It's July in Ireland and we are still searching for summer. We've had some warmth, but it's that sunshine we all crave, right? We all know that a budgeted getaway than no getaway at all so here are our top tips for bronzing it up without spending the earth.
Booking your holiday
Use websites like Skyscanner and Booking.com :
If you're booking on a budget, definitely book it yourself. Use websites like Skyscanner for flights and Booking.com for accommodation rather than using an agent. You can save a little and tailor your holiday to your own needs.
Or get an AirB&B:
Unless you get a good deal on an aparthotel, AirB&B is definitely the way to go. First, have a look at the cheapest flights and then look up houses/apartments according to this. Being able to self cater is a massive saving to your wallet.
When searching online for deals always use an incognito window. Many believe that prices go up when your Internet history is aware that you've been looking at the same flights.
Don't totally dismiss travel agents deals:
Although it is usually cheaper to book it yourself online, travel agents can have some really good deals, especially if you're booking it last minute. However, they do tend to be for specific weeks, but still worth a look.
Budget travel tends to have some good deals this time of year.
Ask if any of your mates have secret holiday villas anywhere:
Without the cost of accommodation, you have more cash in your pocket for spending expenses. This is a bit of an unlikely one, but always worth a try...
Go for a shorter amount of time:
When we think of a summer holiday, we usually think of at least a week. If you don't have the cash for that long just go for three or four nights, it's definitely better than nothing. Fly to places like Spain, Portugal or France as they won't eat up too much of your time flying.
Before you go
Plan your outfits
Plan your outfits for every day, and don't bring anything extra. Pack pieces that are versatile and can be used with multiple outfits. Be especially harsh with shoes, as they're what weighs the most and add to your travel baggage expenses.
Bring a 10kg carry-on
Don't book a check-in bag, just bring a small 10kg carry-on suitcase. Summer clothes are light, so be harsh with yourself and just bring what you need.
Weigh your bags before you leave
Don't get caught out at the airport with an over-weight bag, it will cost you a fortune. Weigh your bags at home and adjust accordingly. If you don't have one of those fancy hook things that weigh your bag, do what I do and hop on the scales holding it (although before a holiday this sometimes isn't the best idea for that bikini body confidence)
Don't pay extra to sit beside your mates
Some airlines enjoy taking your cash so you can sit with your family and friends. Save that extra dough and have an enjoyable flight by yourself listening to some tunes or reading a book.
I know when going on holiday it's ideal to not have to think about money, but personally, I prefer a holiday on a budget then no holiday at all. So, be scabby from the start of your trip, and don't get stuck at the airport.
Bring your own snacks and water
We all know how pricey airport food can be are so pretend you're a child on a school trip again and pack that lunch. Also, bring a reusable empty water bottle to save your cash (and the environment) on buying bottled water.
Avoid the duty-free
Don't even look, because you'll be tempted. Remember something is only a bargain if you NEED it, not just because it's cheaper than normal.
At your destination
Switch off your data
Many providers have free EU roaming data for their customers, but make sure to check this out before you go abroad! And if they don't or you're outside the EU, as soon as you get off the plane switch it off. You'd be surprised how much it can add up, also it's nice to be internet free for a while when on your hols.
Drink the local drink
If you're going on a party holiday, or even just enjoy a few quiet drinks at night, this will save you so much. Choose local wine and draught beer and expect to save major bucks. However, if you're a spirit drinker be careful with drinking the local spirits. You all know what we mean!
Don't eat out for every meal
I swear when I go on holidays this is where all my cash goes. On your first day do a grocery shop in a big local supermarket and pick one meal a day to eat out for. If you are really budgeting make all your own meals in your holiday apartment and treat yourself to the odd meal out.
Eat away from the tourist streets
I know this is easier said than done, but honestly, if you look for places to eat that aren't directly in the tourist area, expect to save a good bit. Also, you usually get a tastier local meal out of it.
Get those drinks in the apartment before hitting the town!
Leave your ATM card at home
Leave your ATM card at home and just bring out your budget for that day, because if you don't physically have it how can you spend it? (Make sure there is a safe in your hotel or apartment before taking out a large sum of cash)
Do the free stuff
If you're the adventurous type and hate sunbathing all day, check out what free things around you are on offer. You will be surprised by what you can find with just a little research.
Talk to locals
Ask locals what things there are to do for free. Ask locals everything, to be honest! Ask them about the cheapest bars, restaurants, museums, whatever it is. They will also know all the best spots.
So, if you're struggling to stay in Ireland this summer and want to go on a cheap getaway, have a look at your finances and write out exactly what you will need for a trip. Bronzing abroad is possible!
Featured image: Savs via Unsplash
Read more: #IMAGEReads: Five new books to look forward to in June
Read more: Surviving the elements at an Irish music festival
Read more: 11 summer outfits I want to recreate from Instagram