Today we have a guest post from the amazing Charlotte over at memoirsmusings.com who has got some fantastic ways you can save money on your travels.
Saving money on your travels…
Sometimes you’re plagued by wanting to book a holiday but not wanting to pay a ridiculous price for it. I don’t want to pay over the odds to get away so I’ve compiled a few tips I’ve picked up over the years…
What or where are the best places to look when booking a trip?
When booking a trip, there are so many travel websites out there that sometimes the whole process can become quite overwhelming. But after booking my trips over the past few years, I like to think I’ve picked up a few tips worth sharing…
TripAdvisor – Always look at the ‘traveller photos’ before booking a hotel, and read the most recent reviews too. TripAdvisor is also great for seeing what there is to do in the local area with great hints and tips. I would always read at least two pages of reviews just to get an idea of if the hotel is right for you. The room tips is also great as it will give you an idea of what rooms are quiet, where has the best views and where is slightly bigger (i.e a corner room will always be slightly larger).
SkyScanner – Use this to check what flights are the cheapest, what times are available and what airline. Set up a ‘price alert’ for the dates you intend on travelling, they’ll send you an e-mail each time the price drops or increases. If you’re not fussed on the destination or time of year, you can search by ‘any date’ and ‘everywhere’ to bring up the cheapest possible flights. This is how I went to Milan one of the bank holiday weekends in May last year for £12.99 each way.
Holiday Pirates – It’s in the name…
They send a brilliant daily newsletter with all the deals they find around the web. Why pay more when you can pay less?
Expedia, Lastminute, TravelRepublic, Booking.com, Hotels.com are all worth a mention too. But always look around as holidays go up or down all the time. Another thing worth noting is clear your internet history too as it can have an impact on price. You don’t want to find out it could have been cheaper!
What methods/techniques can people employ to save cash and make their trip cheaper?
Time of year – Generally, it’ll be cheaper to away in off-peak season, so think about going another time of year. Me, personally – I’m not a fan of super-hot weather, queues and screaming kids, so I tend to go in June or September when it’s still hot, but much much cheaper. Even flying on a Wednesday/Thursday might be cheaper, so if you’re not too fussed on dates, it’s worth playing around with days to see what flights are cheaper. This might even mean the flight is emptier so you’ll have more room if the seat next to you is free, or the possibility of being upgraded (one can hope!).
Baggage – Do you really need to take everything and the kitchen sink with you? Travelling hand luggage only means you won’t have to pay heavy luggage fees and you won’t spend half your trip waiting at the baggage carousel. You can just grab your bag and go!
What are the most effective ways of grabbing a bargain?
To be honest sometimes booking way in advance means you’ll grab a bargain but so does booking last-minute. I think the number one rule is to have a budget, an idea in mind of where you want to go, do your research and be open-minded.
I tend to look through Holiday Pirates daily as they bring up a range of super-affordable deals to just show how cheap travelling can be. It’s also worth signing up to the mailing lists of the websites I’ve mentioned above and downloading their apps. That way, you can turn on push notifications and be alerted instantly when sales are on or flight/hotel prices drop.
Any nifty ideas to save money while on a trip/on your travels?
Take what you need – Change up the money you’ll need and allocate yourself to a budget per day. This way it’ll mean you don’t overspend and you can treat yourself to a fancy dinner or shopping later on in your trip.
Hostels – These are a great way to save money if you don’t mind sharing with others and they’re often in pretty central locations. If you’re a solo traveller, these are the perfect way to meet people too.
Food – When it comes to eating out, I’ve found that eating further way from the landmarks means the food is cheaper, generally better quality and much better service is received too. It makes you explore those meandering alleys and streets and you might just come across a hidden gem.
What other tips and advice would you give to travellers?
Be safe, challenge yourself, eat loads and come back with a new perspective. You can find out more about my travels over at memoirsmusings.com