Whether you’re planning a marathon backpacking session or a summer jaunt abroad, decide what kind of trip you really want by reviewing the main holiday options.
Many travellers now find themselves on a budget but are still looking for that annual getaway, so cheap summer package holidays continue to boom across the globe. All-inclusive breaks allow you to put a stopper on your spending up-front: simply pay and then jet off to your chosen resort, safe in the knowledge that all your eating, drinking and accommodation needs are covered. Some operators even throw in a few day excursions as well.
However, if you find the lack of spontaneity a little restricting and don’t want to spend most of your days by the pool, this kind of holiday might not be the one for you.
The traditional route for independent travellers. Most solo backpackers use hostel accommodation and homestays with local residents to both save money and get a more authentic experience of staying in a country.
You have the most freedom with this type of trip and the flexibility to control when you travel and what you spend your savings on, but the basic level of facilities doesn’t suit everyone. Travelling independently can get lonely, but most people solve this by going with a friend or joining those they meet on the road for at least part of the way.
A kind of happy medium between all-inclusives and intrepid adventure, going on a cross-country tour allows you to see the cultural side of your destination, without missing that last train back to civilisation. Guided visits to cities and monuments are often included and you can pick themed trips from wine-tasting to cycling, to trekking through the Andes.
Travelling in a group can be a lot more fun but tours more or less stick to a pre-determined itinerary. They are also significantly more expensive than going it alone.
If you fancy really roughing it, take your home with you and camp around the world. Hardy travellers will strap a tent to their back and set off across Europe, while others may find the relative comforts of a camper van or caravan more appealing for a long road trip. The savings on accommodation can add up, but finding a campsite isn’t always easy and of course, there are nights when nothing but a soft hotel bed will do.
If none of these holidays quite appeal to you, you can always compromise by piecing together a ‘DIY’ break. Many travelers find their dream deals nowadays through a combination of low-cost flights, searching last-minute hotel sites or renting self-catered accommodation, thus designing their own perfect break.