If you’re craving a well-deserved break this summer, you’re not alone. Not only does the rapid cost of living mean we’re acutely more aware of how much we’re spending, but most of us are scrambling around for the cash to fund the summer holiday that we’re long overdue.
In fact, research shows that flights could cost up to 70% more this year compared to last, while package deals to some of our favourite destination - think Italy, Spain and Greece - have shot up 20% to 30%.
It’s no wonder that lower-cost destinations in Europe have gone viral and hacked its way into the mainstream. Millions are already flocking to Albania this summer, optimistically described as the Maldives of Europe. It’s no surprise with beaches that rival nearby Greece, as well as hotels costing a fraction of the price of other European summer hotspots.
What this all tells us, is that despite rampant rises in costs, younger generations continue to prioritise spending on trips this summer. But how are they doing it?
We spoke to three women to get their best tips on saving for holidays. So read on if you’d like to get away this summer but aren’t sure how to make it fit with your budget.
Name: Maddie Pope
Job title: Student
What's your best advice when saving for a holiday?
"It’s a cliché, but every little really does help. My income in the past few years has varied month-to-month (I’m a student just graduating, starting my first full-time job after the summer). As soon as money came into my account, I would always send a minimum to my holiday fund, as little as £5 sometimes. But other times as much as £100 on occasion.
“If this is something you find hard to remember to do, automate your savings. Set up a direct debit to yourself for every payday - this has worked wonders for me. I also take advantage of the option to round up my purchases for my savings. Monzo has this option, as do other banks, and I’ve literally tucked away hundreds of pounds which I’ve used for holidays. The saying goes that the pennies really do look after the pounds, and these tools make it so easy.”
Do you budget as you go along?
“Yes! In a bid to not eat into my holiday savings, I established a personal weekly budget for myself. Every Friday, my everyday spending account gets a new cash injection. I find working to a weekly budget (rather than a monthly budget) helps me stay on top of things and spot where I’m spending too much. It’s easier to curb bad spending habits that way.
"I also have separate bank account for different parts of my life to keep things simple. I’ve got a Monzo account for my everyday purchases, and another one for all bills, and another for my income.”
Any final top tips?
"Don’t be fooled by supermarket offers! I used to be a devout Tesco Clubcard price follower, but then one week I did my shop at a much cheaper alternative. I literally halved my weekly food outgoings and put what I would have spent on food at Tesco into my holiday fund."
Name: Charlotte Brattinga
Job title: Freelance Buyer
What’s your best advice for saving for a holiday?
“I’d say that as soon as you’re thinking of booking a holiday, put an X percentage of your salary into your savings account as soon as you receive it.It’s also about being smart with your research too. You can save a ton of money that way and make your budget stretch further.
“If you’re going for a week, let’s say, try to plan it Wednesday to Wednesday, because flights and trains tend to be more expensive at the weekend. If you can, book your accommodation directly via a hotel’s website, often Airbnb and Booking.com will add a little to cover their costs. And when you’re looking on sites like Airbnb, use their adjusting dates function. You can look at prices over a three day period, for example, and this can often adjust the overall cost of your trip.”
Are there any particular tools you use to keep track of how much you're saving?
"Many banks provide online banking platforms that allow you to track your transactions, view spending patterns, and set savings goals. These tools often have built-in budgeting and savings tracking features. I also try to be super realistic about the location - sometimes a four day trip to a nearby city can be as expensive as a two week holiday to Asia. Make sure to truly compare and book accordingly. Sometimes the shorter the trip, the more the budget."
Name: Daisy Morris
Job title: Social Strategist
What’s your best advice when saving for a holiday?
“First off, it helps to know how much you need to save. What kind of trip do you want to go on? Renting somewhere with friends can cut costs, but if you want to go to a particular hotspot, or to a festival let’s say, it’s going to add up.
“Once you’ve got your required budget sorted, have a look at how much you’re spending on a weekly or monthly basis, and identify areas where you can cut back. Look for a budgeting app or create your own spreadsheet to keep track of your outgoings, including bills, food and fun.”
How would you suggest cutting back on what you currently spend?
“There are so many free or cheap activities in London in the summer, like museums, cooking at friends’ places, or grabbing some drinks at the supermarket and having a picnic in the park with your mates. Cutting back a bit on your ‘normal’ activities will free up money that you can put aside towards your holiday. Get creative, and you can have just as much fun as eating at a fancy restaurant, plus you’ll save cash for your trip.”
Any final hacks?
“I set my phone screensaver as pics of things I want to save for (mainly holiday destinations) so when I go to tap Apple Pay, I’m reminded of what I’m saving for!”