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Five Ways Teachers Can Get More Out of Their Holidays

Five Ways Teachers Can Get More Out of Their Holidays


Returning from half term can be a busy time for teachers as exam season looms, making it vitally important for you to relax during your time off. Following our top five tips which may help you to get more from your holiday and ensure you can savour your well-deserved break when it next comes around.

Later this month we will be asking teachers how you get the most out of your holidays. Keep an eye out on Facebook and Twitter for more information coming soon.

1.It's All About The Journey


With so many online options, including price comparison sites and last minute specialists the days of getting free travel advice in a high street store are over for many. Indeed, some companies still offering that service now charge for advice, having experienced a number of people taking their recommendations and then booking online.

Booking flights as far in advance usually ends up cheaper. In 2015 Telegraph1 suggested that purchasing tickets at the weekend could be cheaper still, adding that this could be because there's less demand from business customers looking on these days.

Though beware of weekends that coinside with the school holidays as these tend to be peak periods too. Consider holiday and peak periods not only from the UK perspective but from the perspective of the country you are visiting so for example avoid the  USA on 4th July when they celebrate Independence Day!

If you're flying look at location of airports. As the crow flies Brussels "South" Charleroi Airport is 27 miles south of Brussels, in a different Belgian city (called Charleroi). Glasgow Prestwick is 28miles outside of Glasgow, to put it in perspective Edinburgh airport is 35miles away from Glasgow.

Murcia San Javier Airport is almost 29 miles south east of the city on the coast of Spain. Whilst flights to these further out airports may seem cheaper initially, factoring in time and additional transfers means these end up eating into your pocket as well as your vacation time.

If your flights are looking expensive on the days you want to travel, consider a day in another city or country on the way out or the way back. This can work out cheaper and provide a bonus element to your holiday. Some airlines such as Iceland Air currently offer these stop overs for up to 7 days at no additional charge.

Drive to Europe - If you want to travel as a family it may be easier to drive to Europe. There are ferries from UK to France, Ireland, Spain, Belgium and Netherlands as well as Jersey and Guernsey.

If you travel as a family it may be better value to drive to your destination. No expensive transfers, no charge for checking in luggage and less check in time. Plus if you don't typically have the hassle of needing to go through security and passport control or at least not on foot. For those with young children, this is often hard work.

'Business Insider' suggested as recently as January 2017 that clearing your cache or using an incognito/InPrivate mode in your browser may result in lower prices. This is because the pages you have visited before could make the prices higher2.

2. Planning ahead pays off


Looking at what you want to do and booking in advance can mean savings too. Weigh up what you really want to do, you probably won't be able do absolutely everything and still stay within your budget.

Factor in for three or four things you definitely want to do, see or visit and be realistic. While seeing it all seems like a great idea, tickets that languish in your bag while you pop back to your hotel for a quick nap are a complete waste.

Free city tours are organised in most capital cities often run by knowledgeable local friendly volunteers and public transport in most places is simple and effective as traveling back home.

Look out for access all areas tickets which often link publically owned attractions such as galleries, museums and more. Also try the city tourist site for free attractions and events.

If you know you have to take a taxi on a certain day most people will be in the habit of booking a cab rather than hailing a taxi, popular taxi application app Uber now serves many countries and gives you the added advantage of being able to side step any tricky language barriers or carrying local cash.

Remember though there will be an exchange rate and fee is you use your credit card, the terms for which are available from your card provider.

3.Budgeting for your trip


Start with a budget in mind. You might have saved up already or you might be looking to pay it off later (we'll talk about that later), either way have a figure in mind. Once flight and accommodation are out of the way work out what you can afford to spend each day.

If one day is looking more expensive look for something cheap or free to visit the next day. A hotel with a pool, spa or gym is sometimes not much more expensive and if you can use it on the day you check out it gives you something to do that doesn't cost anything.

Of course you will still need to eat.

Food and drink

For some trying new food is a key part of the holiday. Others just like to treat themselves whilst on holiday. You could save money by finding out where your nearest supermarket is at your chosen destination, for everyday essentials like water, snack etc.

This helps to reduce the temptation to raid the mini bar or stop in at a cafe every time you are hungry or thirsty. If you have ever eaten at the airport you will know it's very easy to spend over £10 on little more than a panini and a bottle of water.

So if you do plan to travel a lot this year it might be worthwhile looking at access to premium airport lounges. You don't need to fly first class to make use of these. Some allow you to just turn up and pay on arrival, but booking in advance usually works out cheaper.

If you have a long wait in an airport or your flight is delayed it can definitely be cost effective as these premium lounges offer free food and drink (typically there are maximum stay restrictions to prevent people staying all day, but if your flight is delayed they tend not to be too strict about this).

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Booking bed and breakfast or half board sometimes works out cheaper even if you don't eat every meal at the hotel. Comparison sites will usually put these prices side by side for you to choose.

Equally sometimes it's cheaper to go self catering or eat breakfast in a local cafe, rather than paying £10 per day for some bread and jam. Again look up where the nearest supermarket or cafe is first before you make a decision as booking your breakfast later may cost more.

4.Paying it off or paying it forward


If you usually buy your holiday on your credit card then pay it off you could end up saving money by taking out a fixed rate loan instead. Credit card rates can be sizeable. Wesleyan aim to be transparent and can provide you with a estimate of monthly repayment with our loans calculator.

If renting a car abroad - consider car hire excess insurance.

Why is it that often we book car insurance in advance at a great, low price but upon arrival are made to pay an extra fee to cover any accidental damage that might happen? This is a common tactic, and yes it is a risk if someone prangs your car whilst parked that you may end up paying an excess in the thousands.

If you book excess insurance in advance it costs around £40 per year rather than a day rate every time you go on holiday.

5.Stay Safe on holiday


Whilst it's attractive to be able to do more on holiday by spending and saving, when it comes to playing it safe it might sound boring but it's worthwhile making sure you are adequately insured.

Naturally there is a temptation to think it won't happen to me but being proactive can pay off, it's worthwhile checking your household and motor policies before you go to see what cover they give you abroad.

The E111 card gives some medical cover within the EU and is now available as an app for your phone. None of these options are a replacement for full travel insurance coverage which, in some cases even cover cancellation and delay costs.

How do you get the most out of your holiday?

We want to hear from teachers and other professionals about what you do to get more out of your holiday and your tips for saving, planning and budgeting. Find out more.

1 Telegraph 2015 Never Book Flights On A Friday https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/news/Never-book-flights-on-Fridays-and-eight-other-tips-for-getting-cheap-air-fares/

2 Business Insider original article from 2015 https://uk.businessinsider.com/clear-cooking-when-searching-for-flights-online-2015-9

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