Get a bargain beach house or cheap city pad this summer
Picking a rental property over a pricey hotel may sound like the best way to holiday on a budget, but if you don’t do your research you could find yourself paying Four Seasons prices for a falling-apart barn.
Read on for some savvy tips on keeping costs down and you’ll be living the local life in style this summer—without paying a premium.
From cosy cottages perfect for couples to vast villas fit for an epic family reunion, you can find every type of holiday property on rental sites such as Homeaway, wherever you choose to go. But rather than going straight to the center of town, take some time to research your holiday destination. Is there a cool, up-and-coming neighborhood where rental prices are lower? You’ll often find the best deals here, as well as easy access to the trendy bars and restaurants. Don’t forget to make the most of your host or landlord too and ask for their insider tips on the most underrated things to see, do and eat in their hometown. They're usually more than happy to share their favorite places!
While searching for your dream vacation pad, try to be flexible on dates. Prices for flights and rentals can be a staggering nine times higher during school holidays, so skip the August peak season if you can and aim to travel in June before schools finish or late September after the kids go back. If you have to travel between these months, it pays to be organized. Try to book your accommodation as far in advance as possible and be super flexible on dates to bag your bargain.
Stay aware of big events in your destination too, as sporting finals, festivals, and parades can trigger huge price hikes—as well as meaning you’ll potentially be sharing the packed bars and restaurants with crowds of chanting football fans!
Once you’ve got the right dates and narrowed down your search area, it’s time to keep track of those sneaky hidden costs. From admin fees to excess baggage charges, they can add up and push your trip from budget to blow-out. Avoid the cost by packing less (try channeling the current minimalist style), picking a pad with a washing machine, and eating breakfast at home to save on those criminally expensive cafe croissants and coffee.
Finally, before you pack those bags and jet off abroad, remember to sort out your family travel insurance in case of any unexpected hitches. From cancelled flights to medical bills, what started as a bargain budget holiday can quickly get expensive if you haven't got coverage! This way, you can kick back, relax and enjoy your holiday to the fullest without worrying about any potential costly issues.