This week I have been looking at gorgeous Villas across Europe and I have finally decided that we are going to go back to Lanzarote. Four and a half years ago we went to Lanzarote on our first ever holiday abroad as a family. Alison was only a few weeks old and we went for our honeymoon. To be fair it was a bit of a disaster as we booked before we realised I was pregnant and we actually wanted to go to Tunisia but taking a baby along just wasn’t suitable. Anyway I digress, we ended up in Lanzarote and we have some amazing memories from visiting the island so when James Villas got in touch and wanted to work together I jumped at the chance.
However this does cause us a slight financial problem. Ok I dont need to pay for the villa but we will need flights, insurance, food and spending money and it is not our only holiday this summer. With this in mind I am in full on budgeting mode and will be scrimping and saving wherever I can.
Our first holiday this summer is to the all inclusive Mark Warner Sea Gardens resort in Bodrum, all inclusive is definitely friendly to my bank balance but we will still need to spend some money whilst we are there. Only certain drinks are
included and i just know the kids will want to eat lots of ice cream.
Before you go
Think about any equipment the kids might want such as buckets and spades, inflatable toys etc and buy from shops such as wilkinsons or family bargains. This will save a lot of tourist price hikes. I know you have to pack it but it will be worth it in the end.
Buy your sun cream in the UK. Always cheaper than abroad purchasing your sun cream before you go saves a small fortune. Recent tests also showed that Aldi sun cream is one of the best so go a step further and purchase it at a low price even for the UK without sacrificing quality.
If you are going abroad more than once in a year buy annual insurance. We now have three holidays abroad booked for the next six months, Turkey, Lanzarote and Disneyland Paris. With Elizabeth’s pre existing medical conditions this makes insurance expensive and buying annually is a hefty amount yet a lot cheaper than three separate trips especially as they are all within Europe.
Do you really need all those new clothes? Most people going on holiday feel the need for a whole new wardrobe but I feel less is more when in a hot country and really I will be spending most of it in my swimming costume anyway. A few sarongs and a couple of throw over tops will see you through most days and during the evening then you would wear what you might wear during the UK summer. If you do want new clothes just for the holiday then shops such as primark have low cost clothes that are perfect for this or check out the local charity shops.
Another top charity shop tip is to ask about suitcases. Lots of shops have donations given to them in suitcases so being able to pick one up cheaply will save you quite a lot.
Get your currency at a great exchange rate by checking all the rates online. Also take a variety of cash, card and travellers cheques. The pre-loaded cards are a great way of shopping on the go abroad without worrying about all the excess change. These cards allow you to see the balance easily on your phone or computer.
Set up roaming on your phone a few days before you fly. I have a package on mine that charges me a set amount each day I am out of the country but allows me to continue to use my price plan outside of that charge. This is great for keeping up with social media or family back home without racking up a dreadful phone bill that most people experience.
Whilst you have your computer out research exchange rates and travel insurance check out car hire places too. If you dont have transfers included you may want to hire a car and this can cost a fortune at the airport. Also dont forget to pack all of your driving license as they will more than likely need to see both parts of your license.
whilst you are there
Find a local supermarket to stock up on items at cheaper prices. Last year we were paying three euros for a can of beer we found for eighty five cents in the super market. This makes a huge difference and the same applied to the ice creams. If you have an ice box in your apartment or hotel use it to store ice creams from a multipack saving loads!
If you are self catering eat local produce. Buying English products whilst on holiday abroad may seem like the safest thing to do but it is also the one that will cost the most. They need to import these products and they will cost you a lot more than they would back at home. Do you really need walkers crisps
I cant believe I have written 10 points already as I have so much more wisdom to share. So I am going to leave you with one final tip. If the kids want to buy a souvenir why not search the beach for some lovely shells or rocks to make something with at home. Some googly eyes stuck on a rock they collected from the beach they played on will mean so much more than anything they can find in the gift shops.
I hope your summer is as fun packed as ours will be!