Going away no longer needs to be a luxury or expensive if you are looking in the right places and saving your pennies elsewhere. Around a year and a half ago I started blogging about my trips and holidays as friends would often ask me, where’s the best place to stay, or who did you fly there with?
Although I have shared many a post on individual adventures and getaways, I haven’t actually written anything about how I go about finding a holiday to go on and the process around that. So here are my top tips for ensuring you get to adventure and explore as much as possible this year, or next year if you are a bit of a planner!
- Destination, destination, destination
One of the things which often trips people up when they are looking for a fun filled and frugal short break is that they tend to go into the process with a destination in mind. I would advise you to try and be as open minded as possible and instead try and summarise what you are wanting using the below three categories:
Weather – do you want somewhere sunny, cold and snowy, or are not fussed?
Routine – looking for an active break, historical sightseeing or a relaxed beach getaway?
Highlights – food, drink, cost, history – what will make it stand out for you?
- Get the right tools for searching
Download the Skyscanner App or go to www.skyscanner.co.uk and set the fields to the below to start with.
It will open up this window, and this is where you need to get savvy. If you are open to when you travel, keep the dates as ‘Anytime’ and see where fate takes you. If you have certain dates, pop in the month to get a view of days around it to see if you can make any top savings.
- See what fits!
Browse through your list and see what meets your destination criteria from above. Let’s say I am going in May, and I want a sunny trip with opportunities for sightseeing and relaxing, oh, and good food is a must.
I know Italy is good for all of the above, let’s click through to there. There’s lots of options, and I think Milan could be a good shout. They have amazing food, and some great sites to see. Not to forget, plenty of Limoncello.
Then click through to the Destination of your choice to see where you can fly from. You can then see prices according to individual days and book when is best!
I have to be honest here and say the desktop site is MUCH easier to find a bargain on, so do grab your laptop over your phone for true deals.
- Book your accommodation
When going away, I tend to use a wide variety of sites to get the best deals for my trips.
www.booking.com – good for hotels for two of you in major cities
www.trivago.com – compare hotels across a number of providers
www.airbnb.com – great for boutique breaks or small group trips in amazing locations
Are my top three choices, but I also love to use Voyage Prive, Secret Escapes and Groupon if I am after luxury at a cut of the cost.
If you are truly doing budget, don’t forget Hostelworld. The deals on here are great and they also have B&B’s for a fraction of the cost.
- Food and Drink
One of the most expensive bits of going away tends to be the part where we indulge ourselves on the local delicacies for the week. But it doesn’t have to be. If you find a local supermarket, you can get great staples for breakfast and lunch – I am talking Croissants, ham, cheese and breads, fresh melons etc. Then you can just have a delicious dinner out each evening.
Oh and if you like a beer or glass of fizz when abroad, make sure you check out supermarkets as you can usually get a bottle of Prosecco in Italy for under 4 euros, like ours which we enjoyed on our hotel balcony in Venice. Save your money for the sites and exploring in the sun!
Oh, and always check Groupon before you go. We saved loads in Vegas because we prepaid for a couple of high-end meals which we got for a bargain with a Groupon.
Last Top Tips:
- Getting to the airport: Make sure you compare your costs between trains, coaches and parking. We tend to use Looking4Parking for great rates if we need to park in the airports.
- Get your travel money in advance, and use online comparison sites to get the best deal.
- Book tours and adventures in advance – I love the Viator App.
- You don’t need heaps of spending money to have fun, you just need your adventurous spirit!