If you are in any way budget-conscious – and let’s face it, many of us are – you will be looking for ways to save money when you next go travelling. Getting on a plane can be expensive, and then there are the hotel costs, insurance fees, and the myriad other expenses that come with travelling abroad. To help you save your hard-earned cash then, we will explore a number of ways you can travel cheaply. The expense of travelling should never put you off exploring the beautiful vistas of the world again!
1. Begin a holiday fund
Grab a jar from one of your cupboards, stick a label on it saying ‘Holiday Savings’ and voila! You have your very own savings jar for your next expedition abroad. Start saving early, putting aside as much money as you can afford each month, and you won’t be hit with any of the expected or unexpected expenses that come with travelling. While we will give you some practical cost-cutting tips elsewhere in this article, nothing beats the sensibility of saving your money.
2. Save money on your flight
By booking well in advance, you can make significant savings with your airfare. You can also save money by travelling at the cheapest times of the day, week, month, or year! Download the Skyscanner app, or visit their website to help you compare prices, using the search tool to factor in different times of the calendar. For example, travelling on a Friday is generally more expensive than on a Wednesday, so if you have any kind of flexibility in your travelling plans, arrange your schedule to save you a significant amount of money. Travelling off-season – avoiding popular holiday times, such as Easter and Christmas – will also save you money, and you won’t have to battle with the hordes of other holiday makers at the airport or your chosen destination.
3. Beat baggage fees
Not only do you have the cost of airfare to worry about, but you also have to deal with the baggage fees that come with your luggage. Of course, you can easily remedy this by not taking as much stuff. Seriously, how many pairs of shoes do you need for one trip? Even if you’re travelling for an extended period, you don’t need to overload your bags. Simply buy stuff when you are away, and only pack the essentials. On the other hand, we are absolutely in love with this next idea, although it will cost you at the outset. Rather than lugging your bags with you everywhere you go, why not wear your luggage instead? Travel jackets basically act as a wearable suitcase, and despite looking a little bit like the Abominable Snowman if you try and stuff your belongings into every conceivable pocket, you will still avoid the frustrating costs that hit you at the baggage counter.
4. Overcome hotel costs
When travelling for a short time, you don’t necessarily need to book into a hotel. There are alternative accommodation ideas that are relatively inexpensive. For example, consider staying at a hostel, doing a house swap, or renting a private room at somebody’s home. If you visit one particular area on a regular basis, you could consider buying a flat. This is expensive, we know, but you will at least have a place to stay for as long as you like when travelling to that country, and you could even rent it out on a short-term lease when you won’t be making use of it. On the other hand, simply buy a tent. If you are a hardened traveller with little fear of backpacking, carrying your accommodation with you means you can travel anywhere and set yourself up for the night when you get tired – within legal boundaries, of course!
5. Be smart – use your smartphone
Unless you are travelling across the Himalayas or traversing the Gobi Desert, you should be able to get a decent wifi signal. This means you can budget as you go, finding the cheapest places to stay, eat, and travel through the myriad apps on your smartphone. If you are travelling somewhere without wifi, you should download the relevant apps before setting off on your adventures. You will never need to buy a paper travel guide, phrasebook, or map again. Still, if you are relying on your phone when away, for travel tips and keeping in touch with your loved ones, keep it hidden on your person, and use this safety guide for further advice.
6. Shop around for travel insurance
As with all of your regular insurance costs, it’s always better to shop around. You may get a better deal with another insurance company than the one you regular use, so don’t assume you need to stay loyal. However, don’t always assume cheapest is the best. You may have to pay a high excess, for example, despite the cheap price at the outset, and you need to make sure you are covered for all possible emergencies, despite having to pay a little extra on add-ons to your policy. Remember: you may have to pay out a lot more if you aren’t covered! Still, use a price comparison service for the best deal, and if you are a frequent traveller, save money by taking out a multi-trip policy rather than continually taking out insurance for single trips.
7. Get paid while you’re away
This isn’t for everyone – you wouldn’t want to spend your annual vacation fortnight picking grapes in Spain to raise money – that would sabotage your rest and relaxation plans! However, if you are travelling for several weeks or months, you can raise some extra cash while away. While picking grapes (or any other type of fruit) is one option – unless you really are hiking across the Gobi Desert – there are other options available to you, from blogging to teaching. Brings new meaning to the phrase ‘Pay as you go!’
We have given you our tips for cutting costs while travelling, but you may have some of your own. If so, please do us all a favour and share your wisdom with the rest of us. Thanks for reading, and wherever you travel to next, we hope you have a fantastic, yet economical time!