Travelling is not something that is known for being cheap – and things like air ticket prices can make or break your entire travel budget. And when you hear the words ”budget travel” chances are there are images of dirty pack packers, cantankerous old busses, hitch hiking and uncomfortable overnight trips on barges that spring to mind.
But in fact there are a number of ways you can save money when travelling without having to sacrifice what is considered to be creature comforts or having to rough it with rustic transport and accommodation. Here are 10 great ways you can save money when travelling.
1.Book in Advance
When you are booking your accommodation on the other side, enquire about any specials, discounts or packages that may be available for you and your travelling party. With a worldwide recession, many hotels, B &B’s and small accommodations really struggle to make ends meet, so you may be lucky in finding great accommodation at a fantastic price. Remember if you don’t ask the answer is always no.
2.Go between Seasons
Season time, usually during school holidays, summer or over the Festive Season means that high tourist destinations experience a huge influx of people and are likely to capitalize on that everywhere. Finding a hotel that will fit into your budget will be virtually impossible, all the sites will have long queues, the cafes and the restaurants heaving with tourists and its going to be double the price where ever you go. Go immediately after season, you will catch the tail end of the stunning weather, but benefit from all the low season prices and all the holiday makers will have returned from whence they came leaving you in total peace and tranquility.
3.Book All inclusive
Some popular holiday resorts offer families and large groups travelling together an all-inclusive package for 7 -14 days and more. This means that all your meals are included, with some packages including all your cocktails and alcohol as well, and it includes sightseeing and activities like snorkeling and yacht charters as well as all of your accommodation and airport transfers. You could really save a lot of money this way, making it affordable for you to take your entire family to that luxury tropical island you have always wanted to go to.
4.Pick Self Catering
Self-catering is the perfect holiday accommodation choice for families travelling together. And it is a great idea if you are planning on staying a week or more. Daily rates will be cheaper; you can shop at the local grocery store, fish for your supper at a nearby lake, enjoy lazy BBQ in the evening and even get a full valet service included. This means that Mom and Dad don’t have to worry about laundry or cleaning during the holiday so it means a real break for everyone.
5.Hire A Car
Depending on where you go, you may find that hiring a car locally will save you a lot of money – especially if you are travelling with a lot of people or have a lot of luggage. You will be able to explore your surrounding areas and neighborhoods quite easily and efficiently which will give you freedom to come and go as you please. In Australia for instance you could spend 2 weeks road tripping down the coast visiting all of the small coastal towns at your leisure and you will still have money left over for a nice ice cold beer.
6.Speak to your concierge
Your concierge is a virtual wealth of knowledge and will have the low down on the best places to visit at the best times and tips on things like where to get a good meal at lunchtime for an affordable price. Your concierge will be able to advise you when to head out to popular historic sites to beat the crowds and can arrange all kinds of perks and services for you that you may never have thought of – like a personal tour guide, pub tour or wine tasting in your area that won’t break the bank.
7.Use your Apps
Use technology to get the information that you need for things like bus routes, prices, timetables, nearest restaurants, discounts and of course where the closest happy hour is going down. There are loads of free travel apps you can download that will be able to help you save money, provide reviews and point you in the right direction.
You didn’t travel half way around the world to Italy to eat Chinese takeaway – so don’t. Get the low down on the best restaurants and cafes that are frequented by the locals and yes you might find yourself in an Italian Mammas kitchen with a never empty glass of wine, but for sure the locals know where to go and what is best.
9.Choose local Beer
So you feel like a nice sun downer after a long day of sightseeing? Chances are the imported brands are going to leave you gasping for breath when you see the prices so why not stick to the local brands? This will give you a chance to taste local beer and wines at rock bottom prices and you might find that it is not as bad as you think. Spirits are always that much more expensive anywhere you go – so pick wine or beer anyway.
Many countries are easy enough to navigate by foot and it will be an entirely different experience for you to do so. Or hire a bicycle and tour around at your leisure – you will be able to work off all of the beer and local food, see things from a totally different perspective and you will save loads of money in the process than if you continuously used public transport.