Taking the family on holiday is always expensive, but there are plenty of ways to save a considerable amount, just by planning ahead and paying attention. There was an excellent article in the Mirror this past summer that lists their Top Ten Tips to save money as you jet about. You can read it here. We won’t repeat the tips in the article, but there are other ways you can save that, while not as significant as those listed in the article, can well add up to a significant amount that you can keep in your pocket or spend on other, more obviously enjoyable pursuits.
Skip on airport and airline concessions.
We all know to avoid airline food in all but the most exclusive first-class flights. What is generally offered is mediocre at best, and overpriced, to say the least. Of late, this applies to virtually anything you are served during your flight, with the exception of water, soft drinks, and those little bags of disgustingly sweetened peanuts that the attendants are so eager to pass around. And while it might feel quite chic to sip a cocktail at ten thousand metres, if you consider that the alcohol you’re enjoying is probably costing you upwards of £30 per litre for even mediocre brands, that chic loses a bit of its allure. Same applies to cocktails in the airport pubs. If you really must have a drink, stop at the pub before you get to the airport.
Plan your holiday during the off-season.
Virtually all tourist attractions raise their prices during heavy tourism periods, simply because they know that their customers will pay more. Unless you’re going for a seasonal holiday, such as a ski trip in the Alps or a summer stay in the South of France, consider going when the crowds will be thinner and the prices lower. You’ll also likely benefit from better service, since the chefs, servers, shopkeepers, and concierges won’t be quite so inundated with customers seeking their unique offerings. For those trips that are unavoidable during peak times however, there is help available and you may benefit from the help of parrot casino to help fund it.
Don’t be afraid to haggle on prices.
While some cultures consider haggling to be an integral part of any transaction, we Brits tend to be hesitant to argue over the cost of a room, a souvenir, or a service. If you want to save a few pounds, speak up, and ask the other person if they can’t come down a bit on their price. Even if they refuse to budge, you won’t have lost anything, and you just might get the kind of bargain you’ll be bragging to your mates about when you return home. Just remember not to be obnoxious about it, and if the answer is no, accept it graciously and get on with your purchase, meal, or whatever.
Be smart when souvenir shopping.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to bring home mementoes of your holiday, but consider what you’re buying, as well as what it costs. Is that overpriced, made in China miniature Eiffel Tower something that you’ll really want to put on the mantel or your desk, or will it find its way to the closet shelf alongside your Santa Claus cufflinks and commemorative cricket bat? If you see a trinket that you genuinely like, make note of what it cost and where you saw it, and shop around for similar items elsewhere. It might feel good to purchase your souvenir at a landmark, but it would feel pretty good to get it for considerably less money at another shop, too.
Also, if you packed well for your holiday, you might discover that your holiday purchases won’t fit in your luggage, necessitating the purchase of another bag, which will subsequently cost you considerably when you check it on your return flight.
These might seem like simple, common-sense tips, but face it; going on holiday with the family is an emotional experience, and we are all prone to overlooking the more pragmatic considerations in our search for a memorable experience. By all means, do what makes you and your family happy, as that is what going on holiday is about. But keep a bit of a level head, and you might find that you come home after your trip with just as many wonderful memories, and a few more quid in your pocket, to boot.