7 Travel Hacks to Book a Bargain Summer Holiday in 2024

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The summer is officially upon us and if you haven’t booked yourself a getaway just yet then don’t worry, there’s still plenty of chances to get away and still be savvy with your cash.

Whether you’re looking for destination alternatives, last-minute deals, or options to spread the cost interest-free – using a payment method like Klarna – here are my top tips to help you make the most of your summer travel.

Chelsea in Corfu By The Water
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1. Opt for a hidden gem destination

The most popular destinations for Brits heading abroad are Spain, France, Greece, Italy and Portugal. Now, you can still go to those places but it’s all about picking the less popular destinations in those countries. So for Spain, swap out the islands and head inland up into the gorgeous Andalusian hills for stunning scenery and much cheaper prices!

And if you’re feeling a little more adventurous, you could even opt for less known destinations like Albania, Montenegro, Albania, Bulgaria or Turkey. They all have their own resorts, should that be what you’re after, but the ultimate money saving hack is to head to a less known town or city in one of these locations!

2. Head to a country with cheap daily costs

It’s all well and good bagging a bargain but there’s nothing worse than turning up somewhere and discovering it’s so expensive! That’s why I love to check the average daily costs of a place on Numbeo before I book.

Numbeo is a cost of living index that tells you what you can expect to pay for all manner of things, including coffee, beer, meals out and even a local taxi.

The list of places for the cheapest 3 course meal for 2 – that would also make a good European summer getaway – includes Podgorica in Montenegro (£28.54), Porto in Portugal (£34.07) and Seville in Spain (£37.91).

Chelsea in Porto Portugal

3. Stay for an irregular amount of time

For many British holidaymakers, the set time to go away is either 7, 10 or 14 days. This means that it can sometimes be more cost effective to go for a duration either side of those amounts. Yep, sometimes it can be cheaper to go away for 8 days versus 7!

Why is this the case?

Well, let’s say that most people book a 7 day holiday, it means that the flights there and back are going to be incredibly in demand – as is the accommodation. By shifting your trip back or forward by a day or two, you could end up with cheaper flights or a better rate at the hotel.

It’s definitely worth checking!

Birgu Senglea Harbour Malta 9

4. Head to a city

For quite a few summers now, I’ve managed to book a bargainous holiday in the middle of the school holidays. How? I’ve gone to cities that are more popular as shoulder season city breaks.

The first time I did this was to Berlin which was such a fun city to explore in the sunshine – there was so much on! We also were able to use their public transport to reach an abundance of nearby lakes, and so we still managed to get some time in the sun too.

Last year, I opted for Wroclaw in Poland which was so cheap we were able to stay in a luxury 5 star spa hotel! It was only £125 a night – in August! We had great weather too, and spent plenty of time relaxing at their faux beaches on the river.

Other cities worth checking out include Budapest, Prague, Krakow and Zagreb.

Chelsea in Wroclaw Poland

5. Find a last minute deal

If you’ve been holding back in the hope of bagging a bargain, then it is still possible! Here’s my top tips for you:

  • Try and be as flexible as you can on your dates, duration and destination
  • Look at tour operators who have the power to discount package holidays that haven’t sold yet
  • Check curated last minute deals pages
  • Always check the price on a comparison website, and if you were to book it separately

I’ve written more about how to bag a last minute holiday here.

6. Spread the cost of your trip

Once you’ve managed to find a bargain, the next step is thinking about how you’re going to pay for it. If you’ve got the amount saved up already, you’re all good to go.

But if it’s just a great deal that you hadn’t necessarily planned for, and you don’t want to miss out on it, work out if there’s anything you could cut back on for a couple of months or check to see if you could pay in instalments to spread the cost, interest-free.

For example, Klarna – who I’m teaming up with this summer – are now available as a payment option for a host of travel companies including:

Their ‘Pay in 3, interest free’ means that you can even spread the cost of last minute holidays which can be a great help for cash flow.

However, you should only do this if you know you can genuinely afford to pay it off in time over the next 3 months.

7. Never overpay on summer essentials

Whether it’s a new pair of sunnies or a bottle of suncream, use Klarna’s ‘Search & Compare’ feature in the Klarna app to scan through thousands of retailers to snap up items for great prices.

And a bonus hack for next year's trip!

As you’re searching around for bargains for this summer, make a note of the prices you find. This will be so helpful for your search next year as you’ll be able to see whether it’s worth jumping on any bargains that crop up when booking in advance, or whether you think it’s worth holding out until the last minute.

Good luck on your bargain hunting!

7 Travel Hacks For A Bargain Summer Holiday

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