Real Budget-Friendly Tips for Your Next Holiday

Posted on 08 Aug 2021 by Julian House

A trip abroad is often the perfect way to inject some much-needed rest and respite into our lives. But, by the time you factor in flights, accommodation, food and drink, and just getting around your destination, it can be quite a significant outlay.  Luckily, there are several things you can do to reduce the cost of your dream holiday, from planning in advance to savvy ways to spend your time on vacation.  

1. Set a Budget 

One of the most effective ways to save money on any purchase is to set and stick to a budget. You doubtless already set budgets for the big ticket items you need to buy throughout your lifetime; well, you need to do that for your holiday too. It’s important to be clear in advance about how much you are willing to spend and what areas you’re willing to compromise on.  

As well as travel and accommodation costs, your budget should include:

1) Travel insurance.

2) Vehicle hire.

3) Essential toiletries and clothing.

4) Day-to-day expenses such as excursions and entertainment.  

2. Shop Around 

Price comparison websites like Skyscanner, Expedia, and Trivago make it seem like they’re doing the hard work for you in aggregating thousands of deals from travel and accommodation providers, but sometimes it’s worth shopping around.  

Sure, you can get good value for money using package deals from the websites above, but use them as a starting point. It’s always worth checking your ideal airline or hotel’s website as well, as it can be more cost-effective to book with them directly. 

3. Take a Flexible Approach 

If you have a general idea of where in the world you would like to visit but aren’t too fixated on one specific town or city, you could take a more flexible approach for flights and accommodation.  

Perhaps you have a region in mind, say Southern France, but would be just as happy spending your trip in Nice as you would in Carcassone. You can do some research into whichever destination offers the best value for money and make your decision based on that.  

Alternatively, it’s always worth looking at flights and accommodation just outside popular tourist hotspots. It can be more budget-friendly to stay a short distance from your dream destination, particularly if you’re considering hiring a vehicle or using car-sharing apps during your stay.   

4. Don’t Board the Plane 

Ok, this next tip might seem like a long shot, but it can help you save a fair bit depending on where you’re holidaying too.

An effective way to save on costs to a destination like Vegas is to simply not board the plane using the “hidden city” trick. More often than not, connecting flights between major US airports can be cheaper than flying direct. So, if Las Vegas is your dream destination, book a flight to LA with a layover in Vegas and end your journey there.  

Just remember to book your return trip flights separately as, once you leave the airport, your remaining flights will be cancelled.  

5. Holiday like a Local 

If you’re travelling on a tight budget, you can save a lot by avoiding tourist areas and immersing yourself in the local culture. Renting a room from a local homeowner via home-sharing sites like Air BnB is not just a cost-effective measure, you can also pick up some useful hints about what to see and do in your chosen destination, as well as info on all those budget-friendly eateries to check out.  

Furthermore, if you can use the kitchen facilities where you’re staying, buying the supplies you’ll need for your entire trip is a lot cheaper than paying to eat out all the time. If you’re staying with a friendly host, you could even try cooking some of the local specialties.  

6. Getting Around 

woman riding on vehicle putting her head and right arm outside the window while travelling the road

Depending on how long you’ll be holidaying for, a few different cost-effective travel options are available.  

Firstly, car hire is always worth checking out as it can be more budget-friendly than relying on taxis. Make sure to take into account insurance and any additional taxes, however, and add fuel into your initial budget.  

If you’re planning to take a couple of trips to attractions outside where you’re staying, ride-sharing apps like BlaBlaCar give you access to carpools. This is a great way to meet locals and potentially get even more insider tips on making the most of your destination on a budget.  

Alternatively, taking public transport is one of the simplest ways to keep costs down when you’re out and about. Always purchase travel passes instead of single tickets, and if you’re entitled to concessionary travel, make sure you bring relevant ID with you so you can claim your discount.  

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