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More holiday for your money
As the after-effects of the credit crunch continue to bite, the British are taking fewer holidays. But our annual break is still one of the things we cherish.
It’s perhaps not surprising that figures from the Office for National Statistics show the number of breaks that we take abroad has dropped by more than 20 per cent in recent years. But we still love to go on holiday. A recent poll by the Association of British Travel Agents found many of us are more likely to make cutbacks on home improvements and eating out before we consider not going away on holiday.
With that in mind, here are some tips for making your hard-earned holiday budget go that bit further.
Holiday outside the Eurozone
Regardless of the currency worries in the Eurozone, there’s no doubt that countries still outside it are much cheaper destinations. Bulgaria is a great option for skiing on a budget. Major resorts like Borovets and Bansko are well equipped with modern lifts, plenty of accommodation and relatively short transfer times. It’s also great value for summer beach breaks. Traditional Black Sea resort towns like Golden Sands and Sunny Beach have been spruced up and new luxury developments are springing up all along the coastline. Other cheap non-Euro sun break destinations include perennial favourite Turkey which offers everything from really cheap apartments to 5-star spa luxury (often at a 3-star price).
Avoid peak periods
Why do so many people take their main holiday in July and August? Of course, if you have kids you have to stick to school holidays for your break. But if you don’t, you can make vast savings by holidaying even just a week before or after the main school holidays. ‘Plan ahead’ and ‘be flexible’ are the golden rules here. Even outside school holidays more popular resorts can fill up fast – so do your homework and decide on a selection of possible locations and dates to maximise your opportunity to save money.
To help you find those best value deals, the obvious place to start is the internet. Using price comparison sites like TravelSupermarket.com can make life easy as they allow you to search deals from a whole range of different holiday companies at the same time. Sign up for email newsletters too as they often include offers and deals in them.
Shop around for your travel money
Another possible way to make some savings is by shopping around in advance when buying foreign currency. Search online before you go to find the best exchange rates for your travel money. Some providers even offer pre-paid currency cards which allow you to top up your cash while you’re abroad, and also lock in your initial exchange rate on certain currencies.
Choose the right travel insurance
While there are ways to get away for less if you do your research, one thing you shouldn’t economise on is travel insurance. Medical bills abroad can be expensive, especially if you fall ill somewhere like the USA. Having appropriate cover can help make sure you receive the treatment you need. If you’re a regular traveller, buying an annual policy could perhaps be a good idea too. Multi-trip travel insurance often ends up better value than paying for a new policy for each trip.
This post was issued by Sainsbury’s Finance