Nothing beats a summer holiday. The combination of sun, sea and sand just makes everything better and helps melt your troubles away, if only for a week or two.
With coronavirus having put a huge spanner in the works of foreign travel in recent years, summer 2022 is set to be very busy indeed, as people from all over the world take advantage of the easing of covid restrictions to jet off for a well earned break.
But with the cost of living crisis forcing us all to be more frugal than ever, how can you enjoy a summer holiday without breaking the bank? We take a look.
First of all, the bad news: this summer, holidays from the UK come with a degree of risk attached.
Several airlines have been in the news for all the wrong reasons recently, with cancellations and delays causing major headaches for travellers and airports alike. With so much uncertainty in the air and the problems showing no signs of stopping, many people will be wondering if it's even worth booking a holiday this year.
If you do decide to take the plunge, remember to purchase travel insurance that includes cancellation cover as soon as your travel has been booked. This should ensure that you'll at least be due a refund if your flights get cancelled.
Now that we've got the negative bit out of the way, here are some top tips to help you find a great summer holiday that won't cost the earth.
If you can afford to leave booking your holiday until late in the day, websites specialising in last-minute holiday deals are invaluable.
There are plenty to choose from like loveholidays. With this provider, as well as allowing you to search for any destination, you can also see what's available for a whole calendar month, rather than having to input a specific date. While this doesn't sound like much, it's an extremely convenient tool that saves a significant amount of browsing time.
It also offers a low deposit scheme and different payment options, meaning you can book even if you can't afford to pay for it all in one go - ideal if you're on a tight budget.
Better yet, loveholidays is a member of ATOL, which means all its holidays - from flights to hotel bookings - are financially protected.
Like last-minute holidays, flash sale offers only work if you're able to leave booking a holiday until the eleventh hour. If you can, they're well worth investigating.
Sites like HolidayPirates offer great deals at seriously low prices but only for a very limited time. To stay in the know without having to constantly check its homepage, sign up to its email list and follow it on social media to find out about offers before everyone else. Speed is of the essence though - these deals get snapped up fast.
Websites like My Voucher Code offer money off vouchers which can be redeemed against holidays, so it's definitely worth a cursory glance to check if your destination of choice is included.
As well as letting you check lots of hotel sites quickly, comparison sites usually help you find the best prices. Of course, there are several comparison sites to choose between and each will probably throw up a different result, so it's worth checking at least three of the most popular ones before deciding who to book with. As well as Trivago and Hotels.com, you should consider Skyscanner, Kayak and TripAdvisor too.
All these sites also allow you to filter results to only show hotels that offer free cancellation. With the issues currently facing airlines, as well as the possibility that travel restrictions could be reintroduced with very little notice, this is a useful option that will prevent you from ending up out of pocket.
Before you book a hotel online, give them a call and find out if they offer discounts by booking directly with them - they occasionally offer direct bookers money off for booking early or three-for-two deals.
Once you've started a conversation with them, you might even get freebies like free Wi-Fi thrown in too. Remember, if you don't ask, you don't get!
At Leeds Credit Union, we offer a range of savings accounts that can help you start saving for your next holiday today. Or you could take out one of our affordable loans and borrow from £250 to £2,000 to help you enjoy the holiday of your dreams. Click here to find out more.
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