Travelling on a budget can seem like an uphill struggle. There’s so much to think about, like transport, accommodation, food, and travel insurance. Don’t forget you’ll probably want some spending money to visit attractions, etc. Travel doesn’t have to be expensive if you plan ahead!
Below are 9 tips to save money on travel:
1. Don’t travel direct
If you’re looking at flying, or travelling by train, why not consider looking at split fares. If you choose to use connecting flights, you can save money on flying directly. You can sometimes do the same by splitting up train fares. Just remember to leave enough time between arrival and departure so that you aren’t going to miss that connection.
2. Travel light
When flying, look at the cheapest luggage options. Some airline operators will allow you to travel more cheaply if you’re carrying hand luggage only (a maximum of two items). Others may charge if you go beyond one suitcase in the hold. It depends on the distance travelled. Domestic flights tend to charge for hold luggage, whilst many international flights allow one suitcase in the hold as part of the ticket price.
3. Round Trip Tickets
Another handy tip when flying is to look at using round trip tickets, even if you only plan on going one way. Because of the high cost of airport taxes and other travel costs. You may find that it’s cheaper to book a round trip. It may sound crazy, but I know of several people who have done just that and saved money.
4. Book self-catering
Not a lot of people think about cooking whilst on vacation. But cooking your own meals can save you a lot of money in the long run. Eating out can get expensive, and if you’ve got even the most basic refrigerator with ice box and microwave in your hotel room, you can save money by buying food in local markets and grocery stores. And if you’re really on a tight budget, why not look up coffee maker ramen recipes? I’ve done many a short trip where I’ve made noodle pots and ramen using either the water boiler or the coffee maker.
5. Public Transportation
If you’re headed somewhere with public transportation, look at multi-day tickets. London, for example, offers Oyster Cards on which you can put ‘travel cards’ which last a certain number of days and particular travel zones. You can also opt to use these on busses, the tube, and over ground trains. A recent trip to London saved me at least half of what I would have spent on single rides using this option. And the travel (as long as within the zones you bought the travel card for) is unlimited for the time stipulated.
6. Choose the slower option.
If a flight or train ride can be done in less time than you can take a nap, look at a bus. It may take you longer to get there, but you will probably save considerably. An hour flight for two people was going to cost my sister and I four times what we paid for the Greyhound, which got us there in four hours, and because we chose an early morning bus, we still got to our destination with plenty of time to enjoy the first day of our trip.
7. Airbnb and youth hostels.
Airbnb is a fantastic way to see a new city. You can often find whole apartments for rent on the site (ideal for longer stays) or rooms within occupied homes (perfect for a short getaway). You’ll be able to cook your own meals and have use of home comforts whilst travelling, and it’s usually cheaper than a hotel. And if your host is living in the same apartment or house, then they’ll be able to advise you on the places that most tourists don’t know about. Airbnb also offers deals and coupons to give you the cheapest price possible.
Youth hostels are cheap and perfect for the backpacker experience. If you’re travelling alone, or as a pair, hostels can provide a welcoming environment that allows you to hear the tales of other travellers too. They also usually provide a communal kitchen and sitting area.
8. Travel when others aren’t
Look at book flights at an unsocial hour when others wouldn’t dream of being up yet. Red eye flights (the first out in the morning) are generally a good bet, particularly midweek, when less people are travelling. And book outside of the summer and December peak seasons when everyone else is trying to get away or visit family.
9. Become a frequent flyer
Air miles can be saved and put to good use getting you discounts, upgrades, and if you have enough points, even free flights. And if you have taken out the air company’s card, you may find that you can use it on other company’s flights if they are connected. Air miles for KLM, for example, can also be used on Delta, and vice versa.
I hope these travel tips will help you save money on your next vacation! For deals on your next vacation, visit Mamma.com for travel coupons!