Advice for Holiday-goers on a Budget: The Whole Package

Traveling is exciting and rewarding but sometimes backpacking spontaneously around Western Europe in the middle of winter just isn’t what you are looking for. A friend asked me for advice on where to go with his partner for a romantic holiday and it inspired me to write an article about how to go luxury for less.

Travelzoo: http://www.travelzoo.com/uk/

Travelzoo is the deal-lovers best kept secret. As I write this I am eyeing my Travelzoo tab open on a 4* all-inclusive break for five nights with return flights in Malta… for £229 per person. Booking myself a holiday technically counts as research, right?

This is just one example of some of the amazing deals you get on there. Search for where you want to go, check for bargains, read the fine print and you can’t really go wrong. By bringing hand luggage instead of checking in a suitcase you can avoid additional fees. Also make sure you check the weather, if it’s going to be cold and rainy in the month you plan to visit then your luxury beach deal won’t look like the summer photos.

malta

^My next guilt-free holiday in Malta^

http://www.lastminute.com/ is also a good website for finding bargain deals when you have left your anniversary surprise a bit late.

I’ve also seen some surprisingly good deals recently on Wowcher and Groupon. Just make sure you read the details so you know exactly what is included.

Fake it

If you can’t afford luxury, then fake it. Last year I went to Tenerife and stayed in a 3* hotel for less than a fiver a night. The rooms themselves were lovely, we had a nice kitchen and bathroom but the pool wasn’t amazing, the wifi was practically non-existent and the bar was full of drunk middle-aged men. It was a little chilly so we wanted to find a heated pool but the only ones we could find were in hotels so eventually we decided we’d just go and discretely use these.

We wondered into a 5* hotel with our chins up and spent the day relaxing by the lovely pool on comfortable deck chairs. We tried a couple of other hotels that day, used the wifi and even came back to our favorite pool with friends. We got a bit cocky towards the end and I ended up entering then winning a pool competition. This was fine until we went to The Beatles night at the hotel later and I had to go up on stage and get a certificate.

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mean-girls

But to conclude, if you can’t make it, fake it! We’re all entitled to a bit of luxury on our holiday. I guess if you feel guilty you can always buy an overpriced cocktail at the bar. Or ask someone with an all-inclusive wristband to get one for you…

Research/Avoid package deals

Although I absolutely recommend travelzoo, on a lot of sites, sometimes booking a package deal can turn out to be more expensive. If you like the look of a deal, check the price of a room in the hotel and then check flights separately. Although it’s convenient doing the two together, on some days of the month flight prices on cheaper airlines like Ryanair shoot down, so you might actually save some money by putting your holiday together yourself. Also check your alternatives within the deal. My mum recently saved ££’s by booking her package deal flight from Glasgow instead of Gatwick. It only cost £20 or so to fly from Gatwick to Glasgow so for an extra two hours she managed to half her flight price. Getting the train to the hotel instead of paying £50 for a shuttle as part of a deal saves money too.

Check http://www.trivago.co.uk/ to see if you can find a hotel you like the look of for less.

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Hope this helped,

Abi

 

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