If you are reading this article, it is highly likely you are a connoisseur of travel. You probably like to get away more than once a year, and you rarely visit the same place twice. Instead, you like to find new places and have new experiences. You are not alone. The vast majority of people have worked so hard for their leave and money to pay for their holiday, they are going to maximise every second of it. Every holiday may well be a holiday of a lifetime for you. There are some people who have yet to be bitten by the travel bug. Perhaps they haven’t yet been inspired by all that awaits them around the globe. Well, we endeavour to cater for you all, so here are some great tips for newbies to get them going on their path to a great holiday.
For those of you out there who haven’t done a lot of traveling before, or even those who have, but are running out of ideas, there are lots of great places to see. All holidays involve travel. For most of us, that is the worst part. We love being in exotic new places to see new cultures and World Heritage icons. But getting there from here is a pain in the backside! These days, airport security is tight and very long-winded. Just getting to the airport on the roads is hard work. Even if we love flying, those first couple of steps can be hell.
London pic from Flickr
Of course, once we arrive at our dream destination, the horrors of the cues and inappropriate pat-downs are long forgotten. The air smells and even feels different, and the sights are awesome. Out come the cameras, and life is great again. Having a holiday really does reinvigorate the body and the soul. It relieves stress and tiredness. Our minds are refreshed and focussed, ready to take on all that is wonderful about this place we have arrived at.
The trouble is, a fair few of us cannot afford a holiday. Prices continue to rise. Airlines may drop fares for short hops, but affording to eat and have a roof over our heads when we get there is a different matter. Here are four great ways to have a holiday for up to half the price you would expect to pay:
- Get a last minute deal – This one is not for the faint-hearted. If you have any desire to go to a particular place, you may be thoroughly disappointed by waiting for a last minute deal. What comes up as a bargain on the day before travel may not be what you had in mind. But if you are feeling adventurous and you’re willing to take a gamble, getting a last minute deal will save you a fortune. You won’t have much say in anything, so you need to be strong-minded and willing to make the most of wherever you end up, and the facilities you end up with. This way is perfect if you have a strict budget you can’t afford to go over.
- Secret hotels – Picking last minute hotel deals can be a little scary. But if you know where you want to go, and you’re not willing to compromise on the city or the date, then this could be for you. You simply request the basics like the city and number of guests. A hotel is booked. Only then do you get to find out which one you got for your bargain price. For most of us, we are travelling to experience the culture and visit a few tourist destinations within a particular city. The bed we rest in is not that high on the list of priorities. If this sounds like you, then a secret hotel at a super discounted price could be exactly what you need to maximise your budget on holiday.
- A different date – When you browse some of the travel booking sites, you will find that the date you pick first is almost always the most expensive. If you scan to the left or right of the options offered, you may find that booking three or four weeks earlier or later may save you a fortune. There are, of course, peak times and quieter times in the travel industry, much like any other. Avoiding key holiday dates, and deliberately picking the less popular dates could be a way to have a great holiday on a shoestring budget. Like last minute booking, you need to have flexibility, but this time it is flexibility of time off work. If you have children still at school then this probably won’t work for you. The dates that are cheapest are almost always in the middle of the semester. You may also find the weather at that time of year is not ideal for some of the activities you may have been hoping to do.
- A different place – If you are choosing a holiday for particular activities, like skiing or scuba diving, you may want to think about picking a lesser resort to save money. The better the facilities, the more expensive staying at a particular resort will be. Of course, if you are hardcore into those activities, you shouldn’t take on anything but the very best. For those just wanting to try them out on a budget, picking an alternative could be a great way to save a lot of money. For example, skiing in some French resorts is incredibly expensive during peak season. Accommodation costs for lesser slopes in places like Scotland are substantially cheaper. You may be interested in scuba diving in the Bahamas, but taking the bus to Florida if you are in Georgia would be far more budget friendly!
When you are trying to get more bang for your buck on holiday, it can be disappointing to have to make substantial sacrifices. It all depends on what is most important to you. It could be the accommodation is an essential priority, or it may be all about the activities available. Whatever you book, explore a few alternatives first.