Many of us are busy planning our summer holidays at the moment, but with the cost of living crisis continuing to bite, keeping spending down is likely to be a top priority.


Despite most of us feeling the pinch, holiday companies have reported a surge in holiday bookings in recent weeks, with Easyjet claiming that 60% of its holidays this summer were sold by the end of January.

If you’re thinking about booking a holiday in the next few weeks, here are our top tips on arranging a getaway that won’t break the bank.

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Can you be flexible on dates?

If you’re planning a holiday abroad this summer, make sure you pick the day you fly carefully, as costs can vary widely depending on which day you travel. For example, when we used global travel search website Skyscanner’s ‘whole month’ search tool to find the cheapest day to travel to Malaga in July, we found a flight for just £37 departing on the 17th. The cheapest flight to the same destination later that week on the 22st cost more than double this at £77.

You don’t have to buy travel insurance from your holiday provider

Travel cover offered via your holiday company won’t necessarily be the most cost-effective option so it’s essential to shop around and compare quotes from a wide range of different providers before buying.

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The simplest way to compare travel policies is to use comparison sites such as uSwitch, or Remember that it’s vital to buy cover as soon as you book your holiday, so you’ll have peace of mind your costs should be covered if you have to cancel it.

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Don’t buy travel money at the airport

Airport bureaux de changes tend to offer really uncompetitive exchange rates, so you’ll usually be much better off either ordering your travel money in advance, or waiting until you get to your destination and getting cash out there.

If you’re planning to use plastic to pay for things or make withdrawals, check the charges for overseas use, as these can mount up quickly if you use your card a lot while you’re away. The best credit cards to use while you’re away are the Barclaycard Rewards Visa card which doesn’t charge any fees or interest on spending and overseas cash withdrawals, as long as you repay what you owe in full, and the Halifax Clarity credit card, which has no fees on overseas spending or withdrawals, but which does charge interest on cash withdrawals until they’re paid off.

Pack light

Most airlines impose steep charges for each bag that goes in the hold, so if you are able to reduce the amount you take with you, or limit yourselves to one suitcase between two of you, it could help reduce your holiday spending. If you’re concerned about going over the permitted weight allowance if you’re sharing a bag, wear your heaviest clothes and shoes as this could help you stay under the limit.


Pay for car hire now rather than later

If you’re planning to hire a car while you’re away, you can cut your costs by booking early. Car hire excess insurance provider looked into the costs of hiring a medium compact car from 29 July to 5 August 2023 in seven European destinations. Six car hire companies’ costs were researched. Across the destinations, the average price to hire a car was £578, if booked and paid for in January 2023. If you wait to pay until pick-up, however, the cost jumps on average to £699, an increase of £121.