Canadians can be happy because the dollar is up, making Europe finally the affordable destination it’s never been! Here are 10 ways to budget without feeling the extra pinch!
Money, budgets, summer holidays… these are this week’s buzz words now that the new budget has been released in Britain (VAT is going up) we’re all still trying to find ways to save this summer on holidays and those weekend getaways we’ve been waiting for all year. Here are some helpful tips to budget without feeling the blues. It is still possible to have a great holiday without the spurge after all!
- Travel at the end of the summer season: Holiday prices, hotels and flights area always cheaper outside of peak holiday time. Consider taking a late-season holiday in the last week of August or the first week of September. You can find cheap flights to Spain and Italy, not to mention hotels.
- Use a travel search engine to find the deals: You could spend hours trying to find the best deals on the web by checking airfares airline by airline, or you could use a travel search engine like liligo.com to search 250 travel sites at one time, finding the best of the web at one time.
- Book self-catering accommodations instead of hotels: No matter where you travel, it’s always cheaper to stay in a villa, apartment, cottage etc. than booking hotel rooms for you and your family. There is more space compared to hotel rooms and a kitchen where you can cook meals instead of eating out all the time. If you are travelling with 3-4 people it is definitely worth it!
- Bring your own tent: Pack a tent from home if you plan to camp along the way. It’s budget-friendly accommodation but also the best way to stay close to the beach without dishing out for a seaside resort. Many camp sites have pre-pitched tents but it’s always cheaper if you bring your own from home.
- Don’t spend at the airport: Airport food is never cheap so if you are flying pack some snacks or a lunch to eat while you’re waiting to check-in or once at your gate. Bring an empty water bottle (since no liquids are allowed through security) to fill up in a bathroom instead of buying bottled water. As for parking, reserve a parking spot on-line for a better price.
- Stick to your airline’s luggage restrictions to avoid overweight costs: Ryanair and other low cost airlines are famous for overweight luggage fees so if you do check luggage then make sure to weigh your bag before you leave home. If you are taking a short holiday, why not just bring carry-on luggage and forgo this problem altogether?
- Take the slow route and avoid highway tolls especially in France: If you drive on the motorway in France from Calais to Marseille it will cost €74 in tolls? Taking the slow route may add some hours to your trip but it’ll be more scenic and definitely less expensive.
- Watch your speed! If you are driving, follow the speed limits. Some countries cunningly hide their cameras well and although it may be nice to cruise at your own speed, racking up speeding tickets is easy. If you are caught in France it will cost around €70 for going 20km/h over the limit. Take it easy speed demons.
- Lunch is the most important meal: This rings especially true when lunch menus at restaurants are involved. There are often fixed menu prices which are a great value (sometimes even half the price than dinner menus) so linger over your meal, enjoying every bite!
- Pay by credit card: Credit card companies actually give the most competitive currency exchange rates around so if you can, save your cash for the cafés and pay your restaurant, shopping, petrol, hotel and other expenses by card instead of with cash. It will also be easier afterwards to know how much your holiday actually cost.
Share your budget ideas for the summer holidays, leave a comment!