Summer has arrived and with it the longing for adventure. Everyone is looking for the latest deals and hoping to bag a bargain.
I myself have just returned from the serene Dominican Republic and as a student, this is mainly met with questioning glances of how exactly I am spending my student loan in order to afford such a luxury. But I (like many) am a savvy holiday shopper and I am here to share the secrets...
So for any student whose going through the struggles of organising a group holiday, sit back and follow these tips and tricks.
- The best time to book holidays is either the year before, late deals or mid-May.
Mid-May is where I bagged two weeks, all inclusive 4* June holiday to the Caribbean for a mere £800. Sounds costly, right? Wrong. A week in Greece is such this price at the moment and the same holiday has shot up to near £2000.
I booked this holiday mid-May about 8-12 weeks before I was due to fly. The only issue with purchasing this way is you need the money there and then as no deposit can be placed. If you have savings this option is perfect. If you want to pay off a holiday in instalments, opt for booking a year in advance.
- Keep an eye on the price over a few days, the price can fluctuate...a lot!
This is especially handy when booking mid-season e.g. May. If you start your search early in May you can gather a mini price guideline which equips you in finding the best deal. Keep an eye on the price over the next couple of weeks and trust your gut when it comes to the lowest price. If common sense tells you it’s a great deal then BOOK NOW.
- Book on a weekday and avoid Bank holiday weekend
Weekdays tend to be cheaper than weekends as many people tend to holiday search on the weekend when they’re not at work or university. Equally, do not book on bank holidays or near a major celebration as prices tend to rocket.
- Look for holidays on a Wednesday
Third party holiday sites such as Lowcostholidays etc. change their prices on Tuesday’s so in order to keep up with the competition, reputable companies such as Thomson, British Airways etc. follow suit on Wednesday.
- Clear your browsing history- sometimes this can lower costs per person!
Listing sites such as Holidaypirates.com (follow them also on Facebook) are great for receiving the latest deals on holidays. They do all the hard searching for you and present their findings on their easy to use website. These listings range from long weekends to two weeks, all inclusive and are all from reputable companies. They are a site definitely worth a visit.
Strapped for cash? Hostels and apartments are a great alternative, especially in Europe. Such places are overtaking hotel numbers when it comes to tourism and are increasing in reputation for cleanliness and modern aesthetic. Gone are the days of grime and lumpy beds, hostels have improved drastically over the last few years with most offering hotel standard accommodation for a fraction of the price. If you don’t want to share with strangers there are many hostels out there that boasting private rooms for solo travellers or families.
Top Tip: Having to find local cafes and restaurants is a great way to immerse yourself in the true feel of a country and with a sandwich costing a couple of Euros, you can’t deny such an opportunity.
Airbnb is an ever growing platform to find cheap apartments in many countries throughout the world. Get into the thick of culture and life as you opt for an off the track view of some of the most spectacular places in the world.
Volunteering or working abroad is a great way to travel for months on end without spending a fortune. There are many companies out there offering work placements or volunteering opportunities, the most popular being Thailand and Camp America.
In Australia, there is a scheme for volunteers to work on a farm. The work you provide deems you eligible for accommodation and food, therefore the only cost being flights and spending money. If you want to truly understand how people live then this is definitely the way forward for you!