Every now and then, we all need a holiday to escape the trials and tribulations of daily life. Unfortunately, any prolonged period of rest and relaxation usually ends up costing quite a lot of money. You could always pinch the pennies by booking a cheap and cheerful deal, but your overall experience is bound to suffer as a result.
However, there is a way to enjoy the trappings of a luxurious getaway without breaking the bank. You might not realise it, but a Mediterranean cruise can provide an all-inclusive experience at an affordable price.
The cost-effectiveness of a cruise
One of the best things about booking a cruise is that nearly all of your regular travel expenses are included in the fare. For one price you get accommodation, food and drink, transport between each destination, as well as daytime and evening entertainment.
When you consider how much you would spend on these items individually for a typical holiday, you soon realise the value that cruise ships provide.
In fact, your biggest expense will probably be shore excursions, which you can pick and choose according to your budget anyway. Other on-board expenses such as laundry aren’t exactly essential either if you plan ahead with enough clothes to last the entire trip.
European cruises are also a great option because you can usually secure cheap flights to popular departure destinations. The vibrant ports of call that a Mediterranean cruise ship will stop at, such as Vigo in Spain and Porto in Portugal, can be enjoyed and experienced on a budget too.
Advice when booking a cruise
- Avoid peak periods – As you are undoubtedly already aware, holidays tend to be more expensive at the height of summer and cruise ships are no different. But due to the choice of itineraries available, you will still be able to secure a sun-soaked destination regardless of the time of year. Along with the money saving benefits, a cruise during the off-season means fewer crowds at the breakfast buffet and more choice when it comes to cabins.
- Book early or late – Cruise ship operators will often have early bird rates you can take advantage of, which means booking as far in advance as possible. Once again, this will also give you more options in terms of destinations, dates, and additional extras. Alternatively, you could leave it until the last minute to grab a bargain basement deal. Around 60 to 90 days before sailing there could be cancelations and remaining spaces to capitalise on.
- Read the small print – As with any holiday deal that is inclusive of various extras, you should always double check the small print for hidden costs. For example, there could be service fees, government taxes, or port charges not included in the sale price. You may also want to find out whether special offers need to be made in full at the time of booking or if deposits are non-refundable.
If you feel as though you are deserving of a much-needed holiday but only have a limited budget to play with, don’t overlook the option of booking a cruise, as it could provide exceptional value for money.