Just because money is tight, it doesn’t mean you have to scrimp on holiday quality; instead, look into ways you can cut unnecessary corners and pull back some pounds.

I love holidays, and because of that I go away a lot. I can’t always afford it, but I’ve mastered the art of finding a bargain, which means I can get away more often. There are many ways to do this, and it just takes a bit of patience. The best way I’ve found is to be flexible.

By this, I mean be prepared to fly from wherever has the cheapest fare, within reason of course. When I lived in the UK my nearest airport was East Midlands, but I’d fly from Manchester more often, because I found cheaper flights from there, and even combined with travel, it still works out less generally. I’d also book hotels near Manchester Airport too, because I found many flights are at stupid o’clock, and taxis are ridiculously priced, trains don’t run at that time, and coaches go around too many houses. Staying overnight means I’m refreshed and raring to go, and this is a service that doesn’t break the bank. When you’re saving money in other areas, you are allowed a few treats.

A Skyscanner search will show you where the cheapest flights are, and sometimes going indirect can save you a large amount. Yes, it’s a bit of a hassle, but you can find flights with connections that are only around two hours apart, and as long as you have enough time to catch your connection, this is a good way to save money.

Once you’ve booked, be sure to stay abreast of any developments by checking out real-time information on your airport; for example, I would be constantly glued checking Manchester Airport departures for the few days before I’m due to jet off, finding out useful information, checking my flight details, and it also helps get me holiday ready.

The flight is usually the most expensive part of any holiday, and you’ll find this is also the part that offers the most stress, because you can’t move it – a flight will leave when scheduled, not when you want it to! Once that part is out of the way however, it’s time to look into where you’re going to stay, and to save money here I would recommend two options – firstly, always go with a site like Sunshine, Travel Republic, Booking.com etc, as you’ll find the best deals on sites like these. Secondly, put some thought into your board basis – if you have children, an all inclusive deal might be the way to go, however if you’re happy to eat in a little, or like exploring restaurants, then it’s self-catering all the way. I personally like the freedom of self-catering, because apartments can be found quite cheaply and you’re free to bring food and drink into your room, meaning you don’t have restrictions. You can easily work within a budget this way too.

Getting from the airport to your hotel/apartment need not be an expensive business either, with shuttle bus services working out very cheap if you do your research. If there are a lot of you, consider booking a private transfer and splitting the cost, as this could work out very cheap indeed.

Your holiday won’t suffer for your bargain hunting, and whilst you’re away you can enjoy your break much more, knowing you have a little spare to spend.

Feature photo credit: Robert S. Donovan via photopin cc