As summer vacation approaches, many of us will be wondering how to enjoy a getaway when the cost of living crisis bites.
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Forbes Advisor experts have revealed how travelers can get the best value for their hard-earned money this summer amid rising inflation and the cost of living crisis.
These are her top tips.
Pay attention to traveler reviews
Advice from other travelers is invaluable when deciding how to plan your upcoming trip. Reviews can provide useful tips on the top attractions, including which to avoid, the best time to visit to avoid the crowds, and maybe even how to get a cheaper ticket.
Use local knowledge
Locals are always the best source for recommendations on authentic (and inexpensive) experiences. Make an effort to learn some basic local phrases as this will make it easier to start real conversations with residents who know the best places.
Consider booking everything separately
For many of us, vacation packages can be the right option from both a financial and fun perspective, but the convenience might cost you more. Don’t be afraid to look outside of these pre-packaged offerings and consider booking everything individually. You’ll often find savings by making these micro-decisions yourself, as well as greater freedom in arranging your vacation.
Buy essentials in advance
Many essentials like sunscreen and insect repellent can be more expensive at your destination, especially if you are shopping in a tourist area or at the airport. Stock up on these items before you leave home. Also check what your weight allowance is, as most airlines will charge you heavily for excess baggage, so it’s worth weighing your suitcase before heading to the airport to make sure you’re underweight.
Try self-catering accommodation
With the advent of websites like Airbnb, it has now become easier and easier to find and book an entire apartment or residence as an alternative to hotel accommodation when going on holiday. If you decide to go this route, make sure everything you need to whip up a storm in the kitchen is included, or you might have to eat out anyway.
Do your research and look around
Once you know what type of travel you’re looking for, it pays to shop around, check prices at different outlets (incognito mode!), and even get a basic understanding of airline booking codes and how they affect your fare. This way you can make sure you get the best deal for your vacation. It’s also worth noting that Sundays are usually the cheapest times to book flights and Tuesdays and Wednesdays are usually the cheapest days to fly, but this can vary by destination and airline.
Go all inclusive
If a package deal best suits your vacation needs, consider full-board or all-inclusive. It may seem more expensive at first, but the cost of the food (and often the alcohol) of your vacation is managed before you even board the flight. Some destinations also offer sightseeing tour and attraction packages, where you can save money by purchasing tickets in advance.
With all that vacation planning, try to leave some room for impulsive, last-minute decisions. This could mean joining a new guided tour based on recommendations, or maybe the opposite for something you want to avoid. In these circumstances, flexible tickets with free cancellation can be very useful and relatively cheap.
Save money with a staycation?
Many of us will consider a holiday in the UK to save a bit of money, but with the cost of rail travel and sky-high petrol prices, a stay can often cost more. Especially if you’re traveling to the warmer climes of the Southwest or the country’s many beautiful coastlines.
Get travel insurance just in case
It is important to take out travel insurance at the time of booking in case you need to cancel your trip. Your policy also covers the cost of emergency medical treatment and gives you financial protection against loss or theft of your luggage and belongings. Crucially, you can customize your policy to suit your destination and the type of vacation you are planning.