If you spend any time on social media you may feel as though all your friends are enjoying lavish Mediterranean cruises or indulgent beach breaks in the Caribbean that are way out of your price range.
Their pictures may be making last year’s camping trip to Skegness in the rain feel a little less than luxurious, but if you’re looking for a little pampering on a limited budget there are ways of spoiling yourself without spending millions. Here are some handy tips:
1. Book off-peak
It’s amazing how much you can save if you take your holidays when most people are chained to their desks (which might just make you feel extra smug!) and the kids are all at school. If you are able to be flexible about travel days and holiday destinations you could bag yourself a real bargain with plenty of scope for added luxury, especially if you book close to the departure date. It can be really nice to get away when the weather at home isn’t so great and enjoy whatever sunshine the UK has to offer at peak times.
2. Go off the beaten track
If you want a real treat but don’t want to pay through the nose for it, why not head somewhere a little more obscure? You’ll often find that the hidden gems are cheaper, less crowded and give you a really unforgettable experience. Countries like Albania and Croatia, for example, have a huge amount to offer at a fraction of the price of other nearby nations such as Italy and Greece. It’s worth considering cheaper alternatives that will give you more bang for your buck. Ask friends for recommendations of more unusual destinations they have visited and fallen in love with.
3. Plan your accommodation carefully
It’s possible to book really high-end places to stay at low prices if you play your cards right. Websites like airbnb.co.uk will give you lots of options to suit your budget, whether you are looking for a luxury villa for a big group or a boutique apartment for a honeymoon holiday. Other sites like hoteltonight.com will give you cut-price rooms for the same day if you don’t mind booking at the last minute or moving about a bit. Some package holidays will include benefits such as hot tubs or spa facilities at very reasonable prices, so do your research before you book. It may also be worth asking if any extras or upgrades are available. If you don’t ask you’ll never know!
4. Talk to the locals
If you’re staying somewhere and it feels as though there’s something lacking, make some new friends and find out how to get the most out of your holiday destination. Local people might know of a secluded beach for a romantic date, a fantastic restaurant for a birthday celebration or the best ice cream parlour in town for a bit of family fun. They may know about an amazing day trip that will take your breath away or tell you about a local event or festival you didn’t know was taking place. These snippets of insider information could make the difference between a good holiday and a great one.
5. Make the most of your time
The greatest luxury we have is time, so enjoy every minute of your trip. Read a good book without feeling guilty, eat an exquisite meal without watching the waistline and soak up every bit of beauty and culture you see on your travels. Hang out with friends and family, or treat your new local friends to a day out. Why not avoid the popular tourist hangouts and try some local delicacies? You’ll almost certainly get more for your money as well as a more authentic experience. Keep a bit of money tucked aside for treats and for tipping those who go the extra mile to make your holiday super special. You don’t have to spend a fortune to enjoy a wonderful holiday, whether you’re heading somewhere exotic or taking a more local break with a few added extras. There are plenty of great deals out there (and within these pages) to inspire you. Bon voyage!