It’s cold, it’s dark, it’s stressful, that’s winter for you. But it’s also the perfect time to start thinking about booking your lads / girls holiday! Not only is it a good way to motivate yourselves through these miserable months, but it also means you can get in on some good ‘early bird’ deals – and let’s face it, you need all the savings you can get.
So other than booking early, here’s a few ways you and your mates can save money on a lads or girls holiday this summer:
1. Discuss budget with friends – First things first, create a group chat with your friends. This gets everyone gathered in one place so you can discuss a budget that you’re all comfortable with. It’s important to remember that everyone has different amounts to play with due to what you earn or what you’ve saved, so you need to find the middle ground and come to a reasonable price.
2. Don’t book with travel agents – These guys offer big package deals that can be unnecessarily expensive. Websites like Travel Republic or Expedia are usually far cheaper and more customisable. It’s also worth looking into booking flights and hotel separately, as sometimes this can shave even more money off! You really can save a lot if you just take the time to research.
3. Don’t be afraid to haggle – With companies like teletext where you can book over the phone, there is a possibility they will reduce their price. Think about it like this; they don’t want to miss out on selling a holiday to a group of 8 or more (THAT’S BIG BUCKS!). Therefore, don’t settle for the first price, tell them what you were hoping to pay and maybe they can do you a deal!
4. Don’t splash out on insurance – There are so many companies out there that sell holiday insurance for under £20, and still have you covered on all the necessities. There really is no need to be paying more than that unless you are planning to go on holiday more than once in a year. If that is the case, it could be worth buying an insurance package that covers you for the whole year – it can work out cheaper than buying insurance on two separate occasions.
5. Travel light – Most holiday deals do include luggage, but if it’s something you have to add on then consider exactly how much room you will need. A great tip here is for everyone in your group to take the smaller, cabin size cases (which are free), and only pay for a few bigger suitcases between all of you. This is a really good technique to save on luggage costs as most of the time you’ll find people have paid for big cases, but they’re half empty. It’s also handy if you’re in a sticky situation where one of the cases have gone missing, because at least then you’ll still have something to wear while the airline locate your belongings.
6. Consider all food and drink options – What board option you go for really depends on your hotel, how much time you think you’ll be spending there and how much the restaurants surrounding you cost. Most people will go for the half board option, or even just breakfast, as it reduces the hotel price drastically and you’re out for most of the day anyway.
However, don’t rule out all inclusive just yet. Yes, it is a more expensive option upfront (sometimes not all that much though), but it may save you money in the long run. This is because it means you won’t need to constantly visit supermarkets and restaurants – so no paying for service charge or for a taxi to get to these places if they’re out of the way. It also means you can pre-drink at the hotel and get as tipsy as you want before your big night out!
7. Don’t restrict your hotel choices to 5 star – You may be used to living in luxury on family holidays, but for a holiday with your friends, it just isn’t necessary. A 3 star hotel is usually perfect as, like I said before, 90% of the time you won’t even be in your hotel room. The fundamental things you need to look out for in a hotel are as follows:
- It needs to be clean
- Have working , hygienic bathroom facilities
- A comfortable bed
- Decent food (if you’ve opted to eat there)
- And a good pool for chilling around during the day
If it has all that then you’re sorted.
8. Hotel location – Having a hotel near the strip/ nightlife / attractions saves you money on paying for taxis (even though they are quite cheap when there’s a lot of you). Although, make sure you’re not so close that you can’t get any peace and quiet – a 15 minute walk is a good distance. Trip advisor is your best friend for choosing the location as you can filter through reviews easily to find out how far the hotel is from important places.
9. Share toiletries – There is absolutely no need for everyone in your room to bring a shower gel and shampoo each. Instead, assign everyone a few toiletries to bring and split the costs. It’s only a small saving but every little helps.
10. Holiday Wardrobe – If you are planning on buying a whole new summer wardrobe then I can’t stop you. We’re all guilty of it. But what I will say is only buy what you absolutely need (6 bikinis really isn’t necessary). Also use cheaper shops like Primark, they can have great beach and clubbing outfits from £5! An extra tip for girls is if you find an expensive bikini you like, but can only afford the top, go to Primark to buy the bottoms as they sell them in plain colours from £1. It also looks a lot nicer to mix pattern with plain.
11. Watch out for pickpockets – There are always people on every strip ready to take advantage of drunken tourists, so be mindful of the people around you. You’re also going to come across a lot of locals trying to sell you random stuff, which can be good if your sunglasses just broke, but what might seem like a good idea when you’re drunk won’t be so good when you wake up the next morning with 20 euros less and a pink light up tiara on your head.
12. Buy party tickets before you get there – Make sure you pre-book tickets as they are cheaper to order online rather than buying them in resort. Plus in peak times they get sold out quickly, and you don’t want to be the only ones missing out on the big events. There’s also the option to buy party packages where you pay a large sum but you get access to all the best events. This is a great deal if you and your mates are proper party animals.
However, a lot of people find it better to buy only a few tickets and then just enjoy the clubs and bars on the strip (which in a lot of places are free entry). It’s a lot more exciting not knowing where the night will take you.
13. Cheap booze – If you are pre-drinking on the strip, or just simply want cheap drinks, then look out for the smaller bars that have good deals. These are usually located at the start of the strip, just before the main clubs, so make sure these are your first stop on a night out. Also look out for empty bars as they usually make you ridiculously good offers just to get more people in. You can end up with a giant fish bowl as well as 3 drinks per person for about 10 euros each!
If you have any other holiday money saving tips for the guys and gals then comment below!