With the current economic downturn showing little sign of recovery it is not surprising that many people are looking to spend as little as possible on their summer holiday this year. Although our appetite for sunshine, rest and relaxation remains undiminished, the amount we can afford to spend is not as much as it used to be, and travel operators are seeing a surge in enquiries for budget holiday options. Here is an introductory guide to where you can find great holiday deals at low costs.
Low cost package holidays
All-inclusive holidays are an attractive option for anyone who wants to know exactly how much their holiday will cost, and doesn’t want to go over budget. Knowing the full budget of your holiday from the very beginning means that you will be less likely to waste money on extras. A good all-inclusive package can make a great summer holiday deal, and should include most of the following: breakfast (usually buffet), local drinks and snacks, gym and swimming pools, children’s club and entertainment.
An all-inclusive low cost package holiday is only cheap if you are going to be using all of these amenities most of the time. If you are the kind of person who wants to get out of the hotel everyday and explore the town’s restaurants, shops and bars, this type of holiday might not be the best for you. Most of the major travel companies offer all-inclusive holidays, the most well known are First Choice, Thomas Cook, Virgin Holidays and Kuoni.
Another staple of the budget holiday market is the self-catering cottage or holiday villa. Not only does this option offer great value for money, but you can also benefit from greater privacy and flexibility than with a hotel-based holiday. The possibilities are endless, whether it is a ski chalet in Switzerland, a rural cottage in the north of England, or a luxury villa in Spain, there is affordable self-catering holiday accommodation available all over the world.
Sun seekers, sightseers, hikers and campers can find a budget holiday to suit them outside of the package holiday all-inclusive template. Within the UK itself there are a great many cottages available for holiday makers. In a survey by the consumer advice magazine Which?, Helpful Holidays and Classic Cottages both scored highly for value for money and were rated as Which’s recommended self catering cottage providers.
The airlines that offer the most value for money
If you are staying in self-catering accommodation overseas, or don’t want to go with a package deal, you will need to find cheap flights. There are numerous budget airlines, and the ones you can choose from will be dictated by your destination and local airport. However, it is worth bearing in mind that the cheapest advertised ticket price doesn’t necessarily mean that it is the most value for money option available. Which? magazine’s readers recommended Swiss Air, Turkish Airlines, Aer Lingus and Lufthansa in a survey of short-haul airlines. Ryan Air, Thomas Cook and Thomson Holiday Airlines all scored badly.
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