It’s that time of year. Dark, wet and colder than a White Walker’s heart. We’ve entered March (already?!), you’ve broken all but one of your New Years resolutions (the one you’ve not started yet) and there are unconfirmed reports of snow in parts of the U.K.
Naturally, thoughts turn to your very own Summer Brexit but the sparkly season has left you pretty light in the wallet department so we’ve pulled together our top 10 money saving travel tips that’ll slash the cost of your next escape. This, however, is not your standard holiday advice, these are insider recommendations for the savvy traveller; money saving travel tips for the true Travel Addict.
1. Track Flights (properly)
Flight fares change more often than the price of Bitcoin but can very much work in your favour if you know how to play the game. What used to require a bunch of research and time spent regularly checking back on multiple sites is now just a case of punching in your flight details and letting the likes of the Skyscanner fight tracker or Google Flights do the hard work for you. Specify your date(s) and destination(s) and each of these services will not only prompt you with tips on the best times to book but notify you as soon as the price drops on your chosen flights/hotels. Kayak’s tracker even uses machine learning and price history to predict increases/decreases up to 7 days in advance- get on it!
Sick of searching for the best travel money deals, running out of cash midway through a trip or forgetting altogether and getting roasted by the pricey airport exchange terminals? With the price of the pound taking a hammering in recent times, getting a decent exchange rate has become far more difficult. Price comparison sites are an option and cash can be ordered/picked up pretty quickly nowadays but if you want the very best rates without the hassle of carrying cash, the second of our money saving travel tips is to bag yourself a snazzy pre-paid card. Revolut, for example, offer the interbank rate (the rate that banks offer each other) for 26 currencies instantly with zero transfer fees and the option to make withdrawals abroad (up to £200 is free) at the same rate!
3. Consider Hotel Alternatives
Most of you will have heard of the giant that is Airbnb but there are still so many out there who have yet to try it out, particularly when travelling overseas. Airbnb has places to stay in over 65,000 cities worldwide (191 countries). Renting a room is often the most budget-friendly option and you get the benefit of staying with awesome locals that can point you toward places you’d never have known existed otherwise. We’ve done this plenty of times and would highly recommend it for those of you that want more than just the typical tourist hotspots. For those who’d prefer somewhere a little more private, there are some incredible homes, apartments and studios for rent that are just as good, if not better, than many hotels you can find and cost a fraction of the price. Do yourself a favour and at least check the listings in the next place you plan to visit!
4. Go incognito
Step away from the cookies. Fortunately, this doesn’t mean getting back on the diet you were on for the first two and a half hours of January (we’ll try again next year, right?), these cookies can be a whole lot more expensive. Each time you visit a travel/holiday site or search for a flight/location for the first time, the company virtually ‘meets’ your computer/laptop/phone. This means that each time you pop back to check on that flight you’re convinced will get cheaper, the site ‘remembers’ you and can tailor the content you see, as a result. Some travel experts have said that this ‘tailored’ content can mean higher prices for repeat visitors (the argument is that the travel company ‘know’ you want to book the trip and will be willing to pay a little more for the privilege) and whilst there is still some debate out there on whether this is really the case (there are many reasons for flight/holiday price fluctuations), it’s certainly worth checking your flight/rail/package price isn’t cheaper when accessed through an incognito browser/after clearing your cookies.
5. Follow the leader…leader, leader
Fifth on the money saving travel tips list is to make sure you have friends on the inside. The big travel sites often talk about the same things (early bookings, price comparisons..blah blah) but if you want the inside scoop from real Travel Addicts, search for ‘budget travel blogs’ and find a few that cover the types of trips you like to take. A personal favourite of ours is that of Travel Vlogger Chelsea Dickenson, who recently managed to take 10 trips abroad for a grand total of £1709, including a business class flight and a $1.7 million New York apartment. Check out her blog @ How Many Holidays to find out how. If nothing else, you can get £25 off your next booking with Booking.com!
Last up, some quickfire tactical money saving travel tips from the Travel Addict team that’ll leave you change for that €45 lilo in the resort shop:
- Walk outside of airport grounds and hail a ride-share service to avoid costly taxi fares.
- Book airport parking in advance – the price ramps up as you get closer to departure date.
- Take an empty water bottle through customs and fill on the other side- water (and everything else) past security is extortionate!
- Use AirBnB’s ‘experiences’ to book local trips and avoid expensive package excursions.
- And finally….
The last of our money saving travel tips, consider travel cover as soon as you’ve booked. Travel insurance isn’t just for whilst you’re away, it covers everything from flight delays and cancellations to travel company failures so be sure to check out Travel Addict’s cover on the products tab or get a free quote below.
Travel Addict blog - March, 2018: 10 Money Saving Travel Tips You Didn’t Know Existed