5 holidays that won't break the bank

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holidays that wont break the bank

The cost of living is rising, but many of us haven’t had an overseas holiday since 2019. If you want to keep costs low, here are some great-value options

From volunteering in Greece to wellbeing experiences in Asia, travel expert Beverley Fearis takes us on a whistle stop tour of holidays that won’t break the bank.

1 Volunteering 

Volunteering isn’t just a cheaper way to see the world; you’ll also be giving something back. But doing your bit doesn’t necessarily mean journeying to far-flung places with the expense of a long-haul flight or being away for weeks or months. These days, volunteer holidays can take place closer to home and with a commitment of just a few days – after all, every little helps. Options might include teaching English, planting trees or wildlife conservation. Whatever you choose, do your research and make sure you join projects that really are making a difference. 

How about this? 

Go bear tracking in the Northern Pindos, mainland Greece. A five-day, half-board small group trip includes all activities, guesthouse accommodation, guiding, transfers and a donation to nature conversation, and costs £554, excluding flights, departing 24 September 2022. responsibletravel.com 

2 Fly and flop 

woman lying on beach

If you’re simply looking to feel the sun on your face and the sand between your toes, the choice is endless – so where do you start? Well, how about with the Post Office’s annual holiday money report, which shows you where your holiday spending money will stretch furthest. The best-value destination for the last four years is Bulgaria’s lively resort, Sunny Beach, where you can grab a local beer for less than 50p and a three-course meal and a bottle of wine for just over £20. Just along the coast is Nessebar, a quieter, more family-friendly UNESCO-recognised resort town oozing with history and with pristine beaches. 

How about this? 

Stay at Aparthotel Rose Village, set between Sunny Beach and Nessebar for the best of both worlds, from Barrhead Travel. From £336pp self-catering based on two sharing, including flights from Gatwick. boundless.co.uk/barrhead

3 Wellbeing

surfer on beach in front of camel

A health and wellbeing holiday is well suited to a warm, exotic place and if your budget won’t stretch to the usual Asian hotspots, try Morocco. It’s warm all year round (best in March to May or September to October), the flights take less than four hours and, best of all, they start from as little as £30 each way. Its bustling cities are worth a visit for their colourful soukhs, but head to the coast to unwind and rejuvenate at one of Morocco’s many wellbeing retreats. 

How about this? 

The beachfront Paradis Plage is in the sleepy fishing village turned top surf spot, Taghazout, north of Agadir, and offers everything from yoga and Pilates to mountain walks and surfing, plus hammam treatments and massages at its eco-spa. A threenight break costs from £385pp (£460 peak season) excluding flights, based on two sharing, or from £580 for seven nights, including accommodation, breakfasts and private transfers. healthandfitnesstravel.com 

4 Self-drive 

A self-drive holiday gives you the freedom of going at your own pace, venturing off the beaten track, and can work out cheaper than factoring in the cost of flights and transfers. You can take more with you, too. France is the obvious choice for Brits, but why not sail a bit further to Spain? This spring Brittany Ferries is in-troducing a new LNG-powered ship, Salamanca, on its Spanish routes. It’s not just more eco-friendly, it’s more comfortable too, with bigger bunks and in-cabin TVs, so you can combine your self-drive holiday with a mini-cruise. 

How about this?

Brittany Ferries’ Peaks and Coast of Spain tour explores the lush landscapes of Cantabria, the Picos de Europa National Park and the Asturian coast, starting from the ports of Bilbao or Santander. Prices are from £500 for five nights B&B hotel in a double or twin room, with return crossing from Portsmouth or Plymouth for a standard car, two passengers and an inside four-berth cabin. boundless.co.uk/brittanyferries 

5 Walking 

woman on walking holiday

Walking holidays generally keep you away from tourist hotspots and outside of the peak summer season, when it’s quieter, cooler – and cheaper. Going self-guided will lower the cost and give you more freedom but it can be reassuring to have a specialist behind you, organising your accommodation, transferring your baggage, and providing detailed route information and back-up if required. Crete boasts ideal weather conditions for walking in the shoulder seasons (April to June, September to October), a wonderfully diverse landscape and lots of inexpensive, charming tavernas in which to refuel. 

How about this?

A seven-night, 45-mile self-guided Crete Coast to Coast tour starts from £475pp and takes in secluded beaches, the White Mountains, the Apokonoras plain and the Sfakia and Aradena gorges, staying in village guest houses with daily breakfast, bag transfers, back-up from an area manager and airport and walk transfers. Excludes flights. macsadventure.com 

Explore the globe with Barrhead Travel 

Experience a whole world of destinations including Bulgaria and Morocco, with the added advantage of member savings – a real bonus if you’re keeping an eye on your holiday budget. boundless.co.uk/barrhead. 

Save on crossings and ferry-inclusive holidays 

Boundless members save 7% on great-value Brittany Ferries Holidays packages such as the Spanish break detailed here and more in France and Portugal, too. boundless.co.uk/brittanyholidays

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