Travel might be considered one of those luxury expenses only enjoyed once in a blue moon, but it doesn’t have to be. There are many ways to stretch your budget as far as possible during your holiday, so you can get the most out of your trip and even save some money along the way. Here are just a few ways you can save money on your next holiday.
1. Travel in off-peak times
One of the easiest ways to save money on your travels, whether that be overseas or in your own backyard, is to be aware of the times in which you’re looking to travel. By planning your trip during off-peak times throughout the year you could potentially save hundreds of dollars on tickets and tour packages. Look out for destinations that are particularly popular during summer months or holiday seasons and plan your visit during winter instead.
2. Book your tickets in advance
Just as important as deciding when you want to travel, is actually booking your tickets with plenty of time to spare. The earlier you book your flights and tour packages, the more likely you’ll be able to save your pennies, shop around and get the best possible deal.
3. Research tickets online
Rather than booking your flights and tour packages with the first company you encounter, do some research and make sure you’re getting the best price available. Also, be sure to get quotes from your favourite companies and ask whether they’re willing to price-match the competition. This works with your online searches, too. If you get a great quote online, but rather buy your tickets from a provider you know and trust, print out your quote and share it with the company you’d like to travel with instead. This could mean some serious savings. And remember, it never hurts to ask.
4. Pack responsibly
One avoidable expense that can put a real dent into our budgets is that annoying over-packing fee at the airport. Make sure you don’t get slapped with an unnecessary expense by weighing your luggage before checking your baggage in. If your luggage does happen to be over the recommended weight, bring an extra carry bag with you. That way whatever you need to remove from your suitcase can be popped into that bag and used as carry on.
5. Eat like the locals
One of the most enjoyable aspects of travelling is learning about, and eating a lot of, the local dishes that are particular to that country or region. But to do that doesn’t mean you have to spend big bucks. One great way of saving money on your next holiday is to eat like the locals eat. That might mean buying a baguette from a bakery down the road and having a picnic at a local park. Or, it could be as simple as making some friends with the locals and inviting yourself over for dinner. Go on!
6. Get creative with your accommodation
One of the biggest expenses during a holiday has got to be accommodation and it’s likely that this will eat up a good portion of your travel budget. But not to worry, that can be avoided. Instead of staying in central hotels think about whether a house share might be an option. House sharing allows you to rent out a person’s home for a short period of time. Or perhaps you have the option to plan your trip around any friends you can visit and stay with. Get in touch with old mates and ask whether they might have a room to spare during your travels.
7. Budget accommodation
If staying with friends or family just isn’t an option, then think about budget accommodation that might be available. Now, budget doesn’t have to mean basic or boring, it can be fun and unique. Keep a look out for self-contained cabins, privately-owned apartments, camping areas, caravans and other off-the-beaten track options that might just spare you a few dollars to spend in other areas of your trip.
8. Take advantage of free tours
Many cities and towns around the country and the world offer free walking tours and they are the perfect introduction to a new holiday destination. Get online and do your research first and find out if there are any free walking tours in the areas you’re interested in visiting. Not only will this mean you’ll get the chance to save money on your next holiday, but it will give you a great introduction to the area and perhaps give you some idea about where you’d like to return to once the tour is over.
9. Public transport
When you’re looking at cutting costs and skimping out on the luxuries, think about saving on transportation. You could organise an air-conditioned bus tour with all the trimmings or you could do what the locals do and hop on public transport. This is particularly good for train travel enthusiasts, especially in more scenic cities and towns and those looking for a bit of adventure along the way.
10. Fill up on breakfast
If you are splurging on a hotel with a daily hot breakfast included, then be sure to make the most of it and eat up. Not only does that mean that one of your main meals have been covered, but it also means that if you eat enough, then you might be able to save on splurging out on lunch and eat up big for dinner instead.