It’s that time of year again when the weather’s heating up and everyone starts to think of beaches and some well earned time out. But plenty of package deals for the summer months are vastly overpriced when travel agents know for sure that the usual spots around the Med will be overflowing with tourists. Fortunately, you can get a much better deal and stay one step ahead of the crowds by following these simple tips and tricks for a cheaper and more meaningful Summer holiday.

1. Take time planning your summer holiday

The planning stage is where you can shave some serious pounds off your summer holiday price tag. Planning a cheap summer holiday can take a little while, so book yourself at least an afternoon to do it in and keep the place distraction free if possible. Buying a travel guide for your destination is a good idea, but getting an eBook for a fraction of the price is even better. Once you’ve got an outline of your holiday in mind, it’s time to start haggling for the best deals. You’re more likely to get a bargain if you are going in low season, have been offered a better deal by a competitor, or are staying for longer than the average trip.

2. Eat more cheaply on your summer holidays

You might be surprised to learn that food is one of the most expensive parts of most people’s summer holidays. Choosing accommodation with self-catering options is the best way to keep costs down, enabling you to eat for 80 -90% less. A BBQ on the beach, cooking dinner over an open fire, or a picnic in the park with the family can be much more enjoyable than any restaurant, and at a whisper of the price. Don’t forget to make packed lunches for your days out too.

3. Sleep more cheaply on your summer holidays

Renting a cottage or chalet is far more economical than getting rooms in a hotel, especially if you travel with friends and get everyone to chip in. In fact, a ‘sharecation’ in a rented property is one of the best ways to travel with friends and family as you have access to your own kitchen, laundry and can split the workload. Best of all, large groups are much better at entertaining themselves in the evenings, meaning you won’t have to spend as much on expensive trips to the cinema.

4. Cheap entertainment for the summer holidays

Looking back, how many of your best childhood memories come from activities that were essentially free – such as messing about in the sea with your family, exploring in the woods, or playing exciting ball games in the park with your friends? There’s no need to fork out on gadgets or tickets when, with a little imagination, a lot of fun can be had with simple items such as a plastic frisbee, a ball, a deck of cards, or some pens and paper!
It’s also worth checking out free attractions on at your destination, such as museums, food festivals or street markets. Most European cities offer free walking tours that you can simply jump onto and learn a little more about your new home for the summer.

5. Travel more cheaply for your summer holidays

A car becomes much better value if its full, so if you have a group of friends to travel with, then doing your own driving can be the most economical option. There are probably plenty of exciting destinations within driving distance of your home – Britain is the world’s fifth most competitive tourist destination after all! Taking the train or coach is usually more expensive than driving for larger families, but you can often get 50% off if you book far in advance, and might be able to get a good ‘family deal’ too. Sometimes you can get free or discounted entry to attractions with your train tickets. If anyone in your group is entitled to concessions because they are a student, teacher, or OAP, then now is the time to use this to your advantage.
A fan of two wheels? You might be amazed at how far you can go (and how cheaply you can do) a cycling holiday. You might not want to take it as far as the Miller’s, who cycled around Europe for a year on less than £65 a day, but a smaller summer adventure such as the Mawddach Trail in North Wales is very doable and completely unforgettable.

About the Author
Ben is an entrepreneur who was born and bred in Conwy, a world heritage site on the North Wales coast. Ben runs Great Escapes Wales and loves exploring the Welsh countryside in his free time.