Timeshares took off in Britain during the 1980s, but in the time since, they’ve gained an unsavoury reputation for their high maintenance fees, being difficult to get out of, and a series of scams.
So why are people still signing up to timeshare agreements? We spoke to timeshare experts at the Timeshare Consumer Association who told us: “Many people believe that investing in a timeshare will save them money in the long term, as opposed to paying for different hotels year on year.
“However, once you take into account the maintenance fees, special assessment fees, taxes and utility bills, opting for a hotel often works out cheaper, and means you don’t have to go to the same destination every year.”
So, we’ve set out to show you some of the other ways that you can save money on your summer holiday without having to sign up to a timeshare agreement.
Flight prices are known to fluctuate a lot and there are lots of little tips and tricks to try and get yourself the best possible deal.
For example, did you know that some sites are now using your browsing information to bump up prices?
And did you know that Tuesday is the cheapest day to book flights? Or that seven weeks in advance is the cheapest time to buy?
And if you don’t mind have a stopover, indirect flights can often save you a bundle. You could even make the most out of it and stop over for a couple of nights!
Booking in advance is unlikely to save you a massive amount, and booking either a month or so in advance, or at the last minute is probably the best way to get a cheap deal.
The time to avoid is two to three months in advance, where room rates are at their highest.
Another handy tip if you’re wanting to travel to a city is to book a hotel in the business district, where hotels often offer cheaper rates over the weekend when they aren’t packed full of workers, and you can even find five-star hotels for under £100 a night.
Also, make sure to try and book directly with your hotel as opposed to through an agent or comparison site to get the best possible deal.
Bear in mind spending money
One of the biggest costs that people forget about is the cash that you spend while you’re actually away on holiday on things such as eating out and shopping.
Local prices vary across Europe, but the cheapest places to head are Spain, Portugal and Bulgaria, or the likes of Krakow, Prague and Budapest if you’re after a city break.
Exchange rates are also important to think about. For example, did you know that you can often get a better deal by exchanging your pounds once you’re at your destination?
Depending on your account, you may also be able to use your debit card to pay for things abroad without incurring any fees or commission on top.
Once you start to follow these tips and shop around using comparison sites, you’ll quickly see that there are many cheaper ways to get away for the summer other than tying yourself into a timeshare deal!