Do you have a traveller within you just dying to take off? Would you be on a permanent vacation if you could afford it? Travelling can be expensive, yes, but you can still cut costs and save money on your holidays. And that just means more vacations for you! Here are some tried and tested methods that can help you get more juice out of your travel money.
Go during off-season: Okay, so the weather may not be at its nicest, but you will still be able to marvel at the wonders of the place and soak in the local culture. Hotels will be more than willing to give you dreamy deals and restaurant prices will be at their lowest. It is also a good way to avoid the peak-season crowd.
Book months in advance: It is no secret that the earlier you book, the more you save. If you do your research well, you may land yourself extremely cheap flight tickets which will blow up to unaffordable proportions if you book closer to the travelling date. Some online search engines like Skyscanner let you look for the cheapest dates and cheapest destinations to fly to at any time of the year.
Become a frequent flyer: Some budget travellers do the smart thing by staying loyal to a single airline so that they can collect frequent flyer miles. These can then be redeemed thus saving a load of money. Sometimes, it is possible to get a complete return fare without spending an extra penny (except taxes).
Carry your own food: This may sound cheap but eating at touristy places can cost a bomb and it helps to stock up on some food in your daypack. If you can help it, book yourself into a place that allows you to cook, especially if you are going to live there for an extended period of time. You will be surprised at how much money this can actually save you. You can, of course, treat yourself to a fancy meal or try out local delicacies every now and then.
Share the costs: Wherever possible, tie up with your co-travellers to save money on commute. Sharing a cab with 2-3 other people, for example, can reduce your travelling expenses by a good fraction. If you are up for some adventure, you can even shack up at traveller’s hostels and live in a dorm. Couchsurfing is also an increasingly popular option for travellers wanting to save up on accommodations while, at the same time, experiencing the local culture from close quarters. For those not aware, Couchsurfing International Inc. is a hospitality exchange and social networking website. The website provides a platform for members to “surf” on couches by staying as a guest at a host’s home, host travellers or joining an event.
Skip the agents: Planning a holiday is much easier when you avail the services of a travel agency but it is usually not the best bang for the buck. You can get much cheaper deals on flights and hotel bookings if you do your own research. Read reviews, get in touch with other travellers and contact hotels and guesthouses individually to negotiate the best packages. Also, skip the popular hotels – every place has no-frills budget guesthouses that are clean and comfortable.