Travelling is an expensive pastime. Whether you only go on holiday once a year or are a seasoned backpacker travelling for months at a time, there are always ways to save money and maximise your budget. Continue reading to discover six top tips to make your money go further and make the cost of your travel more manageable!
1. Check your flight options
Flights (and other transportation) are usually the most expensive part of travel, alongside accommodation costs. So, reducing these costs will have a significant impact on the overall cost of your holiday. Finding ways to reduce the cost of your flight is difficult, but not altogether impossible.
The first step in finding the best airfare is to use a search comparison website to scour the world for flights to and from your destination. You can also try to book at off-peak times (e.g. the middle of the night) or take a flight with layovers to save a substantial amount of money.
2. Do some research
If you don’t normally do much research before your trip, it’s probable that you have spent more money on things like food, accommodation and activities. There are many ways to reduce costs, e.g. learning about where the less popular areas of a city are will mean that you can book cheaper accommodation, without compromising on comfort or convenience – especially if you stay near a metro or bus stop.
Doing your research will also help stop you from making embarrassing mistakes with the locals or even committing a crime! For example, if you are driving in Iceland (according to Europcar) you will need to drive precisely between the road lines because if you don’t, you will end up with a nasty fine for damaging endangered plant species.
3. Stay in a hostel
This is obviously not everyone’s cup of tea, but if you are short on cash then staying in a hostel is an absolute blessing! Without hostels, many people wouldn’t be able to travel, or would only be able to go for short amounts of time. Hostels can help you to maximise your money, and also extend your stay by days, weeks or even months.
Remember hostels are not just for young singletons anymore! Many hostelers are over the age of 35 and stay in hostels because it is affordable and social (which is excellent if you’re travelling alone).
4. Avoid the tourist traps
If you are travelling to a tourist hotspot, you will definitely find yourself weaving in and out of tourist traps. Whether you are visiting Rome, Barcelona or Paris, there will be people trying to sell you unnecessary items and trinkets, and waiters trying to usher you into overpriced restaurants and cafés. Don’t fall for it! The tell-tale sign of a restaurant that is a tourist trap, i.e. selling overpriced food for tourists, will be the big menu outside only in English. Avoid these places like the plague, and you will save yourself a lot of time and hassle.
5. Enjoy free attractions
Stop spending money on expensive activities, and start enjoying the free activities which many cities have on offer. There are usually enough free things to do that it would take you several holidays to do them all!
Many towns and cities offer free walking tours, which are a fantastic way to get acclimatised to a new location and familiarise yourself with the main places of interest. For instance, if you happen to be in Brussels (Belgium), there are many free walking tours which begin from Grand Place (Grote Markt). Some walking tours even last for two hours or more! Just remember that it is polite (but not required) to give the tour guide a tip since they often don’t get paid otherwise.
6. Go to the supermarket
Do as the locals do, and save money by buying from the supermarket instead of eating out. Of course, if you are on holiday, you will probably want to indulge in a few meals at fancy restaurants, but instead of wasting money eating out every day, make a few meals for yourself by popping into the local grocery store. This is also a great way to experience a more authentic travel experience, without the massive price tag!