There are always a few stress factors involved in planning a holiday. There are the basics of deciding where, when and how to go.
The most difficult phase of the planning though, comes from figuring out how to pay for that lovely break.
Depending on the destination, a holiday is probably one of the most expensive experiential expenses that people incur every year.
Still, there are lots of ways to pare down the cost of a holiday to fit your budget and still get the “where, when and how” planned exactly to your liking.
Travelling with family, particularly a large one, can drive up your costs exponentially if you’re not careful about keeping an eye on your expenditure.
Consider renting alternative accommodation
You may end up typically spending quite a bit on hotels, flights/cruise tickets, extravagant meals and entertaining activities.
Consider renting a place as an alternative to traditional hotel accommodation. You can search websites like Airbnb to identify a wide range of rental accommodations.
Family-sized apartments or cottages are cheaper than paying per person for each night’s stay. Moreover, you won’t have to constantly eat out because you’ll have cooking facilities.
Just make sure that your chosen rental accommodation is close to grocery stores, shopping centres and the places you are planning to visit.
If you don’t want to miss out on the more expensive experience of staying in a hotel and not having to cook, look for as many freebies and giveaways you can find to save money.
Travelling in a large group gets the best deals
Sometimes families are given perks if they stay for a significant amount of time. Children may be given a free learn-to-ski or swim package and travelling in a big group often gets you the best deals.
Use review sites to find the best deals from local, more personalised sites concentrating on the regions you’d like to visit.
Not all reviews on professional sites will express honest and critical opinions, as they may have been offered incentives or payment for writing positive reviews.
Families can have trouble planning holidays given the risk of having to cancel or postpone well-intentioned plans.
Working family members may suddenly have to commit to work-related responsibilities or children may be confronted with a school issue. Thus booking a holiday can become a touch-and-go matter.
Did you know that driving your own car is actually the cheapest mode of travel? Choosing to drive to your destination, even with a few hotel stops, will not be near the price of plane fare per person.
Plus, you won’t have to worry about baggage fees. To avoid bad traffic, choose less populated and less popular destinations.
Most people create a long-term plan to save for an international destination. It’s time to start thinking differently as it is possible for cheaper international vacations.
First, choose an uncommon holiday spot that isn’t a popular destination. The most popular ones, especially in peak season, will charge you the maximum rate for everything.
This means that the places least in demand will offer the best deals to you.
Don’t forget to use your frequent flyer points
Next, don’t book a flight that will deposit you directly at your desired destination. Instead, choose a less frequented departure, transfer or arrival airport.
Choose to fly to your destination country with arrival at the airport that’s the least air travel distance from your starting point. This results in the lowest cost for you.
Once you arrive, travel to your holiday destination with a domestic flight, as the fare will be lower.
Don’t forget to use your frequent flyer points. Once you are at your destination, use your bank card rather than cash whenever possible.
Do carry some cash converted from your native currency with you, as airport or local currency conversions can be a hassle.
Look for data connectivity through wi-fi
Currency rates rise and fall on a daily basis, making conversion unpredictable for you.
Calling home from abroad increases your bills if you aren’t careful. Never opt for international roaming service on your phone.
Look for data connectivity through wi-fi connections as a cheaper solution. Buy a local sim card and use international calling cards to connect with friends and family back home.
Solo travellers can save expenses by taking advantage of family and friends abroad. You can crash at their home and occasionally have meals with them.
Ensure that you repay their generosity in as many ways as you can, like helping with the housework or rewarding them with gestures they will appreciate.
If you don’t have anyone living abroad, surf the internet for offers from people in foreign countries to house and feed tourists in return for their skills and services.
This article first appeared in The New Savvy.
The New Savvy is Asia’s leading financial, investment and career platform for women. Their bold vision is to empower 100 million women to achieve financial happiness. They deliver high-quality content through conferences, e-learning platforms, personal finance apps and e-commerce stores.