Sunday, April 19, 2015

Tips for travelling on a budget


I think that I can speak for most people when I say that if you can save some money without compromising on comfort or quality then you would jump at it. Many people wonder how I can travel regularly even though I work part time and study, thinking that I either a) have a magical money tree or b) my parents fund it. I usually laugh at both of these suggestions. I'll admit that most of the travel I have done so far was funded by my parents, but only because I was still in school and didn't exactly have much of a choice! (No complaints here though) 
But since I finished school I am obviously expected to be self-funded when it comes to travel.

Now, coming to my point about where I have all this money to spend on travel. It's not so much the amount I earn (trainees don't earn a great deal!) but how I spend what I have. I am careful about how I spend money on "non-essentials" but I am also careful when it comes to spending money on travel itself. There are some amazing deals and bargains to be had if you just look hard enough. There are always cheap flights around if you are flexible with dates and destination, and many hotels offer discounts for staying in certain periods. 

Moving on now - here are my tips for saving money on some of the main expenses when travelling!

Flight

As much as I love to whinge about certain budget airlines with their ridiculous luggage restrictions and moody staff, I wouldn't have been to the places I have without them. I recently booked a £20 return flight to Copenhagen on Ryanair to go in May, which is one of the lowest prices I've seen in a while. And really, who can complain about moody staff when your flight is cheaper than a meal and drink in Soho?

Also, if you don't have kids make sure to take advantage of off-peak flights. During school holidays, flights can be sky-high as all families are pigeon-holed into going away at these times. Flying to destinations outside their peak time can also save you some money. So if you visit a "summer" destination in autumn, winter or spring chances are there will be less demand and therefore cheaper prices.

Accommodation

The country or city you are visiting will determine what is the best accommodation option. However, generally places on websites such as AirBnB will be a good deal cheaper than hotels, and also offer you a lot more variety. When trying to find accommodation in Copenhagen I was struggling to find even hostels, (let alone hotels) for my group's budget, but managed to find a three bedroom apartment just outside the center on AirBnB for our budget.

Transport

This one is actually closely linked to accommodation. I usually try to limit my use of transport in favour of staying in a central location. You might see a cheap place about an hour out of the center of the city and think "oh great, money saved!". But really you could end up spending all the money you thought you saved on accommodation and putting it all into transport and have an inconvenient commute!

Food

I find this one the easiest to save money on. Living in London means that restaurants in most other countries seem cheap in comparison! I am a big believer in not compromising your travel experience for the sake of saving money. What I mean by this is that I don't want to eat bread and butter and packet noodles for the whole time I am in a new country. For me, discovering and trying local food is just as important as seeing the most famous tourist attraction there! I will at least try to have one meal a day out at a restaurant that serves decent and authentic food.  For the other meals I will go to the nearest supermarket and buy some things there. Actually, one of my favourite things about a new country is going to the supermarket! I have found some of the most amazing things there because it is what the locals eat and use every day.


3 comments:

  1. Great tips, going to a supermarket to buy food is a good way to stay on budget and cut costs. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. There are always cheap flights around if you are flexible with dates and destination, and many hotels offer discounts for staying in certain periods.
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