If you love to travel, and want to get more experiences for your money, then there are lots of ways to save. Whether it is on flights, travel at your destination, accommodation or souvenirs, you can get much better value when you are armed with the right budget tips and budget tricks when you book, and when you travel. Here is some advice to help you get more for your money when you make a trip!
1) INVEST IN GOOD CABIN LUGGAGE TO SAVE ON CHECKING BAGS
For a short trip, you can often get away with packing everything you need in your cabin luggage. This will help you avoid the hassle of checking in your bags, and the additional fees cheaper airlines charge for bringing checked luggage. However, not all cabin luggage is equal, so it is a good idea to buy a bag that makes the most of the space permitted to you by the airlines, and which can help you fit in a couple of outfits, your computer, and the other stuff you need without too much of a squeeze. This doesn’t have to be expensive but will pay for itself within a few trips, even if you go for a higher end bag, in the money you will save by being able to travel light comfortably.
2) RESEARCH TRAVEL OPTIONS AT YOUR DESTINATION IN ADVANCE
Getting around when you reach your destination can be an area where you can save a lot of money if you plan in advance. In many world cities, for example, you can get tickets for underground or train and bus systems that allow you to travel freely for a number of days, and these can work out much cheaper than buying individual tickets. Of course, if you don’t know about them in advance, you may not find out about them when you are there due to language differences or simply not being confident with the local public transport system and going for more expensive options like cabs or hire cars instead. Learn about local transport and any good deals on travel at your destination, so you can be savvy about what to use when you get there to save the most money.
3) CONSIDER LESSER KNOWN AIRPORTS
Many budget airlines don’t fly to the major airport in a given city, but to a secondary one. If you want to go to a major European city, you’ll almost always find there is more than one airport, just as you can consider Stansted or Luton when flying to or from London, rather than Gatwick or Heathrow. There will usually be good public transport connections to get you to the city you want to be in, and these will cost far less than the amount you save by being able to get these cheaper flights.
4) USE ALTERNATIVES TO NORMAL HOTELS
While you can get some great deals on hotels by searching on hotel price comparison sites, what is usually a lot cheaper is to use something like Airbnb, or stay at a bed and breakfast, a hostel, or even at a campsite. Any of these options will get you a place to stay without the cost of a hotel. Another option some people use is to travel around on overnight trains, for instance when travelling around Europe, and sleeping on those, avoiding accommodation costs altogether – though this is really more for the adventurous backpacker!
5) BUY SUPPLIES AT A LOCAL SUPERMARKET
When you are travelling, you can often feel like you have to eat out, and this can get expensive. Try buying some supplies you can make for yourself at your accommodation (even if it’s just snacks), and then you can be more choosy about when you decide to enjoy restaurants rather than feeling it is your only choice for getting food!
6) SWITCH OFF ROAMING ON YOUR PHONE (ESPECIALLY DATA ROAMING)
You’ll want to go online at points in your trip, but it is generally easy to find places with free Wi-Fi such as at the airport, at hotels, and at cafes and bars. Be sure to switch off roaming on your phone, particularly data roaming, to avoid getting unexpected charges, which can be quite high, when you return and just use Wi-Fi hotspots when you want to connect.
7) LOOK FOR GOOD TRAVEL INSURANCE DEALS
Travel insurance is an expense, but it’s one that can save you from a lot of issues and is well worth having. There are lots of different types of policies though, including those for regular travellers and single trip insurance. You may also need a different type of insurance if you are taking expensive equipment or are planning to do things like extreme sports, so make sure you fully research the best insurance for you and shop around for a cheap deal.
8) TRAVEL OFF PEAK
Peak times of the year and week depend very much on the destination. For holiday destinations, such as the Greek islands, peak travel is in July and August so it is cheaper to go in June or September when you still get the good weather, but at a lower price. For destinations popular for business, but where there is still plenty to see, like Frankfurt, it is cheapest usually to fly in on a Saturday when there is little business travel.
9) LEARN ABOUT TIPPING
In the UK, we tip in restaurants, however in a lot of countries this isn’t the case. In Italy, for instance, it is not customary to tip. While nobody will mind if you do, you can save money by learning whether it is expected in the country you go to, and if it isn’t, keeping the cash!
10) JOIN REWARD PROGRAMS
If you travel a lot, it is well worth signing up for the reward schemes of airlines and hotel chains, which can help you save on future trips as well as give you other perks that can improve your travel experience (like access to airport lounges and discounts on in flight shopping). While it may take a while to see the benefits of a reward points scheme, they cost nothing to join and you may also get member offers sent to you simply for being signed up with the program, and these can often be very good.
Thousands of university graduates are now opting to do a one-year travel experience before they get a job. Some might take out a travel loan, others might borrow money off their parents. Finding ways to get paid while travelling is an increasing trend among millennials. Whichever way you decide to go, travelling without breaking the bank is very much possible in this day and age.
Do you have any travel tips and tricks to add? If you have any additional tips for our readers or questions please leave these in the comments below.
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We Are Travel Girls Contributor Elena Tahora of ElenaTahora.com
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