The topic of traveling on a budget is all over the internet. There probably isn’t a single travel website or blog that doesn’t have budget travel tips. We’re no exception but I thought I’d distil it down into what I think are the best. Having had the pleasure of visiting more than 30 countries, these tips have always helped me get the most from my trips.
1. Travel in the off Season if You Can
Travelling in the off-season does not mean that you are going to get bad weather. It just means that you aren’t visiting places when the majority of other tourists are. You can bag some amazing deals in off-peak vacation months, sometimes even as much as half price! I always look for shoulder season deals. (shoulder = end of one seasons transitioning into another)
2. Fly on a Weekday Rather than the Weekend
We all hate that the airlines do it, but the truth is that it is much cheaper to fly during the week than across the weekend. If you can arrange your time off to include an extra weekday, then you can make a great saving on a much cheaper flight ticket.
3. Pay Attention to Changing Prices
Don’t just spend one day browsing for packages and then buy. You should spend a couple of weeks tracking the prices of your destination and seeing if they rise and fall. You might be able to get a good sense of when the big drops are going to happen and you can swoop in for the kill!
4. Seek a Refund if the Price Suddenly Drops
If you purchase a vacation package and then the next day you see the same package for a hell of a lot cheaper, you are well within you rights to contact the travel company and enquire as to whether you are entitled to any kind of refund or reduced rate.
5. Rent a Home Rather than a Hotel
Renting apartments and houses instead of staying in a hotel can sometimes be much, MUCH cheaper depending on the location you are visiting. Sure, you won’t be waited on hand and foot like at a luxury hotel, but you will be making a big saving and your vacation will feel much more private and intimate.
6. Walk between Places Whenever You Can
A lot of travel maps and travel agents will trick you in to thinking that things are much further apart than they actually are in order to get you to book guided tours and buy lots of travel passes. The truth is that you can do a lot more walking around than you think, so do some more research before you step out for the day! And, I always look for a city’s own travel passes – they’re so much cheaper than tourist packages. And be smart. Hop-on/hop-off tours are a great way to pack in a whole day’s sightseeing.
7. Consider Different Airports for Good Deals
Instead of flying straight in to the capital city of a country, shop around to see if flying in to a smaller airport and then travelling in to the capital might be a cheaper option. It’s a little more hard work, but if you can save anywhere upward of $50 then it is definitely worth it!
8. Pack as Light as You Possibly Can
If you can manage it, you can save so much money from just packing a smaller suitcase that you can take on the plane as hand luggage rather than having to check it in. Most airlines charge extra for checked baggage these days, and you can make great savings, especially if you are doing more than one flight.
9. Do Your Research before You Arrive
It is pretty common for the restaurants and stores situated in the most tourist centric areas will be the most expensive, so be savvy and research some of the better off the beaten track establishments that have great reputations and cheaper prices because they are a little harder to find.
10. Pack a Lunch when You Go Exploring
Make the most of your hotel’s free breakfasts and pack a nice lunch to take out on the road with you. You will save so much money not having to visit somewhere to have a sit down lunch in the middle of the day!
Of course travel is expensive. Flights and accommodations are always going to be something you have to save for but you just need to be smart about it.