By Kate Sutton, blogger at Wit Wit Woo
I’ve spent some wonderful weekends away in the UK, but if I were to invest my hard-earned money on a longer holiday, I’d always opt for one abroad as there would be a slightly better chance of guaranteed sunshine.
And watching way too many programmes about buying exotic holiday homes – and even châteaux – means my standards are high.
Holidaying abroad can be an expensive business, so it’s a good idea to find ways of saving money throughout the rest of the year for that special week (or two if you’re lucky) in the sunshine. Here are six ways to save money for your summer holiday.
1. Ditch the café coffees
There’s something so decadent about buying a hot drink you haven’t had to make yourself. It’s cold? Treat yourself to a nice hot chocolate with cream on top. Hot outside? A fruity frappuccino will hit the spot. There is a coffee for every occasion – but at £2 plus for one cup, that’s a lot of money you’re spending. If you invest in a travel mug and make your own coffee at home, you’re already quids-in.
2. Cycle to work
Although my wardrobe lacks the requisite Lycra to be considered anything but very amateur, I’m a huge cycling fan – if I could, I would cycle everywhere. I currently spend approximately £30 a week on petrol, and if I didn’t have to navigate several motorways to get to work, I would jump at the chance of making my way there using pedal power. Instead, I cycle to the shops or when I’m visiting family and save money that way. Is there a Cycle to Work scheme at your workplace? It’s definitely worth investigating.
3. Revamp your wardrobe
There’s nothing more exciting than shopping for holiday clothes, but when you’re trying to save for the holiday itself, forking out for full-price summer shorts and sandals is crazy. Instead, go through your wardrobe and make a pile of clothes that you haven’t worn for a year, that don’t fit you any more, that you perhaps consider out of fashion, and sell them on eBay. And if the whole selling process is just too much hassle, follow my lead and find someone to do it for you. It’s a win/win – you might not make as much money as you would by doing it yourself, but it’s enough to buy a few new summer pieces for your wardrobe – and you can put the rest towards the holiday.
And while you’re in the selling mood, have a look around the house for unwanted toys and electronics and sell those too. You could easily make £100 or more with just a few clicks.
Royal London offers a range of life insurance products.
4. Shop around for flights
There are several schools of thought when it comes to buying flights. Book early for the best deals if you are flying short haul, but hold your nerve and wait until closer to your departure date if you are flying further afield. And this may be an urban myth, but try searching for and booking your flights by going ‘incognito’ or deleting the cookies on your computer. The internet remembers what you’re searching for and can adjust the prices accordingly. And one final tip – consider what day you’re flying. For example, you may well be penalised for flying out on a Friday during the school holidays, or rewarded for flying on a Saturday. Do your research, play around with dates and good luck in finding that elusive low-cost fare.
5. Dump the takeaways
If a family of four treat themselves to one takeaway a week, that adds up to hundreds and hundreds of pounds each year. Crazy, isn’t it? There are some fabulous ‘fakeaway’ recipes to be found online and although it will take up a little more of your precious time, just think about how much money you will be saving. You may even find yourself losing a few of the other type of pounds as well – another incentive to dump those takeaways.
6. Research your sun cream
Recent surveys have suggested that some high-cost branded sun creams aren’t as effective as their less expensive supermarket counterparts. Find out what to look for on the back of the tube or bottle, do some research on UV/UB rays to see which brand comes out on top, and you may just find yourself saving money on something that is essential but can prove expensive.
Now that you have budgeted carefully all year, it’s time to sit back, book that well-deserved holiday and soak up the sunshine.
Royal London offers a range of life insurance products. Find out more here.