'If I had money, I would travel the world,' many of us say when resting on a couch in our living room and browsing special hotel, flight and car hire deals. But traveling doesn't have to be that expensive. If the experience is that you wish for, you can get it – with a bit of research and smart travelling tricks.
Right! If you’re very inexperienced in traveling on a budget, be sure not to miss the obvious ways for lowering your trip costs, that you’ll find bellow. Otherwise let’s start with these simple tricks.
Don’t eat your money
We have to eat. That’s a fact. But there are a lot of cheaper ways than opting for Half Board at your hotel. If you rent an apartment via Airbnb.com you can cook your meals by yourself and save a lot of money. If you stroll the food markets for fresh, seasonal vegetables and buy some pasta or rice, this wont cost you much. Also instant noodles packets are super fast and cheap option for a quick lunch. You know… Just add water.
If you want to go out to eat, experiment with street food stands, since this wont cost you much. Also use the TripAdvisor app to check which restaurant and pubs are the cheapest.
The last trick is to avoid tourist traps! These are usually the restaurant near the main roads, squares and touristy beaches.
Don’t travel when everybody else does
Every country has its high season and off-season, you just have to Google it to discover when there is the peak of the season, which is the most expensive option for travellers. Visiting countries in off-season can mean that it won’t be sunny all the time (especially in Asia that’s the time of rainy season, but that doesn’t mean that it will rain all the time) In off-season you'll get cheaper airfare, find more budget rooms, spend less time in lines, and meet more locals than tourists. Most of destinations are interesting any time of year.
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Don’t lay all your eggs in one basket
When travelling, planning ahead is smart, but staying loyal to just one place of accommodation is not. Yes, book a hotel, B&B or hostel ahead, so you’ll have a roof over your head and a bed to sleep in, but book it just for one night. This will give you an opportunity to be sure, you really like to place or search for better options, move closer to the area you are interest in and so on.
If you’re planning a trip not a vacation and you tend to move around a lot there are useful apps – like Hotel Tonight, Hipmunk, Booking and Wehostels – that offers you ‘last minute’ hotel bookings, sometimes with super cheap deals, since they offer you discounted rooms that weren’t booked during the day.
Mamma mia, families rock!
Manny families open their business, like B&Bs, tourists guiding and restaurants. This is usually mentioned in Trip Advisor, since family business are not only cheaper but also homiest. Visit family restaurant in Italy or rent a boat in Costa Rica… There’s a pretty big chance you’ll have a better experience with it than with a posh corporate tourism services.
The obvious ways to save money when travelling
1. Choose your battles!
In travelling world, you win some you lose some. First, you have to know what you want and where is the easiest way to save money. If you live in Europe and travel to exotic destinations like Thailand or Caribbean, most probably you’ll have to invest in getting there, but once you’re there, you won’t need that much money. In contrary, some countries are a bit more expensive, but your flight or car hire deal can be very reasonable – especially if you think ahead and book your ride soon enough.
2. Take your time to check the details
Travelling companies became masters in hiding the facts and showing the cheapest side of travelling. Maybe you will find a deal that at the first glance looks like the cheapest, but has a lot of additional costs like extra language fee or additional stops in cities where you will have to stay for the night, so you will pay for a hotel and so on.
You should also keep in mind that starting your trip in Friday or Saturday could raise your airfare costs. More about best and worst days too book your flight you can read here ».
Also have in mind that the prices are not the same for all the users. Marketers discovered that they can show different prices to different customers regarding their lifestyle. Based on the facts, which computer they use for browsing, are they booking airfare on their mobile and so on – the prices can be altered.
Tip: Take your time and check airfare deals on different websites. Before that be sure to delete all your cookies on your computer and don’t plan your trip using your mobile or tablet. The simplest way to book your flight via your computer is to open incognito tab and book the deal you are most interested in. Also check the ‘details’ link (usually written in smaller font and lighter colour) for any potential additional costs.
3. Are you sure that hotel is the accomodation you want?
Yes, many people already prefer alternatives, but still, many of the travellers still choose hotels, if they ‘don’t want to complicate things’. But what is so complicated? In B&B breakfast, parking, Wi-Fi and some basic snacks or drinks are for free, which we can’t say for a hotel. Maybe you think you like to comfort yourself with a cooked dinner, but why not go out? The cost will be practically the same – just you will see more of the city and always have a meal that you wish for in that moment.
At his point we have to talk hostels. Adults usually don’t want to stay in hostels, since they think they have lower standards, only bunk beds and too many students screaming and jumping around. This is so not the case anymore. Hostels became quite interesting alternative to hotels – with a splash of personality but just as tidy and respectful to guest as hotels are. Just be sure to book a single room if you don’t want to share it with 8 to 16 youngsters.
But apartment rentals are the best, if you ask us! At Airbnb.com you can find the cheapest and cutest apartments for reasonable prices. Why spent all the money on hotel cooking if you can cook by yourself with local ingredients or just go out, if you want to.
Tip: If you’re traveling Europe, there is really no reason to stay in a hotel. Check alternatives and if you really want to indulge yourself in staying at a hotel, rather rent an apartment for few days, go to fancier hotel just for the last 3 days to celebrate the great trip you had.
4. Maybe in a romantic relationship 3 is a crowd, but when travelling, 4 is just right.
Traveling alone for sure can be fun and interesting, but it’s not the cheapest way. Traveling with at least one companion is better, but strive to find three. Especially if you will rent an apartment, 4 is a good number, since many of the apartments offer 4 beds or more, and by dividing rental cost with 4 people ends up in very affordable prices.
Also 4 people can share hired car (renting a car for 4 people is super cheap option), and you will always find a table for four in every restaurant.
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