We shop around for late deals, browse the best value beachwear and snap up our sun cream when it’s at its cheapest after summer. With purse strings pulled tighter than ever, every little helps when it comes to saving on holiday extras and making sure you spend your money where it matters most. Cryptic title aside, we’ve got some tips on how you can make your money go further, simply by spending a little more to begin with. Sometimes spending a little more short term, can mean you spend much less in the long run!
Flights from Heathrow or Gatwick are often cheaper than those from regional airports but factor in the added cost it will take to get you there and you are often better paying a little extra to fly from an airport closer to home.
Taxis, trains, airport hotels, airport parking; it can easily add up into the hundreds for a family holiday and that is before you have even set food on a plane. Factor in a snack stop on your way to the airport hotel, a meal in the ridiculously expensive (and often distinctly average) hotel restaurant and something to feed the weary and hungry family on your return and that extra £50 each to fly from an airport that is a 30 minute taxi ride from home doesn’t look so bad after all!
All-inclusive used to be reserved for honeymooners and those who like to live a life of luxury when aboard. Today however, more people than ever have cottoned on to the great value offered by all-inclusive deals. Yes, it will cost you more initially and you will often be limited to local ‘specialities’ when it comes to alcoholic beverages, but you can eat and drink to your heart’s content (or your stomach’s limits).
Self-catering holidays often appear at a price that seems too good to be true but factor in the endless requests for ice creams, cold drinks and mid-afternoon snacks and you can soon spend more on food in a couple of days than the whole holiday cost you for a week.
While all inclusive is widely available in destinations such as the Mediterranean, it is very rare in city centre hotels in places such as New York and Paris. If the option for all-inclusive doesn’t apply, opt for bed & breakfast instead. You will pay a little extra to have breakfast included but will often be so full from a good breakfast that a mid-afternoon snack will put you on until your evening meal.
Think Cruise Rather Than Multi-Centre
Multi-centre breaks are a fantastic way to see more than one destination, especially if you love to travel but are limited when it comes to annual leave entitlement.
If you are looking to save money, cruising can be a great alternative to the traditional multi-centre holiday. You will visit new destinations almost every day, unpacking just once rather than over and over again in each hotel, as you would on a traditional multi-centre. Cruise ship accommodation is often comparable to that expected in a boutique 5-star hotel and cruise lines offer all meals as part of your cruise fare, saving you a fortune on dining out. Fill yourself up with a hearty breakfast before heading out for a day exploring ashore, treat yourself to afternoon tea as a treat for all that walking and enjoy four course haute cuisine or juicy steakhouse grills at dinner; all included in your fare. You can even treat yourself to a midnight snack if you’ve still room to spare!
It is tempting to overlook those niggling pre-existing conditions when booking your travel insurance, especially when you see your premium drop if you fail to mention them. What could possibly go wrong in a week, right?
Wrong! 3,157 British holidaymakers were hospitalised in 2014 and those who had failed to disclose pre-existing medical conditions faced a hefty bill. It may cost you an extra few quid but make sure you declare everything if you want to be sure your insurer will pay out in the worst case scenario.
Prepare to Roam
We have all heard the stories about holidaymakers coming home to a £1,000 phone bill after spending their whole holiday Facebooking, Tweeting and Instagramming to their hearts content.
Mobile calls and data cost significantly more outside of the UK, and it isn’t unthinkable to spend £15 using the internet simply to find an address on Google Maps. Downloading video can run into the hundreds! Always let your network provider know that you are leaving the country and arrange for an add-on package to be incorporated onto your contract for the duration of your holiday. You can expect to pay around £3 a day with most network providers but this is a small amount to pay compared to normal roaming charges.
Michael Wilson is the Managing Director of Bolsover Cruise Club who are based near Chesterfield, Derbyshire. Michael regularly writes about a variety of travel and cruise related topics.