How to save money on a holiday to the Costa del Sol

There’s nothing like a holiday in the sun to help you feel relaxed and refreshed. However, if money’s a bit tight, travelling on a budget might add unwanted stress to your getaway.

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So how do you save money, while still enjoying your much-needed break from the rat race? Choosing a low-cost destination is a good place to start. Holiday deals are often available for the Costa del Sol, and if you don’t mind going a bit early or late in the season, then you can save even more. Here are some additional tips for keeping costs down during your trip:

1.    Self-catered or all-inclusive?
There are certainly pros and cons to both of these options when it comes to price and the right choice will depend on you. If you enjoy cooking all of your meals and don’t mind looking for deals in the local supermarket, self-catering could save you a bundle.

Meanwhile, if you’re more likely to ditch the kitchenette and opt for a restaurant meal every night, then all inclusive might be a better choice – as you won’t have to worry about spending money on food for the duration of the trip. Just be sure to check if breakfast is included.

2.    Tips for eating out
If you decide to eat out, there are a number of ways to help keep the costs down. For example, eating lunch at the bar could be as much as 20 per cent cheaper, while travelling inland for meals will help you avoid crowds and keep your spending down, as prices can be around a quarter of what you’ll find near the resorts.

If you’re headed out for a day at the beach, pick up sandwiches from a local bakery before you get to the seaside, and at dinner time, keep an eye out for the day’s specials – there’s often a three-course set menu available for around 10 euros.

3.    What to drink?
Keeping hydrated in the warm weather is important if you don’t want to end up sick in your hotel room for the remainder of your holiday. Luckily, the best way to prevent dehydration won’t cost you a single euro: tap water. Don’t be afraid to ask for a jug of water when eating out, and try to alternate between water and alcoholic drinks.

Speaking of alcohol, those colourful cocktails with fruity garnishes and little paper parasols may be nice to look at, but they’ll also cost a fair bit. If you’re counting your pennies, instead opt for a local beer – the price difference could cut your drinks spending by half.

4.    Hire a car
Relying on public transportation can be quite a hassle – and costly if you plan to do a lot of exploring, particularly if there are several of you travelling together. Instead, keep an eye out for low-cost car hire and be sure to book your vehicle before your holiday to get the best price. Click here to find out more.

5.    Try free attractions and activities
The Costa del Sol is certainly known for its glorious beaches – and lounging in the sun all day is one wallet-friendly way to enjoy your getaway. If you get tired of topping up your tan, check out some of the churches, historic sites or museums – many of which are completely free.

Alternatively, why not go for a walk? The walls of the Alcazaba Fortress in Malaga offer spectacular views, while there are plenty of landscaped parks and green spaces perfect for a picnic or people watching.