10 TIPS TO MAKE YOUR HOLIDAYS CHEAP
Travel broadens the mind, but you do not want to come back home to discover these same holidays has made a big hole in your pocket .
Here are 10 tips to save money while you’re travelling:
1. Book cheap flights
If you’re willing and able to fly in midweek, to use a budget airline, and to travel away from peak season, you’ll discover that huge savings can be made. Exactly what “low season” means will depend on where you’re going – in Europe it can mean cold, wet weather but in the Caribbean you’ll probably get great conditions at any time of the year.
2. Stay in a hostel
The communal, dormitory-based nature of most hostels isn’t for everyone, but if you can deal with it then it can reduce your accommodation bills enormously. Unlike in a hotel, most of your fellow guests will also be on a budget, and the camaraderie this can build up may well lead to you making some great new friends during your stay!
3. Visit free attractions
The most famous sights in each country often have steep admission charges – but look around and you’ll find that there’s plenty you can enjoy without spending a penny. Whether it’s a specialist museum, a street-based arts festival or a bar hosting a local band, even a small city is likely to have enough to keep you occupied throughout your holiday.
4. Do plenty of walking
Of course, you’ll need to use a little common sense with this one: there are some places where walking after dark would be foolhardy. But if you’re travelling to a safe city, then you can save a great deal on taxi fares by letting your feet take the strain. Better yet, you’ll get to experience your destination directly, without a glass window getting in the way.
5. Eat cheaply
Again, this is a tip you should apply prudently, but there’s certainly no need to dine in five-star restaurants every night. Look to see where the locals eat: maybe there’s a cafe tucked away down a side street, or even a stand in the main square. Follow their lead and you may well find that you’ve discovered a hidden jewel of your chosen country’s cuisine.
6. Ask for discounts
There’s intense competition between operators and attractions in most of the world, and many of them offer big discounts to some classes of traveller. If you’re over 60 or a student, this is especially worthwhile. You could also try asking your boss whether you’re eligible for a discounted stay in a hotel the company uses for business purposes.
7. Bring some snacks
Food is likely to be one of your major holiday expenses, and snacks are often very expensive at airports or train stations. Go to a supermarket and pick up some trail mix. It may not be fine dining, but it’ll keep you going through a day without having to dip into your reserves of cash.
8. Pack carefully
In many parts of the world, the weather can be highly unpredictable, so make sure you’re prepared. Raincoats are expensive and bulky items to buy while on the road, so always bring one along. Also, check whether your accommodation provides stuff like toothpaste, since buying that can add irritation as well as cost.
9. Understand how to tip
The culture regarding tips varies from country to country around the world, and it can save both money and embarrassment if you do a little research before you leave home. For example, in the United States a 20% tip is normal, but in New Zealand most places won’t expect a gratuity at all. Read bills carefully to check whether a service charge has already been applied.
10. Do your homework
Before you even leave home, have an idea of where you want to go once you arrive at your destination. There’s nothing worse than spending a day travelling to an attraction that’s closed for repairs, so do plenty of research online. It’s also a good idea to draw up an itinerary and to take a map.