Holidays can end up being quite expensive, especially when all the little things add up! When planning your trip, it’s a good idea to decide on a budget. Then try to stick as close to this budget as possible. Your budget list doesn’t have to be fancy. It can just be a list of expenses and costs.
With all aspects of the trip to budget for, you might find yourself wondering how you can save yourself some cash. We like to keep costs as low as possible when travelling. Here are our favourite ways to reduce the cost of travelling which will help you stick to your holiday budget.
Travelling out of season is our first money-saving tip. Although the weather might not be as warm, travelling outside of peak season will save you money. For example, June to August is considered peak season for Spain, so travelling outside this time will likely be cheaper.
Travelling off-peak will reduce travel costs such as flights and hotels, therefore helping you stick to your budget.
An advantage of travelling outside peak seasons is that you will avoid the tourist crowds.
Also, when deciding dates to travel, be sure to check when school holidays are and try to avoid these. Travelling during school holidays will usually be more expensive.
Use a flight comparison website and be flexible with dates
Using a flight comparison website (such as Skyscanner) will help you find the cheapest plane tickets for your destination.
Searching and booking the best deal, rather than just the first tickets you come across, will help you reduce your spending and stay within budget.
Be as flexible as possible with departure and return dates as it can be cheaper to travel on certain days of the week. Also, if you can, be flexible with airports as prices may be higher or lower.
Avoid extras on the flight
Save as much money on your flight as possible. To help you stay within budget, consider avoiding any optional extras (the kind you have to pay extra for). Doing this will save you money.
If you have to pay extra for checked luggage, consider travelling hand luggage only. As long as you can still take everything you need for your trip, travelling with just hand luggage is a great tip. As well as saving money, you will also save time (you won’t need to wait for your bags at the luggage collection area).
Is there an option to choose your seat? As tempting as this may be, we recommend not paying extra for this luxury. Instead, just have the one that you will get randomly allocated for free! Not paying this extra fee will help you stick to your budget.
If you are travelling over mealtimes, you’ve probably considered buying food on the plane. To reduce spending take your own food instead to eat on the plane. But be sure to buy from the supermarket beforehand as food at the airport will be expensive! Also, take an empty water bottle (as you won’t be able to take a full one with you through security), so you can fill up for free on the other side at a water fountain – saving you even more money.
Make sure that you check the size and weight of your bag before travelling to the airport. You don’t want to be hit by extra fees if your bag is too big or heavy!
Lastly, don’t pack any prohibited items. Otherwise, you will have to buy a replacement if something gets confiscated.
Have a packing list
Having a packing list is a great idea. You will be able to tick items off your list so you don’t forget anything. Packing lists can also help you stay on budget, as you won’t need to buy any additional items upon arrival (as you will have packed everything you need).
Keep your passport safe
If you lose your passport before your return flight and don’t realise until you get to the airport you will be out of pocket. Firstly, you would most definitely miss your flight (as you don’t have a passport). Secondly, you would need to pay for an emergency travel document. This would cost you £100! And that is not keeping costs low.
An emergency travel document takes a minimum of 2 days to be issued. Therefore, you would have to pay for extra food, accommodation and transportation (more than you’d originally budgeted for).
So, be sure you keep your passport in a safe place for the duration of your trip to avoid unnecessary costs.
Buy travel insurance
Make sure you take out insurance for your holiday. When shopping around for insurance, take out a policy that has everything you need and only buy from a reputable company.
Although this will cost you money, it would help if something were to happen. Such as unforeseen medical expenses or cancelled flights.
If you don’t take out sufficient travel insurance or don’t get any insurance, you could find yourself paying out large sums of money – most definitely not budget!
Book a hostel
This one won’t be for everyone, but you should definitely consider it. Choosing a hostel, rather than a hotel, can save money on your accommodation. The cost per night is generally a much cheaper rate. If shared dorms aren’t your thing, you will find that some hostels do offer private rooms.
If the hotel (you might be thinking of booking) has meals included (or any extras), you will have to factor this into the price comparison when deciding on the cheapest place to stay.
If you’re thinking about staying at a hostel, there are a few features and facilities you should look for to help choose the best one.
Check exchange rates
Shop around for the best exchange rate you can find. This will reduce unnecessary costs as you will be getting your travel money exchanged for the best price.
Check bank card fees
Before you go, check with your bank if they charge fees to use your bank card overseas. If they do, consider looking for a card with zero or lower fees. This way you won’t waste money on bank fees. All these small charges will add up.
Check out transport options
Before you go, look into the different transport options. This can be for getting to and from the airport (on both sides) and transport to activities and sights. By researching what is available, you will be able to find the best prices.
If you are sightseeing, and the attractions aren’t too far away from each other, then consider walking instead of using public transport or taking a tour bus. Walking will save you money – we think walking is the best way to explore somewhere new.
Book activities before you go
Booking excursions and activities online before you travel, can sometimes be cheaper than buying on the day.
Do some research to find out if tickets are cheaper to purchase in advance. Another tip is to check if there are any multi-attraction tickets, which will allow you to visit multiple sights for a discounted rate.
What better way to stick to your holiday budget than to do free things? Look for free things to do at the destination you are travelling to e.g. museums, visiting parks or art galleries.
Don’t buy lots of souvenirs
When travelling with a set budget, don’t go overboard buying lots of souvenirs. Buying expensive, unnecessary souvenirs will waste your money. Instead, limit yourself to one souvenir or set a budget.
14. Save money on food
The final tip to help you stick to your travel budget is to save money on food. Don’t eat out at fancy restaurants every night. Instead, if you have accommodation with a kitchen buy food from the local supermarket or market and cook for yourself – it will work out cheaper. Or source out cheaper options like street food and takeaways as these will be cheaper than a sit down meal.