By my own admission, I left it rather late to book flights this year. You don’t get cheap last minute flights (fact) and if you are thinking of going on holiday where a package deal isn’t involved, you need to book flights early to get the best prices.
I like to use BA as I often find them cheaper than Monarch or Easyjet and also because you get to carry a handbag along with your hand held suitcase, with Easyjet you don’t, but the flight prices were at their cheapest with my favoured airline when they were first on sale back in September but I didn’t have the money to book then.
Then we had the lead up to Christmas and I still didn’t feel I could book and all the time, prices were going up and up, with all the airlines.
We are lucky in as much as we go to the same place nearly every summer and have a good relationship with the couple who manage quite a few apartments on the complex we stay at. If it wasn’t for this and the fact we no longer have to pay a deposit nor a breakages bond, it would have been impossible to book this year but with outgoing August flights for £32.99 and our return journey (with a different airline) for just £45 (58 euros), book we have!
Sacrifices will be made but the whole ethos of this blog is to save money on the essentials to afford the luxuries and if it means taking all of last years holiday wardrobe away with me and not buying anything new, the joy I get from watching my kids messing around together and laughing in the pool whilst I lay on a sun lounger with my book, is absolutely priceless and worth any sacrifice.
- Shop around for flights and don’t be fooled into thinking that you have to use the same airline for both the outbound and inbound flights.
- Avoid well known comparison sites and check the airlines websites directly. I often find this cheaper as the comparison site has to make money one way or another.
- If you use separate airlines, your return journey will most likely be listed in the local currency. At the time of booking our return journey, the price in sterling was £45 but in euros, 58.
- Save money by travelling light. I never have a problem with packing for 7 nights and hand baggage only.
- I decant toiletries into containers that hold less than 100ml.
- If you prefer to take full size products and are happy to buy your holiday toiletries in one go, order online at Boots for pick up at their Airport branch. If you do this make sure you order for the correct terminal and you must select the departures/airside branch (not landside). Order by 2pm for collection after 2pm the following day.
- Make sure you wear heavier clothing for travelling rather than packing it in your case. It may be required if the weather isn’t as great as you expected. Jackets, cardigans and trainers might well be a godsend on the airport journey, I’ve arrived back in the UK mid August to torrential rain in flip flops and shorts but have long since learnt my lesson!
- Create a budget plan of your holidays cost and when it needs to be paid by so that you know how much you need to save each month. Do the same for your spending money. It is far easier to spread the cost than be tempted to stick it all on a credit card.
- We use the local bus service from the airport to our apartment at a cost of 6 euros each as opposed to 100 euros for a taxi, so do your research into times and prices if you don’t have transfers included in your holiday.
Have you booked your summer holiday yet? Hotel or Apartment? How do you budget and do you watch the pennies whilst your away?
Check out the National Express website for deals. At time of writing NE are offering over 350,000 seats for £5.
Even if you only take a couple of journeys a year by train, you’d be silly not to invest in a railcard. For just £30 (£20 for disabled) you can get a railcard for young people (16-25) great for students away at Uni. Family & friends and Senior. If you live in London or the South East you can benefit from a network rail card and get 30% off adult fares and 60% off child prices. http://www.railcard.co.uk/
Looking for a cheap flight, then there is only one solution, book early. Unlike last minute holiday deals, last minute cheap flights just don’t exist. For the cheapest flights you need to book as soon as they go on sale. For example if flying BA to Malaga in August 2014 you should have booked in August 2013 when you could have flown for under £100. I once got a return BA flight to Spain in May and paid £87 return, I checked flight prices days before departure and if I had booked then I would have paid £250.
When travelling abroad whether on a 2 day city break, a family holiday or 6 months driving around the US don’t ever leave home without it.