Cheap holidays on a budget

If you want a cheap holiday on a budget here’s my top tips on ways to save money

Holiday prices have gone up around 30% over the last year and with rising costs – one in four of us say we can’t afford a holiday this year unless we can bag a good deal online.

Planning is the key to getting the best deal – here’s my five top tips to getting the best deal.

Cheap flights

You may snap up a cheap ticket with a budget airline but too much luggage can bump up the bill.

There’s no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to cabin bags (and even hold luggage) and a oversize bag at the gate can mean waving goodbye to an extra £60 of your holiday money.

Flying midweek can often trump weekend prices so be as flexible as you can with dates. Avoiding school holidays (if you can) and jetting off over bank holiday weekends can also mean cheaper tickets.

A villa with a view

Booking a package holiday can take the hassle out of hunting for holiday accommodation and means automatic holiday protection.

If you prefer to take the DIY approach – worth looking on sites from recognised companies like Airbnb or Booking this way means you may get free cancellation if plans change.

Booking direct can save money. I’ve often found hotels on but got a cheaper deal booking direct with the hotel. Sometimes it works the other way round but worth checking both options.

Watch out for scammers and holiday rip offs. When it comes to payment – always use the secure payment system on recognised booking systems – or at least pay by card. Never ever pay by bank transfer – however convincing the reason.

All-inclusive or DIY trip?

If you’re on a budget, paying one price for everything with an all-inclusive deal can save overspending.

This way you pay in sterling, so no exchange rates to factor in, but do check what’s included. With some resorts, buffet meals, drinks and snacks may only be available at limited times, while others may offer a choice of restaurants, bars and even watersports, trips or entertainment.

Worth thinking what you want from your trip, as all-inclusive may not always be the cheapest option.

Boost your holiday cash

Pack the right cards. Most credit and debit cards whack on charges for cash withdrawals and overseas spending. Two with zero fees are the Halifax Clarity credit card and Barclaycard Rewards card.

Pay in the local currency. Shops and bars may offer to switch the price back to sterling but you’ll be ripped off with the exchange rate.

And always carry some cash in case your card is refused, stolen, or you find a small shop that won’t take cards. Worth asking for some small denomination notes when getting your currency or ask friends and family if they’ve got any left from their last trip that you can buy off them.

Don’t leave home without travel insurance

However tight your budget – never be tempted to skimp on travel insurance.

Can cost as little as the price of a couple of drinks for a week’s policy to Europe and while we all hope we’ll never need it – worth having for peace of mind.

Check limits on medical cover and make sure you declare any pre-existing medical conditions.

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