I think we can all agree that venturing into new places is a pretty fantastic experience. The culture, the scenery, the beaches, whatever it may be that floats your boat. But if I were to ask you what the worst part about travelling was? Probably the cost of it, right? Over the past few years I’ve managed to get some of my best trips away for a breath-taking price, especially, but not limited to, European city destinations. So how do I manage it, and how can you do the same?
Watch flights every day of the week
This could be the most important tip because flights usually make up half or more of the final cost. I start looking at flights around three months before the trip I intend to take. I’m not fussy with airports (and if you want to save money, you shouldn’t be either!) so I’ll check Skyscanner for the cheapest routes first. I’ll then stalk them routes for a good week or two watching for any changes. If your route comes up anywhere between £10-£30 one way, I would honestly advise booking there and then because they’re unlikely to get any cheaper. Sure they might drop by £5, but they could quite easily double or triple in cost as seats get booked up. On the other hand, if a flight appears to be expensive at first, I’ll watch to see which way the price is heading, if it’s slowly dropping by a couple of pound each day, it usually continues to do so and I’ll hold out booking until its a price I feel comfortable paying.
Only take hand luggage
I used to religiously pay for additional baggage, but a couple of years ago I asked myself why? Now whenever I take any trip under 7 days, I will just take hand luggage. Sure you need to limit what you take, and you can’t really take an outfit for every day of the week, but not only do you save £50 not taking an additional bag, but you don’t have to lug it around them horrid (but beautiful) European cobbled streets.
Plan your trip before you go
Planning your days out prior to your trip is essential to saving money. Firstly, a lot of trips are often cheaper if you book online before hand, and you can usually pick up on discounts that you may be unaware of otherwise. Secondly, I always think you spend more when you don’t plan, whether this is going to a more expensive restaurant or taking a more expensive tour etc. When you’re forced into deciding what to do within a minute, you don’t have the opportunity to shop around and find the best deal or the best value for money.
Cut down the amount of times you eat out
Personally, I love eating out for my evening meal and trying local cuisines. I find breakfast very ‘samey’ no matter where you go, and I don’t tend to indulge in large lunches, I much prefer a light sandwich, so the obvious choice for me is to go out for an evening meal. Eating out just once per day will save you huge amounts of money, or you could eat out for breakfast and lunch and cook an evening meal yourself as this would be a similar price. Loading up on breakfast is important to me as it fuels you for most of the morning, so I prefer having a home-made breakfast because I can eat as much as I want and I’m not limited on options. Similarly for lunch, when you’re visiting new places you’re on the go a lot, resulting in short lunch breaks so you can quickly move on to the next attraction, which is why making your own sandwiches before heading out is perfect! Another tip of mine is to buy snacks (e.g. cereal bars) on offer in your home country and pack them into your suitcase.
Similarly to my first tip, this is probably my second most important money saving tip! Hotels are often expensive (even lower starred ones), considering there are plenty of other options available to you. If you’re on a tight budget, some hostels offer similar luxuries to hotels. My favourite method is renting apartments, because you can pick up some top-notch authentic places for around £30-80 per night depending on the city. Recently I went to Budapest, and we rented the most beautiful apartment for £40 per night, where even the cheapest hotel was over double that! I’ve recommended this tip to everybody I know, and people haven’t stopped thanking me for it! Not only is it cheaper, but you’re usually nestled in the city centre so you save money on transport, you have a kitchen to make all your own food and store food, and you can experience local neighbourhoods!
So these are my five quick tips to travelling cheaper. Give them a try out next time you plan a trip away and let me know how you get on. Happy travels!