You asked and we supplied. Many of you have been asking for advice on how to travel on a tight budget. We will provide you with our budget travel advice, from before you’ve even started packing, to even saving on the way home.
Before You Purchase Anything
Although this can be time-consuming and honestly, quite boring, this can be your most cost-effective way of saving money. However, this is a very broad piece of advice. So here are our suggestions of what exactly to research when looking to travel under a budget:
- Discount codes
- If you have any loyalty or membership points to use (such as Nectar points).
- Price comparison sites
- Make sure you don’t leave this too late.
Many opportunities for discounts or price cuts are given well in advance of your departure or travel date. With a lot of prices in the travel industry often increasing the later you leave it. So without a doubt, leave yourself enough time to research properly. That way you can take advantage of any discount deals, such as ‘Black Friday’ or the legendary January sales, to get hold of a few bargains before you leave.
Buy In Bulk
If you are travelling with a partner, friend or group, you can often find some budget travel deals by buying together. Many retailers or travel providers provide discounts to purchases made in bulk.
Where you are travelling to can be one of the biggest influences on your expenses. Typically, us Brits tend to judge how pricey somewhere is on the price of a pint, but there is a whole lot more to consider than that. Overall, and to be expected, the most expensive destinations are Europe and Northern America. With the best budget travel destinations being locations within Asia. So if you want to keep the cost down whilst still seeing gorgeous new locations and cultural differences then Asia should certainly be at the top of your list.
Hostels have been the stalwart go to accommodation providers for those looking to budget travel and there’s a good reason why, they really are the cheapest. There are certainly exceptions to this rule, for example, if you are a travelling couple then splitting the cost and upgrading to a local/nearby hotel can often be cheaper or a similar cost to hostels. Or if you don’t mind, jsut bunk up with a mate. Technology can also help budget travel. We go into more detail on how technology can help you save in our best travel apps blog. Using sites and apps to compare the prices and availability can save you more than money, but time and effort. After all, there is nothing worse than arriving at your accommodation to find out it’s fully booked. I strongly recommend you do check the availability of accommodation in your destination (before you travel), particularly along common travelling routes such as those provided in the Lonely Planet. It can get rather crowded with backpackers or general travellers. I learnt this first hand when I ended up bumping into the same people in the same hostels each week. Turns out we all had a copy of the Lonely Planet.
Food & Drink
Food and drink is without a doubt the most underestimated costs during budget travel. When you’re at home, well fed and warm, it is all too easy to say “oh I won’t eat or drink that much”. Well, I can tell you from personal experience that when you are out and about all day, hungry and your senses are alight with the new smells of gorgeous street food or restaurants, all you can think about is food or an ice cold beverage. But how to get around this? The truth is this is very difficult, and varies from person to person. If you’re a taller or broader person then, of course, you will require more ‘grub’ and water than a shorter thinner person. You will also need to judge your personality. If you know you will stick to a budget travel plan then you should be fine. However, if you are more of an impulsive person then you should allow yourself some serious wiggle room when it comes to food and drink.
If you really do want to stick to budget travel and save as much as possible then here are our top three tips:
- Buy from supermarkets.
- Prepare food and take it with you on days out.
- Give yourself sets days of the week you can eat out on.