How to Travel Cheaply

By April 22, 2017 Personal Finance 12 Comments

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Going on holiday doesn’t have to burn a hole in your pocket; it can be an affordable luxury if you do it right. You don’t have to sacrifice a great time away to make savings on the road. Here are ten things you can do that will make your travels less of a stress on your finances.


Pack light

Before you set off on your trip, make sure that your bags aren’t bulging full of heavy items. Over-packing your luggage can slow you down, making your trips to and from the airport and hotel unpleasant. It can also cost you more, as airlines have strict baggage allowances. Most flights will allow you one piece of checked luggage (the weight varies) and one smaller bag to carry on the plane. If you take more than the airline allows, which could be 23 kilograms, and end up with 30 kilograms, you will be charged for the extra weight – and it doesn’t come cheap! For extra bags altogether, airlines could charge you around £100. So to save your money, and have less to carry, pack light and only take what you need.



Get your currency before you travel

Getting your foreign currency at the airport could cost you a lot more than if you get it beforehand. Airports tend not to have the best exchange deals, so you can end up short-changed, with less currency for your money. You can compare currency deals online to make sure your money is going further. Often, the best places to change your money before you travel are banks and the post office.


Book through the same websites for discount offers

If you travel often and require a lot of hotel stays, it could be worth picking one website to book rooms through. Websites such as will allow you to build up points as a member, so the more you book through them, the more discounts you can unlock.

Choose homes over hotels

There are many more affordable options than staying in hotels, which is often the biggest expense when on holiday. Hotels can be expensive, especially during peak times such as summer holidays or the Christmas break. To get around this, you can swap a pricey hotel room for a home stay. Websites like Air BnB will let you book entire private apartments, often at a fraction of a price of a hotel room. The longer you choose to stay in the house or apartment, the cheaper it will be as there are discounted rates for weekly or monthly rentals. There are also a number of websites that allow you to do home swaps or home stays. The latter will involve home-sitting someone’s property while they are away which is a nice way of saving money on accommodation. Home swaps are a great option if you don’t mind someone staying in your house, while you holiday in theirs.


Make a budget and stick to it

A simple way of travelling cheaply is to plan a budget for the duration of your holiday. You can make daily limits set aside for activities and entertainment, and other budgets for the necessities like food and transportation. Only take out the money you need each day, with a little set aside for emergencies. Keep the rest in your room’s safe so you’re not tempted to splash out on things you don’t need.


Book flights and hotels separately

You can sometimes save money by booking your flights and accommodation separately, as it gives you more flexibility and allows you to book according to your own schedule and needs. You can search for cheap flights online first, then book your hotel after, once you know the exact dates of your stay. Just remember to consider the amount of time and money it will take to travel between your chosen accommodation and the airport.

Look for worthwhile package deals

Although booking hotels and flights separately can sometimes be cheaper, you can still come across some beneficial package deals that will bundle together all of the bookings, from flights to food, to hotels to airport pick-up. This is especially true if you are travelling as part of a large family or group, as it will take the hassle out of numerous bookings and lots of online research.


Pick a room with kitchen facilities

Spending money on food while travelling can leave you with little cash left at the end of your trip. A quick lunch in a cafe by the beach and a daily dinner in a restaurant can add up over a week or two. To save money on eating out, you could consider booking accommodation with its own kitchen facilities. If you book an apartment over a hotel, it is likely that you will have an area to cook. Eating in your room every now and then could save you money over the course of your holiday. You could also look at hotels that include breakfast as part of your room charge, so you have one less meal a day to pay for.


Research your location

Before you head to your destination, you should research it online so you know the best places to visit, and the areas to avoid. Use websites such as Trip Advisor to seek out affordable restaurants and transportation advice. Doing your research before you travel can allow you to be more aware of the place you’re staying, so you’re prepared when it comes to prices of food, public transport and shopping. This can also help you to avoid any scams or attempts at overcharging you, as you will know how much you should be spending in stores, restaurants, bars and taxis.


Use price comparison websites

Booking your holiday in store with a travel agent is becoming a lot less popular, as the more affordable options are now all online so you can do it yourself at home. Use price comparison websites to compare flights, accommodation and package deals. This lets you find the cheapest prices and best deals, so your money goes further.

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