By Tiernan Cannon
Spring has technically arrived and that means the countdown to summer can begin. Soon we’ll be breaking out the sun cream, shedding all our extra layers and polishing up on our BBQ culinary skills. Well, in theory anyway. In reality, the Irish summer doesn’t tend to afford us these sunshine-reliant delights, so we are forced to look abroad in our pursuit of the sun’s glow. Holidaying abroad, however, can cost a fortune, and accommodation makes up a significant portion of these costs.
Here’s a guide to help you hold on to a little extra cash to splurge elsewhere on your tropical adventures (for more tips see our guide to cutting flight costs).
Budget and compromise
Draft a budget of how much you want to spend on your holiday and stick to it. This budget is not necessarily going to be easy to stick to, so you’re going to have to learn to compromise. If you’re the type of person who plans to be out all day every day, then book yourself into a cheaper, smaller hotel room. You’ll only be sleeping there anyway, and this way you’ll have more of your budget to spend on activities and trips.
The rise in glamping (glamorous camping) illustrates the recent trend of seeking out alternative accommodation. A lot of people are now comfortable with spending their holidays in luxury tents, yurts or caravans, but the less outdoorsy folk still have options available to them. Sites such as Airbnb offer users the opportunity to rent out whole houses – potentially for a reasonable price. A further advantage of staying in a house is that you will have the option to make use of the kitchen facilities – thus cutting out the need for eating out.
For the more sociable types that really want to save some money, CouchSurfing.com offers precisely the service suggested by its name. Users join a community through the CouchSurfing platform and have the opportunity to stay in host houses on the cheap.
Choose your dates carefully
For those of you without children, this should be no problem. Just book your accommodation whenever the schools are still active and you’re sure to save some money when compared to the peak seasons. For the parents out there however, this can prove more difficult. Try to be careful when choosing your dates – the end of August or beginning of September can prove to be much cheaper than May, June, or July, and the weather will still be good in lots of destinations.