Summer is finally here, and with it comes the excitement of planning your much-anticipated holidays. As you eagerly browse through Instagram, checking out sandy beaches or ancient ruins in your favourite historical city, it's essential to keep one thing in mind: your budget.

While summer is a time for exploration, relaxation, and making incredible memories, you also don't want to find yourself drowning in debt or having to miss out on experiences if you find yourself out pocket. 

In this blog, we'll share key money-saving tips to help you make the most of your summer holiday budget, allowing you to bungee jump, hike Machu Picchu, or sit on a white-sand beach drinking pina coladas, all without breaking the bank. 🙌

Here are five money-saving tips to make the most of your summer holiday budget 💰

  1. Plan and budget

Before booking anything and getting too carried away, take the time to create a realistic budget. A budget doesn’t have to be limiting — it’s about planning ahead so you can travel worry-free while keeping your finances in check. 

First, identify your main expenses such as transport, accommodation, meals, and entertainment. Research and compare prices to get an idea of how much you need to save.  Check out Blackbullion’s Budget Decision Tree blog to help you make your summer budget spreadsheet. 😎

Next, set aside an amount of money each month leading up to your holiday — the earlier you start, the better. You can set up an automatic payment from your bank account to your savings or ‘pots’ to make managing your funds even easier. 

Lastly, be aware of hidden costs like tourist taxes, entrance and service fees when outlining your budget. Those small charges can really sneak up on you. In other words, always read the small print! 

  1. Track flight prices

Plane tickets are often a major expense when it comes to summer travel. To get the best deal on your flights, use flight tracking tools and websites. 

These platforms allow you to monitor and compare prices for different airlines and routes over time. By tracking flight prices, you can identify trends, find the best time to book, and potentially save a substantial amount of money.

Here are a few popular flight-tracking websites and apps:

Remember to be flexible with your travel dates and consider nearby airports, as they may offer lower fares. Also, booking your flights well in advance or at the last minute can sometimes lead to significant savings, so keep an eye on the price trends and strike when the timing is right. ✈️

  1. Accommodation alternatives 

The days of overpriced and out-of-budget hotels are long behind us. Look beyond traditional hotels and consider alternative options to save money.

Websites such as Airbnb, Hostelworld and Couchsurfing offer affordable alternatives that can help you stay within your budget. Trusted Housesitters is another cheap way to travel. It’s free — but you may have to look after a furry friend or two. 

Shared accommodations, such as hostels, not only provide cost savings but also give you a chance to meet fellow travellers and potential new friends. 🧑🏼‍🤝‍🧑🏾 Safety should always be a priority, so be sure to read reviews and references prior to booking. 

  1. Cook your meals

Eating out can quickly deplete your holiday budget. Instead of dining at restaurants for every meal, consider cooking some of your meals yourself. 

If you're staying in accommodation with kitchen facilities like AirBnB, take advantage of local markets and grocery stores to prepare your meals. Not only will this save you money, but it can also be a fun way to explore local ingredients and dishes.

Hostels will often organise group dinners for free, or at a much cheaper cost to dining out. It’s also a great way to interact with the other guests and meet a new travel partner. 

You can also use a budget calculator to determine a daily food budget when travelling. Travel Money also offers a holiday budget calculator for any city in the world. 🌍  

  1. Take advantage of student discounts

As a student, you have access to a wide range of discounts and deals. Websites like Student Beans and UniDays are great for everyday discounts, but keep an eye out for holiday deals too. 

Always carry your student ID card and inquire about student discounts at attractions, museums, theatres, and transport services. Many popular tourist destinations offer reduced prices or special student offers, so be sure to take advantage of those where you can find them. 

You can also look into purchasing city passes or attraction bundles, which often provide discounted entry to multiple attractions. If you’re travelling through the UK, grab a 16-25 Railcard to save on a big chunk of the cost of train tickets. 

  1. Travel local

Going abroad will inevitably be pricier than staying within your home country. If you can’t afford a holiday outside of the UK, there are plenty of cool spots to see right at your doorstep. Consider city trips to Liverpool, Newcastle or Bath; all are great options for getting to know your country. You can travel by car, train or bus, which don’t cost nearly as much as a flight. 

Summer holiday planning should be fun and exciting, and not a time of anxiety. By planning ahead and sticking to your budget, tracking flights, finding alternatives for accommodation, cooking as much as you can, and taking advantage of student discounts, you should be able to enjoy your summer holiday money worry-free. 🏖️

Looking for more ways to make your money last? Check out these helpful resources on our blog: 

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