After the year and a half we’ve had, we all deserve a holiday. With restrictions easing, holidays are finally feeling like a reality again. Although this is exciting, we might feel a squeeze on our finances. This is where Oakam’s guide to budget breaks comes in, with tips on how to save money while still managing to get away.
Be flexible with your dates
If you’re able to be flexible with your dates, the compromise could save you some real money. Breaks that fall over weekends or school holidays are typically more expensive, as these dates are generally the most popular. Going mid-week allows you to have the same great experience, at a cheaper rate. Plus, with less interest in these dates, you’ll likely have more choices for accommodation as well.
Avoid the tourist hotspots
Hotspots are popular for a reason – there’s usually lots to do, plenty of eateries and bars, and are easily accessed. However, it’s this popularity that means they’re often more costly. To save yourself some money, try looking for somewhere more remote.
It might take a little bit of time and research to find your perfect location, but it’ll be worth the extra effort. Some real hidden gems can be found when you move off the beaten track. There are countless smaller, more remote villages and towns that are well worth a visit in the UK, yet they’re often overlooked in favour of the big-name cities which have inflated price tags attached.
Taking your business to less visited spots will also go some way to rebuilding these communities following what’s been a brutal 18 months of minimal income for so many. It takes the ‘shop small’ initiative to another level, so while you’re having a great holiday, you’re supporting local small businesses in the process.
In the current climate of reduced destination opportunities thanks to the traffic light system, there’s less choice in what country to visit, so opting to hunt down less heavily visited towns and cities could pay off even more than in normal times.
Pitch a tent
If you’re craving a break in nature but can’t find any available accommodation, why not camp instead? Find a beach or a hill that allows camping, or seek out a dedicated campsite, and pitch your tent for the weekend.
It might sound like the opposite of a relaxing break – sleeping on the ground in a polyester tent – but if you come prepared you could be surprised. Bring a tent that’s intended for more people than however many are going – for example, a four-man tent for two – and load it up with blankets and pillows, on top of the basic sleeping bags and mats. This way, you’ve got extra room to enjoy and you can make it a space that you’re excited to sleep in each night. Imagine cooking your dinner on a barbeque while having a drink under the stars – if you’re looking for an outdoor adventure, not much can beat camping.
This is a particularly good option for if your preferred overseas destination is on the red travel list, and you’re wanting to opt for a staycation instead. Beat the crowds abroad and make the most of what’s available on your doorstep this summer instead.
Sign up to price alerts
With the UK adding more and more countries to the green and amber travel lists, now could be a great time to sign up to some price alerts for flights or accommodation. There are countless sites online, such as Jack’s Flight Club, that allow you to sign up for email alerts about rock-bottom prices on airline tickets.
Last minute getaways have become increasingly popular due to the uncertainty of the current times, so having these price alerts land in your inbox each week means that if you do get the urge to book a trip, the chances are you’ll be able to find a great deal to do so.
Use comparison sites – but browse in incognito mode
Comparison sites are a really useful tool for finding the best deals around, especially when it comes to holidays. However, some sites are thought to track when you last browsed for deals, and will increase the prices each subsequent time you make the same search. This unfortunately means that while you might think you’re getting the best deal, in reality you may not be.
Using incognito mode means that your browsing history will not be saved, which means the site won’t remember you’d been active previously. This way, you won’t be seeing any altered prices, and can feel confident that you’re getting a great deal.
With the world beyond the UK beginning to open back up to us, it’s understandable that you may be getting that holiday itch, but you shouldn’t feel like you have to spend beyond your means to have a great break. We hope that these money saving tips on ways to enjoy a holiday whilst on a budget are helpful in giving you some inspiration for your next getaway.
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