How to make your holiday budget go further
As we look to the new year ahead, it's hard to stop ourselves from mentally planning out the possible holidays – and that means that budget comes to the fore. As tempting as it is to blow your hard earned cash on a no-holds-barred luxury holiday, taking a measured approach may mean we can see more that the world has to offer.
Be smart about the small stuff and before you know it you’ll have saved for a minibreak. So if you want to up the quantity of holidays without compromising on quality, here are the Flexicover team's five pointers on how to make the most of your holiday budget for 2017.
Know when to buy your flights
It pays to shop around for flights – even when you buy your flights can make a difference. A study by the Airline Reporting Corporation (ARC) showed that the best time to book flights is between 100 and 50 days before departure. After that, fare prices will steadily increase. The ARC also made the surprising discovery that air fares went for cheapest on Sundays, closely followed by Saturdays. This is because at the weekend, leisure travellers are more likely to be perusing online and ready to be tempted by a bargain flight. While during the week, business travellers are more likely to be looking at flights and they’re less sensitive to price hikes. One to bear in mind for your next purchase…
Booking self-catered accommodation not only helps to create a feeling of a ‘home from home’, it will also help to keep costs low. Opting to eat in on a couple of nights of your trip could result in a saving of up to £100 or more on restaurant and taxi fares. You’ll also find that this is a great way to discover local groceries, artisan bakeries and fresh produce in your area. AirBnb accommodation is great for this and offers a range of self-catered lodging from the most basic spare room to luxury rooftop apartments. To keep costs down even more, packing basic amenities like tea, sugar and laundry powder in your suitcase will help free up cash for the more fun aspects of holidaying.
Do the free activities
In every popular destination there are a number of free activities, to compliment the paid-for things, which are well worth looking into. Many European cities offer free walking tours, where your only obligation is to tip your guide. Similarly, local festivals and national celebrations, such as Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks in New York and Hong Kong’s Symphony of Lights show, are nearly always free. And though it’s hard for many cities to rival London’s abundance of free museums and galleries, many cultural institutions also offer reduced rates on certain dates. On Rome’s monthly Night of the Museums, all entry fees are reduced to €1 to encourage both locals and tourists alike to take advantage of the city’s cultural riches.
Cut out the middleman
Booking tickets, a guided tour, or even a hotel room is nearly always cheaper when done directly with the vendor than through an agent or third party - the only exception being when third parties bulk-buy at a discount and pass the savings on. Still, it’s worth making the comparison if you have the time as it could mean more spending money in your pocket.
Sleep On The Move
If you’re not too fussy about where you lay your head, consider saving on accommodation by travelling overnight. In Southeast Asia, sleeper trains are the best way to travel across the continent, bar catching a plane. They offer a range of classes, from the cheapest wooden benches to four-person carriages with comfortable bunk beds, so you can pick a price that suits your budget (and hardiness). In South America, it’s common to cover long distances overnight on coaches with reclining seats - ideal for backpackers hoping to stretch their savings over a long period. Europe is much the same, with sleeper trains providing the perfect way to inter-rail across the continent - and at a fraction of the price of UK train travel.
Wherever you plan to head to over the coming months it’s good to know that Flexicover Travel Insurance is committed to providing you with the highest level of protection to ensure you are safe and secure 24 hours a day when away.