Mention the word ‘travel’ and most people think of exciting adventures. People also tend to believe that travelling is expensive. You will need money to travel but it is possible to enjoy a great holiday on a budget without maxing out your credit card and getting into serious credit card debt. Travelling on a budget is possible. Here are some great tips on how to do it right:
1. Planning is essential
Ask any travel expert and they will tell you that planning is the key to a successful and affordable holiday. Some people jet off on a holiday without first taking the time to plan it out. You should ask yourself the following questions:
- What is my budget? To what extent can I over spend without feeling the pinch?
- Should I travel by air or by train? Would it be worth the savings to travel by road?
- How about travelling economy vs. business class?
- When should I book?
- Is this going to be a child friendly holiday?
- Will I be able to make my own meals or take my own food?
2. Do your research
Make sure you do your research before booking your holiday. The internet can provide you with answers to most, if not all of your travel related queries. Websites like Trip Advisor are great because you can read reviews and experiences from other travellers while sites like Expedia can compare airfare and hotel prices for you and provide you with your best options. Simple online comparisons could save you a lot of money.
If you are planning on staying in a hotel, make sure you research the best offers available at your desired destination. Many hotels offer affiliate discounts, for example free airport transfers (which can save you money on taxis), free WiFi and continental breakfast included in the price of your stay. Just make sure you book early and confirm with the concierge upon arrival to take advantage of the great discounts!
For the low budget travellers, youth hostels can be a great idea if you don’t mind sleeping in a room with a few other people. Youth hostels offer dormitory-like rooms with shared bathrooms/showers and are a great way to meet people whilst travelling. Some hostels even have private rooms if you don’t mind paying a little more for that luxury.
Most people prefer to travel during the popular holiday seasons like over the European/American summer as well as Christmas time and other various school holidays. However travelling during those peak seasons can be more expensive than travelling during the off-peak times. Hotels and airfare costs are lower during the off-season which can save you and your family a significant amount of money, so being flexible on the time of year of your holiday could end up saving you quite a bit of money.
3. Live like a local with Airbnb
Another great accommodation option could be to utilise websites such as Airbnb which allow you to rent another person’s bedroom or house/apartment for your stay. Prices are much cheaper than hotels and give you access to a kitchen so you can cook your own food instead of dining out all the time.
It is also a great choice if you are travelling for several weeks and need to do laundry. Many holiday rentals include washer and dryer access in the price of your accommodation so you can have the luxury of doing your own laundry instead of paying the hotel or trying to find a laundromat. If you prefer hotels, you could break up your holiday accommodation by staying at an Airbnb for one day in the middle of your trip to catch up on laundry. It could make a huge difference in the way you travel.
4. Stay with friends and relatives
Flights and accommodation are usually the biggest expenses while travelling. Staying with friends or relatives during your holiday can be a great way to save on accommodation expenses. Not only does it provide you a chance to catch up with them, but they can also give you some ‘local knowledge’ and recommend some great off-the-beaten-track restaurants or attractions which you may not have known about otherwise.
5. Watch what you eat and drink
Dining out on your holiday can become quite expensive when you’re always paying for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Hotel rooms are well-equipped with a mini-fridge and some even come with a kitchenette. This makes it convenient (and easier on your wallet) to cook your own meals or stock up on some necessities like fruit, bread, milk and snacks.
6. Take an empty water bottle with you
If you’ve ever bought anything from the airport, you’ll know that the prices there are higher than normal. Essentials like water are no exception. You can drink directly from the water fountains but filling up your own bottle makes better sense. This way, you can drink as you need it instead of like a thirsty camel and then looking for the bathroom later. You’ll also have your own bottle of water while travelling instead of paying for a bottle every time. It’s good for the environment too.
Make sure your water bottle is empty when you pass through airport security as the officers won’t allow it through if there are liquids inside. You can always refill it once you’re on the other side.
7. Connect smarter
Nowadays, everyone wants to stay connected to their friends and family with their smartphone or tablet when travelling overseas. Using your international roaming when abroad can rack up a very expensive mobile bill if you aren’t careful! A great way to stay connected for free is to take advantage of free WiFi at hotels and restaurants. Just remember to put your smartphone or tablet on airplane mode before you leave the country.
Another alternative would be to purchase a local SIM card (great if you plan on making a lot of phone calls) when you arrive at your holiday destination. Just make sure that your phone or tablet is unlocked and compatible with foreign SIM cards.
8. Consider packaged tours
Some travel booking companies offer package tours which can include hotel stay, some meals and activities during your holiday. This can be a great way to travel on a budget and still see all of the great local attractions nearby.
Another option would be to look at hotels or resorts that offer “all inclusive” packages. Some of these places include all meals in the price of your accommodation which will save you loads.
9. Check local Groupon and deal websites
If you like seeing and doing things when you’re travelling, then you’ll know that the cost of entry fees and activities can add up quickly. You could save lots of money easily by visiting Groupon or similar websites that offer 2 for 1 or discounted deals on adventures, accomodation and even meals. These sites are free to browse and there are new deals added every day.
This is also a great way to have fun cheaply in your home city. FOMOers beware! Be careful of overcommitment and try your best to only buy deals that you truly need or will have the time to experience.
You can travel on a budget
If you don’t have a large travel budget it does not mean that you cannot enjoy the pleasures of travel without getting into debt. All it takes is some dedicated research and good planning to find the right holiday deals so that you can travel the world without breaking the bank!
If you have incurred significant debt from travelling, contact us today to discuss the best debt solution for you. Call us on 1300 368 322 or fill in the contact form below and one of our friendly consultants can call at a day and time convenient to you. We’re here to help!