Booking a holiday is definitely a big financial decision for most people these days, and a luxury that not everybody can afford on a yearly basis. If you’re a bit of a bargain hunter, you can still bag yourself a week in the sun or an adventure in a new city for an affordable amount, but there are definitely a few things you need to be aware of, and some hidden or unexpected costs to bear in mind.
We thought we’d give you a bit of a hand if you’re thinking about getting away for a bit and escaping to somewhere exciting and run through a few ways we like to keep holidays abroad as cheap as possible.
Should you go all-inclusive or self-catering?
All-inclusive holidays might not be the absolute cheapest option out there for a holiday, but what they do offer is an effective way of budgeting for your whole holiday if that’s something that you find you struggle with.
If you’re the kinda person who worries about how much money you may need to spend once you get to your destination on things like food and entertainment, then an all-inclusive package is a great way to make sure you have no surprise costs. Everything is included, so any money you spend outside of that is completely optional.
This means you can know exactly how much your whole holiday is going to cost you before you jet off, and it makes it much easier to save up and budget for.
With that being said, self-catering can also work out a lot cheaper depending on your holiday style. If you like to eat out at restaurants while you’re away then all-inclusive options could mean you pay for everything twice. If you’re great at budgeting or have a specific dietary requirement then self-catering might be best for you. This article from Travel Supermarket is really helpful for deciding which option is best for you.
Avoid unexpected costs
There are a few instances where unexpected costs can crop up and blow your whole holiday budget out of the water, so it’s good to be prepared and know what you look out for.
One of the first examples you will probably encounter is airport parking. My Voucher Codes recently conducted some research into just how expensive airport parking can be around the world, and on average a week’s parking will cost you £72.80, but London Heathrow is the most expensive at £190 for a week.
That’s a lot of money to arrive at the airport and realise you have to pay! So make sure that you look into transport options well ahead of time and figure out whether booking parking in advance is more affordable, or whether public transport might be your best option.
Another thing to be aware of is transaction fees for spending money abroad on your credit or debit card. These fees add up if you use your card a lot during your holiday, so look into getting a card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees.
Phone charges are also something that you should check before you go as if you aren’t careful you could get stung with roaming charges that end up costing you a small fortune. Some companies do include free roaming within packages, but definitely check whether yours does and if not put your phone in airplane mode and use free WiFi if it’s available.