Save Money on Your 2015 Summer Holiday


Jan 09, 2015 by James

With a new year comes... summer holiday adverts. Now that winter has its grip firmly on the nation, we are starting to dream of sunny breaks abroad, but the prices can be eye watering.

Thankfully, there are ways to save cash while still enjoying a great holiday: here are some of the best.

1. When it comes to arranging your holiday, you may be able to save money by booking your hotel and flights separately, as opposed to booking a package getaway. In the past, this would have been risky, because travel operators were generally covered by ATOL and ABTA, whereas booking a holiday under your own steam meant you didn't have that coverage. Since 2012, however, ATOL protection has been extended to cover your holiday if you book the flights and hotel from the same travel operator (but not if you book with an airline), even if those are not part of a package deal. You do, however, have to have booked the flight and accommodation within 24-hours of each other to qualify.

2. When you compare holidays, do remember to compare like-for-like, and factor in any extras you may need such as babysitting services, kids' clubs and so on. These can cost a great deal if purchased when on holiday.

3. If you know exactly what sort of holiday you want, you may be able to save money by booking early - many travel operators offer deals in the new year. However, if you can be a bit more flexible, and in particular, if you are not restricted by school holiday dates, you can perhaps save even more by booking late - i.e. within two months of departure. At this point your choice will be greatly restricted, but the deals available can be fantastic.

4. If you are restricted by school holiday dates, look for deals on dates towards the end of August - most people, it seems, want to jet off as soon as school breaks up so these dates can be cheaper.

5. Swapping hotel accommodation for self-catering, house swapping or camping can all save you money.

6. When you travel (and when you come back, souvenirs in hand) do make sure you check your baggage weight and don't exceed your allowance. Excess baggage charges earn airlines a fortune every year.

7. Save up for your holiday and, if you book it on a credit card, make sure you pay it off when the statement comes in. Just one month's interest charge can add hundreds to a family holiday.

8. If you are going abroad, check whether your bank will charge you for cashpoint, debit or credit card transactions overseas. This will help you to work out the most cost effective way to take and spend money on holiday.

9. Make sure your European Health Insurance Card is still valid: you may need to renew it.

10. When buying travel insurance, look at the small print. Insurance, however cheap, is pointless if it doesn't pay out. Common exclusions include events occurring under the influence of alcohol, missed flights and activities like horse riding, trekking and hiking.