I have a rule. I will never get into debt for a holiday. As far as I’m concerned, a holiday is a privilege and not something I feel entitled to, so if I cant pay for it up front, I don’t go.
Now, this is a pretty challenging strategy when you’re as shit at saving as I am. This is party due to a crippling Masters loan repayment plan (due to be paid off next year, hurrah!), and partly because I am crapola with money. However, I’ve managed to make it work when it comes to holidays, despite the fact we ALL know that holidayiong solo comes with its own, niche way of slamming your wallet. Single supplement anyone? So thought I’d share my own personal money-saving tips when holidaying solo.
- Consider booking direct with your desired hotel. Booking.com isnt always the cheapest option, and making direct contact can also help to ensure that your special requirements (…”on the top floor please so I don’t worry about randoms wandering in off the street while I’m in a drunken yet peaceful slumber”…) are catered for.
- Put a photo of your holiday destination in your wallet. You’ll see it every time you open it to buy that morning latte, and perhaps think twice.
- Create one of those wanky Excel spreadsheets and put your monthly budget in it. I have one, complete with formulae. Yeah, I know. Sounds excessive BUT it means you are given a heads up if you’re likely to be in a deficit at the end of the month, and to rectify that before the worst happens.
- Split the whole process into stages. If you focus on saving for your flights first, it seems more manageable. If you can, book the flights as soonas you have saved the cash. Then you wont be tempted to fritter it away AND most flights are non-refundable so THAT’s your impetus for saving for the accommodation. Unless you fancy setting up camp underneath a bench in Central Park?
- Most airlines offer holiday packages, meaning you can pay a deposit to secure it, and pay the rest off in monhtly chunks. Travel agents do the same thing…but how old hat are they?! My housemate recommenede Flightcentre as a good place to visit – they put together personalised packages and whatnot…
So there you have it. Now I’m off to take my own advice and update my own budget spreadsheet with an overpriced £3.00 bottle of mini wine I just bought from my local Rip-Off Merchant, *AHEM*, I mean, convenience store.