There is no doubt that travelling can get pretty expensive if you are not careful. I know I could have probably bought a small flat by now… in the middle of nowhere because London prices are RIDICULOUS. But even if I’m going on a short trip everything from transportation, accommodation, food, drink and tourist attractions, costs can really add up. I don’t believe in paying above and beyond for travel because why pay more when you can pay less?
Choose the Right Accommodation
For the budget traveller, many hostels offer a great range of facilities and opportunities to meet other people that you would not get in a hotel. If you would prefer something a little fancier, a B&B or guesthouse offers more of a cultural experience at a significantly more affordable price. Whilst I have never stayed in a hostel myself, there are always plenty of low-cost chains of hotels that you can stay in that have competitive rates. It’s definitely worth checking cashback sites like Quidco and TopCashback or if there are any discount codes floating around.
Avoid the Tourist Traps
Try to avoid the areas that are tourist magnets as they are likely to be significantly more expensive, the same goes in London, go to the suburbs and you’ll save! If you approach an area where large English menus are displayed outside and people are there trying to lure you in, alarm bells should start ringing. Local bars and restaurants tend to serve better quality food and drinks for less money. I had an experience in Barcelona where I was charged 10 Euros for a JUG OF COCA-COLA. I think I must have had ‘mug’ written on my forehead. I know better now to learn a little of the language to get by.
If you visit places in the height of summer, everywhere will put up their prices because they know there are so many customers. Especially due to school holidays, bank holidays and just it being summer.The low (or off-peak) season will certainly be the most affordable, but the weather can be debatable. Instead, you could choose to travel in the shoulder season – usually around May and September in the northern hemisphere. Although, if you’re after some sun, head South to the Caribbean, South America or Africa for a Winter tan.
Book in Advance
You will usually get a better deal if you book a long time in advance, so try to stay on the lookout for better prices. Use comparison websites to ensure that you are not paying more for the same service than you needed to. You can also sometimes get better deals on tourist attraction admission or tours if you book in advance. Being prepared is the best way to avoid unwanted costs, and you should check out the benefits of travel insurance which can give you peace of mind while travelling. Ultimately, it pays to do some research before you arrive at your destination.
Get the Best Exchange Rate
Again, it pays if you do a bit of shopping around. It is often a good idea to use ATMs in the country that you are visiting which give the best rates. Be careful about the transaction fees though – you usually do better to take out larger amounts of money. If you are going to use a credit card, try to get one that doesn’t charge you foreign transaction fees, I highly recommend the Halifax Clarity Card or the American Express Platinum Cashback.
Walk or Bike Wherever You Can
Instead of taking transport that you have to step inside, try to walk or cycle wherever you can. Not only will you keep yourself fit and save money, this is also the best way of really getting to know a city. If you need to take public transport, look for a multi-day pass that will give you the best deal.
Do you have any tips for saving money on your travels?