Planning and going on holiday is always super exciting.
A break from the norm, a time to refresh, see new places, explore new cultures, quality time with family or friends.
Is there anything better?
Apart from the invention of the Chocolate Bomb dessert, well i think not.
But like everything in life, there are some negatives attached.
The costs can start to mount up, if not careful. A holiday can sometimes become a headache and a worry.
So it’s always great to try and save money, when and if we can right?
That’s one major headache dealt with.
Over the years i have managed to bag me and the fambo some real bargains. All whilst staying in nice hotels, having decent flight times, soaking in all the sites, and having a really marvellous time.
To be honest ladies and gents, i now feel i am the modern day Judith Chalmers.
(Please say you remember the travel program “Wish you was Here“).
But whilst a change of career isn’t on the cards right now, i thought why not share some of my money saving hacks here on the blog?
I usually plan all trips months and months, or even a year in advance. On the whole this saves me a small fortune.
With flights from the UK to Europe costing as little as £30 return in some cases – you can grab yourself a total bargain.
I usually check prices on Skyscanner, and keep checking over a 2 week period.
Mid-week trips are always considerably cheaper compared to weekend prices, so when you can – always try and opt for them.
The best time i have found to book trips is a couple of days before or after Christmas, and in January.
The price of flights and hotels at these times seem to be at an all time low, and i have bagged some fantastic deals over the years.
Birthdays & Christmas Gifts:
Christmas and Birthday’s well when you become a fossil like me, the presents don’t really matter.
It’s the memories and experiences that we hold dear.
Over the years me and my family gift holiday related presents – instead of exchanging gifts.
Be it a contribution towards a train, flight or hotel bill, an excursion when on holiday, or currency towards the next vacay.
It is such a thoughtful gift, and one you have to look forward to.
It’s also a fantastic way to travel more frequently, all whilst saving some of your hard earned nuggs.
Trip Advisor & Viator:
I read reviews like there is no tomorrow, to make sure i am always getting value for my money.
I am yet to have stayed in a hotel i haven’t liked or that hasn’t been in a great location. I really don’t know how we survived before Trip Advisor.
Their sister company Viator is also great for sourcing money saving deals on any excursions you have your eye on. You can save up to 20%, and again i have never had any issues when using their vouchers abroad.
Pennies turn into pounds yano, i have a penny jar at home and one at work. Any loose change i have is always chucked into the holiday fund.
£1 a day is £365 over the year. (Carol Vorderman got nothing on me).
If you book at the right time you will be sure to get flights and a decent hotel in Europe for two people for that amount.
You may even have some change.
Online Comparison Sites:
Booking.com, Trivago and Expedia are my best friend.
These sites let you book a great rate room, and you can pay on arrival.
They all have a price match guarantee, so if you find the hotel cheaper anywhere else – they will match it.
You can grab a total bargain, also without having to pay in full upfront.
Another great perk is this option gives you time to budget and save.
The pennies can add up in the airport, from taxis to food and drink. I have a little unspoken pact with my family, and if we can we will always drop and pick each-other up.
You can also visit comparison sites to get the best deal when parking your car at the airport. I am yet to do this, but i know family and friends who have saved up to 50% when booking in advance.
Booking a lounge at the airport is also a great way to avoid splurging whilst waiting to board your flight.
Again you can search comparison sites to get the best deal. The lounges at airports usually offer unlimited food, drink and WiFi.
Airport restaurants and bars can be so expensive, and you can easily save 50% when booking a lounge.
Plus the environment is a lot more chilled and relaxed.
Getting about and exploring when in a new country can be a little daunting. Whilst public transport differs from country to country, it’s the quickest, cheapest and easiest way to get around.
I love the tram system in Amsterdam, but was a little uneasy on the metro in Paris. So it’s about trial and error, and finding what suits you.
The hop-on and hop-off buses are in all major cities and stop at all the main tourist spots. They usually cost around 20 euros for the full day. You can do and see so much, and it’s such great value for money
If all else fails getting and you are able to, getting out and walking is the best option. It’s free, you see more, and nothing beats a brisk walk in the fresh air.
Everyones budgets and tastes are different, and there are of course shops, activities, bars and restaurants etc that have different price points. You can be in one bar paying four euro for a drink, and next door it’s double the bloomin price.
Most European restaurants and bars have price-lists outside, and you can have a quick nose to see if they are within your budget.
So whilst out exploring, also get nosing at them price-lists and take note of any deals that catch your eye.
So thats a wrap from Judith ladies & gents, I hope these tips have been helpful.
Do you have any tips to add, I would love to know.