5 Affordable Travel Tips to Keep in Mind
With winter being so close, many of us will be thinking of going travelling to escape the cold. Being one of those people currently planning a trip, I have been reading dozens of travel blogs in search of frugal travel inspiration. Below are just some of the great tips I have come across so far:
Set a Budget
You have probably already decided where you want to go. Now, the first thing you should do before you plan anything else is work out just exactly how much you are willing to spend on your holiday – booking travel without a set budget can be very dangerous for your wallet. From there, you can use websites like Budget Your Trip to check average daily expenses in various locations around the world to make further planning a bit easier.
Prioritise, Prioritise, Prioritise!
Unless you have an unlimited budget, you need to define your priorities once you have picked your destination(s) and worked out your budget. For example, if you are a foodie, you may be willing to lower your hotel standards in order to have more spare cash to spend on culinary experiences. And vice versa, if you want a top-shelf accommodation experience, you might have to resort to buying food at supermarkets and making your own sandwiches. From my personal experience, one thing that I believe you should definitely splurge on is experiences: sightseeing, excursions, nights out with your fellow travellers, etc. That is what travelling is about!
Travel During The Off-Peak Season
If your schedule is flexible, travelling during the off-season can be a great way to save money! Depending where you go, summer and winter tend to be the two busy times of year, so try travelling in spring and autumn. Not only can that save you hundreds of dollars on long-haul flights; fewer crowds travelling also mean cheaper accommodation. The so-called “shoulder season” (April, May, September and October) offers great weather, long days and less crowds.
Travel With a Partner or in Groups
Single rooms often cost just as much as double rooms; you can also save money and time by splitting taxi fares, guidebooks and sharing platters. If you can gather a crowd to travel with, you may be able to get large group discounts on tours, accommodation and attractions.
Consider Hotel Alternatives
While hotels and motels are a more traditional accommodation option, consider alternatives – such as renting an apartment, staying at B&B or a hostel. For my upcoming trip, we have booked a self-contained apartment for 4 nights, which worked out to be cheaper than a hotel room of a similar level – it also happens to have a kitchen, which means that we can make meals instead of having to dine out all the time (therefore saving us hundreds of dollars!).