Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Ways to save money while travelling

I've said it before, but I much prefer to travel on a budget as it often means having some money to go on one extra trip - and I don't mind scrimping on things and looking for a good deal. I'm always finding really affordable holidays and I also have some tips for saving money when you're there, so if you're looking for ways to save money while travelling then read on!

save money while travelling

I use Skyscanner for finding cheap flights - I know there are a few sites you can use for finding flight deals, but I've always found Skyscanner the easiest and it's my go-to. I like that you can put in your date and your chosen airport (as well as nearby airports, which is handy for me as Liverpool and Manchester are pretty much just as easy to get to as each other) then wherever you want to go - or the 'everywhere' option, which is often what I go for when looking at holidays because most of the time I'm not really fussy about where I'm going, so I just pick the cheapest flight to the most interesting looking place. If you're a keen traveller with a big bucket list to tick off, this is definitely a good way to do it!

Hotels can be SO pricey, but sites like Hotels.com and Booking.com etc offer rewards schemes that give you a free night or cheaper prices after you've booked a certain number of nights, so it can be worth sticking with one booking site for all your hotel trips. I also find Airbnb to be a lot cheaper than hotels, most of the time - you can my read my Airbnb top tips if you want to know more - and it's worth thinking about location too. For example, if you stay right in the centre it can be more expensive than staying out of town, but you might end up spending a fair bit on transport if you're quite far out. Just do your research and see what ends up being your cheapest option!

save money when travelling

When it comes to travel accessories, places like Poundland and Home Bargains really do pull through - they often tend to stock things like luggage tags, travel scales, suncream etc in the summer months, so if you've got a trip booked later in the year it's worth buying them early and stashing them away so you don't have to pay extra at the time when they're not so easy to get hold of. You really don't have to pay loads for your actual luggage either - I find IT Luggage to be the best, and they're often available in Primark and Matalan in a whole range of designs for a really good price.

So, you've booked your flights and somewhere to stay, and got everything you need - how are some other ways you can save money? Well, I always google 'free things to do in *insert city here*' before I go anywhere (cough cough here's some free things to do in Brussels and some free things to do in Prague if you're interested) because cities are full of weird little things you can do that won't cost you a penny, or whatever the smallest denomination is of the currency in your chosen country. Whether it's a cool sculpture or a hidden view point, you'll definitely find something to do when you don't want to spend too much. There are often days throughout the week or month when a lot of the museums in a city are free, too, so definitely have a look and see what you can find.

save money travelling in europe

A lot of cities have a city card - like the Brussels Card that I wrote about - which is where you pay a certain amount to purchase a card which in turn gets you into a variety of attractions without having to pay when you get there. Obviously it might not be worth it if you don't end up doing much while you're there but if you do plan on fitting loads in it can be worth it - and they often cover public transport too. Looking on sites like Trip Advisor and Atlas Obscura can be really handy for finding affordable things to do, too.

Speaking of getting around, it can be so easy to rely on Uber or the local equivalent, and sometimes you really might need to, but public transport can be really easy too. A lot of places have apps that will tell you when and where to get the bus from, for example, and there will often be ticket machines that you can change into English for ease of use. Trains in England are utterly useless, we all know that, but rail travel in other countries is mostly really good and will save you some money while you're out and about. Walk as much as you can, too, because you'll get to spot some really cool things while you're getting from A to B.

save money travelling in poland

Self-catering can be a really good way to save money while you're travelling - if you're in an apartment or Airbnb, find your nearest supermarket and stock up on things like pasta, bread, cereal, fruit etc to make your meals without going out for an expensive dinner. Obviously this only works if you're in a self-catering setting but it's something worth thinking about if you're trying to save money while travelling! Also if you're heading out for the day, take a water bottle with you (like a Chilly's Bottle for example) which you can re-fill throughout the day to save having to buy a drink if you get thirsty.

When you do want to eat out, which you most likely will, go off the beaten track a bit. Head away from the main area of the city and see what you can find, and ask locals where they'd recommend for budget meal that will actually be good on the tastebuds. Steer clear of chain restaurants, if you can!

save money when travelling in europe

Some other tips include discounts on attractions for students/families/over 60s etc, packing light so you don't have to pay for hold luggage, and opting for annual travel insurance rather than a one-trip deal. If you've got any money-saving holiday hacks please comment below and share the wealth, so to speak. Happy travels, gang.

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