Whilst the coronavirus lockdown is still in full swing, it is difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but we would like to believe that by the summer, we will return to some kind of normality. In these uncertain economic times, it’s unlikely that you’ll want to spend a significant amount of money on your next break. Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy a trip to the Costa Del Sol! Here’s everything you need to know about how to enjoy the Costa Del Sol on a budget:
Book Your Flights in Advance
The two main expenses of any holiday are getting there, and finding the right place to stay. But booking your flights doesn’t have to break the bank. There are a number of different airlines that fly to and from not just Malaga, but the other airports in the Costa del Sol, so explore which route is the cheapest option for you It could be that the inconvenience of flying into Gibraltar or Jerez is worth it if the route is hundreds of pounds cheaper than the more direct alternative. You should also book your flights as soon as the tickets become available: the earlier you book your tickets, the lower the prices will be.
Look for Free Activities
If you’re looking to tire out your kids then that doesn’t have to cost a fortune – in fact, that doesn’t have to cost a penny! There are plenty of free activities available that are perfect for kids on the Costa del Sol. One of our favourite is the playground on the San Pedro Boulevard near Marbella, which is a 55,000 square-metre playground complex that is every child’s dream come true. The playground is made up of slides, swings, bridges and rocking boats, all of which have been inspired by the beach and the sea which surrounds them. If you have older children then the site also includes a skating rink, zip line, and areas for cycling too, meaning there’s enough fun to entertain the family for the whole day without putting your hand in your pocket.
You’ll find a similar playground at Poniente Park in Fuengirola, which is known locally at the ‘pirate park’ thanks to the huge pirate ship in the middle that is perfect for kids of all ages to play on.
Indulge in a Spot of Celeb Spotting
If you’re travelling with older teens, or without kids, then a great way to while away a day on the Costa del Sol is to head to Puerto Banus and see how many celebrities you can spot. The area is known as a millionaires playground, and so it’s highly likely that if you walk along the marina (which is beautiful in its own right) or in front of some of the area’s fanciest restaurants then you will spot an instantly-recognisable celebrity or two. Celebrities who are known to regularly take their holidays in the area include a host of famous footballers and the whole cast of The Only Way is Essex. And if you don’t manage to find any celebrities? Don’t worry! The marina is always loaded with super yachts, many of which are even more famous than their owners, and the opportunity to view these is a truly exciting experience: the cost of a day here is minimal, provided you’re not tempted to invest in your own yacht, of course!
Explore Affordable Car Rental
If you are interested in exploring everything that the Costa del Sol has to offer then the easiest way to get around is to hire a car, but many holiday makers on a budget think that car hire is too expensive, and that public transport will be a more affordable option. However, if you shop around, it is possible to find affordable car rental. Here are three simple tips:
1) Book as far in advance as possible to get the best deals.
2) Don’t be afraid to use price comparison websites.
3) Look out for stealth hidden extras, and don’t pay for anything you don’t need.
If you’re travelling with kids then take your car seats on the plane with you (many airlines will allow you to take one car seat per child with you, free of charge). This will save you paying the car rental company an inflated charge to comply with the car seat laws when you drive in Spain.
Always Pay in Euros
Many stores and restaurants in the region's tourist hotspots will ask you if you would like to pay in either pounds or euros. Whilst you may feel that paying in pounds is easier, and will make it more simple to keep track of your spending, you should always opt to pay in Euros. The reason for this is that The reason is, if you opt to pay in pounds for any purchase then you'll be charged using the bank's own rate, which is usually much less favourable than with Visa or Mastercard's standard wholesale rate.
If you are going to use your bank or credit cards when you’re overseas, and so many of us do, then you will ultimately save money, and find that your charges are lower, if you pay in Euros rather than in Pounds.
Pack Your EHIC Card
Whilst the UK is still part of the EU, before Brexit is completed at the end of the year, British Citizens can still take advantage of the benefits that come from owning an EHIC card. You can apply for an EHIC card online, and these are free of charge (don’t be fooled by websites charging an ‘admin fee’ to apply for this). Whilst an EHIC shouldn’t be used in lieu of travel insurance, they will enable you to get the same emergency medical and dental treatment that local citizens are entitled to, at the same cost. Your EHIC card will also entitle you to 50% off the cost of any prescriptions (90% off the cost of your prescriptions if you are a senior citizen).
Most hospitals in Spain offer free public healthcare, meaning that if you have an EHIC card with you when you travel to Spain then, should you encounter any health problems, it won’t have to break the bank.
Finally, Why Not Enjoy Some Winter Sun
The Costa del Sol boasts year-round sun, meaning that if you’re hoping to stretch your budget and get the most out of your holiday without spending more than you can afford, then a winter break would pose the best value option for you. Winter holidays tend to be at least half the price of holidays in the peak months of July and August, making it an instant way for you to save money on your Costa del Sol holiday.
You’ll also find that whilst winters in the Costa del Sol are still bright and sunny, they’re also much quieter than the summer months, meaning that you can enjoy the beaches and tourist attractions without having to worrying about fighting through the crowds. It’s a win win situation!
Are you thinking of moving to the Costa del Sol? Have you always dreamt of living in Spain? Why not get in touch with one of our highly qualified local property experts to find out how we can help you to turn that dream into a reality.