Planning a holiday involves many different considerations and, for the majority of us, the budget is perhaps the most important one. Of course, this will limit the possibilities of your trip, in terms of destinations and how luxurious your lifestyle will be. However, it is absolutely possible to have an amazing, unforgettable holiday experience while also staying within your budget – here are some top tips on how you can get the best value out of your money while planning your getaway.
When it comes to good value for money, all-inclusive hotel packages are always getting an honorable mention. On paper, the price of these hotels might seem high compared to all of the other accommodation options, but when you add up everything else, it all starts making a lot more sense.
For instance, if you look at Iberostar’ all inclusive hotels in Jamaica, you’ll find a selection of luxurious options with amazing views, spacious rooms and all the facilities you possibly need. All drinks and food are included in your stay price, so you are also saving the money you’d be spending on multiple meals out each day. So, you don’t compromise on your experience in a high-end hotel but also receive incredible value for your money.
Choose your priorities
Of course, when trying to stay within budget, you do have to pick and choose which aspects of your holiday to spend more on and where to go for the cheapest options. For example, you may put the most priority on a nice accommodation, since that’s where you will be spending a lot of your time.
The flights, on the other hand, may not need to be as comfortable and convenient as they can be. Some people will disagree with this, while others will be happy to travel in a more inconvenient and long-winded way, with budget airlines, if that means that they’ll be able to afford a nicer experience at the final destination. Have a think about your priorities and what you would prefer to spend more of your budget on.
Plan in advance
Last-minute holidays can be budget-friendly and offer lots of great deals but, in general, you should always try and plan your holiday far in advance. Having a tight budget means that you don’t have that much wiggle room, which also means that in the event of something going wrong at the last second, your whole experience may get affected massively. Planning in advance will give you lots of time to research the best options and lock your price in for the hotels and flights, before they spike up due to unforeseen reasons.
Depending on your chosen destination, sometimes traveling out-of-season can massively decrease the price of your holiday. There are, of course, valid reasons why people don’t travel somewhere during certain months (for instance, most of Europe’s destinations may have unpleasant weather conditions in the colder months of the year). In some cases, though, you can try and avoid the crowd by simply shifting your holiday a few months.
Traveling to South East Asia is a good example, since most people will try to avoid the rainy season (May to October) and travel there in the winter instead. The truth is, most of these countries, like Thailand or Vietnam, will still get at least 6 hours of sunshine everyday during the summer months and an hour of rain every other afternoon is unlikely to ruin your holiday.
We have all been guilty of leaving our holiday packing to the last minute at some point in our lives. Doing so is not only causing you unnecessary stress but it can also have a lot more impact on your budget than you think. First of all, if you don’t pack all of your essentials wisely, you will end up having to buy things locally, at tourist prices. Such things as sun cream, for example, can be priced ridiculously in the airports and local shops, but if you’ve forgotten to pack it, you will have no other choice but to pay those prices. Make a list of what you need in advance and stick to it.
In addition to this, try to not overpack unnecessarily for your holiday. Paying additional fees for extra luggage can double the fare of your flight and, more often than not, you are perfectly able to survive a week with just carry-on luggage. Be smart with your clothing choices – try to choose pieces that work well with each other, creating your own holiday ‘capsule wardrobe’ and avoiding bringing lots of unnecessary stuff.
Do your research
Before traveling to any destination, it is always a good idea to do a bit of research on how various things work within the country. For instance, have a look at the different ways you can commute during your holiday. Is there a bus / train network you can use or perhaps a mobile car sharing service that is affordable?
Sometimes countries will also have tourist pass cards that you can purchase and use throughout your holiday, for a better price than buying individual tickets every day. The same principle also works towards visiting various attractions and booking guided tours, finding best places to eat and so on.
Use local currency
Currency exchange is something that many people don’t think about until they are already at the final destination. Exchanging money at the airport or with local ATMs can cost you hefty fees that could have otherwise been avoided. Therefore, try to either exchange some money before your holiday or open a multi-currency banking account, such as Revolut or Wise, that allows you to exchange and move money for free or for reasonable fees.