British weather is all over the place at the moment. One minute, the sun is shining, the birds are singing and we’re even digging out the sun cream. The next, we’re battling through wind and rain to get home to our cosy, warm houses to hibernate for the weekend. We just can’t win, can we? If you’re anything like me, you’ll have been using all this time indoors to plan a sunshine escape for this summer. A bargain holiday to either Greece or Italy is topping my list so far, although I could easily be tempted by other destinations.
For those of you who still haven’t started thinking about this year’s holiday, here are some great reasons to start giving it some serious thought:
Holiday happiness is a feeling that many of us can relate to. From the moment you’ve booked your holiday and parted with your hard-earned cash, you begin to count down until the date of your getaway. Suddenly, your troubles seem to disappear – your to-do list doesn’t seem so overwhelming, and going to work doesn’t feel so bad anymore; there’s light at the end of the tunnel.
Another reason I love booking a holiday is because it means that I get to go holiday shopping! I love planning what I’m going to wear, and hitting the shops to treat myself to some new outfits. Usually, I’ll go all out and get my nails done too – especially if I’ve already saved some cash by finding myself a bargain holiday.
Spread payments or bag a bargain holiday
Saving up the pennies to book a holiday can be enough to put some people off the idea of going anywhere. To reduce the financial stress of booking a holiday, you can book as far ahead in advance as you can and look for an option to pay a deposit, giving yourself yourself longer in which to pay off the holiday. Most holidays need to be paid for by three months before the departure date.
Left it too last minute? Not to worry – there’s always a chance that you could bag yourself a late deal on a bargain holiday and end up saving even more money. If you don’t mind where you go and your travel dates are flexible, my top tip is to use Skyscanner to find cheap flights by tapping ‘everywhere’ into the search engine, and searching throughout the whole month or year.
Once you’ve booked the holiday, it’s all about self control and having the willpower to put enough money aside to make sure you have plenty of spending money.
Get inspired about where to go
It usually takes me a while to reach the point of even booking a holiday, as I tend to spend days deliberating over where to go, where to stay and how best to get there. If you’re struggling to find a destination, it can be fun to put some of your top picks in a hat and pull out a destination out at random – whichever one comes out is the destination you have to visit, no matter what!
If you’re looking for some winter sun, you can’t go far wrong with a trip to Australia. It’s a long-haul flight, so you might need to splash out on a new book and download some music or TV programmes to keep yourself entertained throughout the flight, but it’ll be the trip of a lifetime. There’s just so many places to visit, and cool places to stay for the night. Take a look at websites such as www.forestrise.com.au to get a feel for what might be in store for you if you take a trip to Australia.
Don’t fancy a long flight? There are lots of lovely short-haul destinations worth visiting, and Portugal is one of my personal favourites. If it’s sun, sea and sand you’re after, consider an Algarve holiday but if you’re looking for somewhere more laid-back, head to the north of Portugal, to Porto. I was amazed by the natural beauty of Porto while on a recent visit to the region, and the food and drink were worth writing home about too. You’ll be able to read all about it on my blog very soon!
Save some more pennies
We’ve already talked about how to find bargain holidays, but there is much more you can do to try and save some pennies. All-inclusive packages can often help you to save money on the cost of eating and drinking out, although it’s always best to compare the package costs with the price you’d pay if you booked your accommodation and transport separately, factoring in the cost of food and drink.
Furthermore, it can often be cheaper to book excursions and outings online before you go, as opposed to booking them through a local rep when you get to your destination.