Are you thinking about your next holiday? Before you plan your next vacation, it's important to shop around and get the best prices for your trip and itinerary. We all like to go away as often as we can, but sometimes finances can hinder our wanderlust.
Luckily, we're here to help you out. Here are some useful tips on how to get the best value for money when traveling:
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Be Aware of Currency
Your flights, accommodation, and holiday spending money budget are all heavily influenced by currency. Before you purchase flights, ensure that you know the current exchange rate for the currency you are paying in.
This might help you determine how much the flight is actually costing you in your currency and avoids great disappointment if you thought you were getting a good deal. Currency rates fluctuate all the time, so even if you think you have a general idea of the exchange rate, you need to check what it is at the time of your purchase.
Regarding spending money and accommodation, you can stretch your money further if you apply for a credit card that includes low fees for overseas spending. Let's say you're spending 1000 sterling pounds: using your standard debit card or converting your cash at the destination airport will usually mean you're getting less value for your money than using a credit card you've chosen based on its competitive conversion rates and fees.
Shop Around Online
It takes a lot of time and patience, but conducting your own research about the price of flights and accommodation will save you a lot more money than opting for standard holiday packages offered by travel agents.
You simply begin your research by typing in ‘flight to' and whatever your destination is. Alternatively, you can choose ‘cheap flights to' followed by the destination name, or ‘cheap flights' without the destination included and see what pops up.
Depending on where you want to travel to, you might find that flights are difficult to find on authority sites. If this is the case, you simply need to make your search terms more specific.
Popular destinations like New York or Paris are going to have a lot of listings all over the place, which makes refining results according to cost a lot easier. However, if you want to go off the beaten track for your vacation, you might find that you need to take multiple connecting flights before you get there. Thus, the value of your holiday is influenced by your particular needs and desires with regards to the experience you wish to have.
Avoid Tourist Traps
Some popular holiday destinations are little more than tourist traps. If you're looking to go on vacation on a small budget, you should avoid such places. One great example of a tourist trap are the Disney parks scattered throughout America. It can cost over $100 just to gain entry to one park, before you even factor in the atrocious car parking and food prices.
Expect to pay around $5 just for a pretzel. The shops in the parks are tailored for tourists with lots of spending money, and are priced accordingly. Even simple souvenirs like keyrings or fridge magnets can cost up to $10.
Therefore, if you want to go on a holiday that is good value for your money, you should actually avoid some of the more popular holiday destinations. Major cities will always have higher prices than small villages, for example.
Moreover, places that are famous on the tourist scene are always going to cost you more. As such, if you really want to save money on your upcoming holiday, you need to figure out your priorities. Are you looking for a fast-paced holiday filled with entertainment, or somewhere quiet and relaxing? Is it a family holiday or are you traveling alone?
All of these things influence the value of your holiday. Adding children to the mix is always going to cost you more, and not just because this means more people. Bringing children along means you can't have a low-cost kind of holiday, because they will never be satisfied with just going on a walk or sitting drinking coffee while reading a book. Generally speaking, the more entertainment you need to cram into your vacation, the more expensive it will be.
Opt for Self-Catering Accommodation
Choosing self-catering accommodation is one of the best ways you can get the most value out of your holiday. The price difference between standard hotel suites and self-catering options are significant.
Hotels might offer meals, but sometimes they only offer breakfast, and the price of the breakfast does not equate to the price difference between a standard room and a self-catering apartment.
Self-catering options will save you a lot of money because they are usually suitable for between 4 and 8 people, and they include well-equipped kitchens. This means you can buy your own food at the local supermarket and cook your own meals, which is a lot cheaper than eating out all the time. Moreover, your holiday experience will inevitably feel more adventurous as you're authentically sampling local cuisine by making it yourself.
These are just some of the ways you can stretch your budget and ensure you're getting the best value for your holiday. There are many more ways of saving money that include traveling during off-peak season, going on holiday with another family and bunking up in a large apartment, and reducing your spending money budget. Now that you've considered some ideas on how to travel on a budget, all that's left to do is to buy some sunblock and book your tickets online!