Pssssstttt let us tell you a secret. Booking a holiday doesn’t always have to blow the bank!
Sure, flights, hotels and travel insurance can seem like they’re eating away at your holiday savings before you’ve even left, but there’re some sneaky ways to make sure you still have plenty of cash to enjoy the adventure of your life. Here are our 7 tips for travelling on the cheap.
1. Be flexible
Unless you’ve got an event or a specific tour you want to do being flexible when booking your travel dates can save a lot of cash.
Often the cheapest flights are midweek or during off-peak months, so set a price alert and keep your eyes peeled.
2. Plan, plan, plan!
It’s hard not to get caught up in the excitement of booking a holiday and thinking of all the new travel gadgets and outfits you’ll need, but instead of spending all your hard earned cash BEFORE the trip, try planning a little instead.
Think of ways you can save money before you depart, like eating cheap, so you can spend more on pizza in Naples, or riding your bike, so you can spend more on train tickets in Europe.
It may seem like it’s not making much of a difference, but every little thing counts. You’ll be glad you didn’t spend $100 on a pre-holiday haircut when you’re soaking up $6 massages in Bali.
If there are things you think you really need to splurge on before you leave, try making a list. Write down everything you think you ‘need’ for your trip, then go through the list and mark things that you already have or can buy while away. Whatever’s left go out and buy but try to find it at the cheapest price.
3. Get low
Often hostels and hotels drop their prices drastically in low season to attract visitors so you can find some real bargains. The same goes for most attractions and often you can pack in 5 activities for the regular price of 1!
Research your destination before you book flights, and have a look at which are the quieter seasons for each spot.
Who cares if the weathers not picture perfect when you’re getting cheaper accommodation, cheaper flights and discounted ticket prices?
4. Sleep on the cheap
Look for the cheapest hostels in each place you stay.
A good rule to live by – if it has a bed, it’s good. Chances are you’re not going to be spending much of your travel time in the room, so don’t lash out on features like private bathrooms and room service. As long as the place looks comfortable and safe, you can save $20 and spend the cash on bulk gelato and museum tickets. The important things.
Yes, it sounds boring but its necessary and could make your trip last that much longer. Seriously, planning your budget before you leave could mean the difference between being stranded in Spain or enjoying another week touring Vietnam.
Work out how much money you’ll have starting your trip, then factor in roughly what you’ll be spending per day on accommodation, transport and food. This gives you a good indication of what you’ll have left for activities and tours, and how long you can afford to travel for.
If it’s less than you expect, either start saving more now, or look at booking cheaper rooms or travelling options. And if you don’t want to give up any of your handpicked hostels and cosy train carriages, at least you’ll know you’ll run out of money in 2 months now rather than be caught out when it happens!
6. Watch out for specials
This one almost goes without saying. Sign up for any and every airline email list you can so you get first access to any crazy cheap deals and keep your eyes on price alerts.
Specials don’t last long, so making sure your one of the first to know means you can book it straight away and not miss out.
7. Be a cheapskate
If you know where to look, there are some great ways to save money on sightseeing while you’re away.
Walking tours where you can pay as you feel are an awesome way to see a city, and chances are you’ll meet some fun fellow travellers along the way.
If you’re staying at a hostel, group tours to the local sights are another good way to save some cash and tick of the ‘must-sees.’
Another good idea is to find out if there are free or discount days at attractions like museums and galleries. Some spots might offer a cheap Tuesday deal or free entry between a certain time on each day.