There’s a problem with budget travel tips, they are relative to the particular author offering the advice. One person’s budget is another’s excessive luxury, and yet others wouldn’t dream of lowering themselves to stay or dine in these ‘slums’. For example, staying in hostels would be unthinkable to many, but are the mainstay of the travel plans of many more. Therefore, despite being convinced Kate and William never miss a post on this site, it’s not likely this one will be of much interest to them.
There are some obvious budget options, Couchsurfing, hitchhiking or house-sitting, using any of these can greatly reduce any travel expenditure, and if combined, can almost remove them altogether. However they suit a specific type of traveller, the aim of this post is to offer tips, which are more general.
Travelling off-season, outside of school or public holidays will offer the best chances of obtaining a good deal, on accommodation, transport and even sometimes in restaurants.
Booking in advance is now usually cheaper than last-minute, airlines and rail companies offer cheaper tickets when the booking in advance. Be ready to shop around, make a coffee or open a bottle of wine and browse the net looking for the best deals.
Flexibility is a traveller’s best friend when making bookings, those open to a variety of dates, departure airports or ports, accommodation and even destinations will have the greatest power when it comes finding the best deals.
Alternate airports are also recommended, most major cities have more than one airport, and regular flyers can make some impressive savings. Before booking however, consider additional costs of transport and possibly overnight accommodation, the savings maybe swallowed up by these extras.
If researching online, before making final confirmation try telephoning the operator direct, often a direct negotiation can result in an even better deal.
Enquire with air or cruise lines about availability of repositioning flights or cruises. Planes and ships need moving around occasionally, and booking passage on one of these is often cheaper, while still offering similar services to normal routes. It maybe necessary to allow more time for a repositioning cruise, they usually take longer than a traditional cruise. Flying or cruising, both are probably one-way, so be prepared to make your own way home.
Consider travelling to unfashionable destinations, places which most tourists would probably avoid. Travelling during periods of civil unrest or post natural disaster, may seem morbid and ensuring there aren’t any safety issues is imperative. However savings can available to the adventurous few ready to visit these destinations. Great importance is usually placed on attracting tourists back in the wake of such events and the offers available are often tempting.
Being prepared to share will definitely cut accommodation costs, single occupancy rooms usually incur a surcharge, although this is slowly improving. However, renting a villa and sharing it with friends can work out remarkably cheap and let’s face it, who doesn’t fancy having their own beachside villa with personal swimming pool?
Experience the pleasure of mobility, choosing to travel in a caravan or mobile home may sound uncomfortable, and only suited to hippy types but it’s a fun option, and almost certainly cheaper than hotel accommodation. It offers real freedom, removing the need for a fixed itinerary, travellers can travel anywhere they choose, and stay as long as they wish. Don’t forget to factor in added expenses such as fuel, toll roads and insurance. You can get the latter from The Caravan Club, who are the go to experts for all things mobile accommodation. You can also find advice on renting and campsites.
Go self-catering, purchasing your own food will undoubtedly work out cheaper, maybe even healthier and will support the local economy. Most local supermarkets reduce their bakery and fresh produce in the evening, find out the best time to visit for buying top quality products at reduced prices. Pack a lunch each day and save dining out as an evening treat.
These budget tips may not help everybody’s favourite royal couple but hopefully some of you will find them useful. Many of you probably have a few tips of your own. Help complete the post and add your top tips for saving a few pennies.