Just because you don’t have a huge amount of money, doesn’t mean you can’t travel AND have an amazing time doing it! There are lots of Tips and Tricks for Travelling on a Budget.
1. Do Your Research
Plan what you’re roughly going to do for the days that you’re there so that you make the most of the time. It also means you have the opportunity to book ahead for busy activities. Trust me, there’s nothing worse than getting to Iceland and realising that The Blue Lagoon is fully booked for the entire of your stay in Reykjavik! It will give your stay a focus and mean that you won’t miss anything you want to do. If you book ahead, can you save money with travel cards or entrance fees? Do they do 1/3/5 day passes that cover the duration of your stay? Tips and Tricks for Travelling on a Budget can literally be as simple as putting in the effort and doing the research before you leave.
2. Don’t Eat Out
Eating out is the easiest way to burn through that tight budget you’ve got. Find a decent bakery for breakfast. Head to the supermarket and consider making your own lunch or dinner. You can pick up lots of local foods and still really enjoy it. Find a good sandwich type shop which will definitely be cheaper than that restaurant for lunch. Check out the markets or Street Food Stalls, they’re sometimes the most exciting places and tastiest and make sure you remember to haggle.
If you do eat out, eat out at lunch, not dinner. Head to the side streets away from the main streets and do your research on where the locals eat. They’re likely to be cheaper.
3. Think About What You’re Drinking
In lots of city’s, alcohol is really expensive. I’m not saying don’t drink – you are on holiday! But pick the local alcohol as it will be cheaper. Same goes for fancy coffees, they quickly rack up.
Carry around a bottle. There are lots of places that you can fill up a water bottle for free.
4. Free Walking Tours
They’re not necessarily free as the tour guide is paid solely by tips; however, this means that they’re likely to deliver a good tour as it’s within their interest. It’s a cheap way of getting to know the city you’re in and there are lots of options from history, to street art, to architecture. Find the meeting point and head there at the dedicated time.
5. Pick one or two things that cost money
Allocate the money you have wisely. You can learn a lot and enjoy a city just by wandering the streets. It will also keep you fit. In every place you visit there will be one or two things that everyone has told you to do, so chose wisely, do some research on who offers the best service and book ahead. Remember that lots of cities have Tourist Offers where you can get entry to numerous places for one fee.
6. Stay in a Hostel, cheap Air B&B or even consider Camping
There are lots of options available for you for cheap places to stay. With Air B&B you can stay in a room inside a locals home which means that you can utilise their local knowledge.
Similar to Air B&B is Booking.com, it’s not as clean to use, but it’s worth checking out what other properties there are.
Hostels allow you to book a dorm room and are normally your cheapest option. You’ll be surrounded by like-minded people who will probably have lots of recommendations on what you can do in the city. Remember they’re also likely to be on budget so get talking!
7. Rather than booking a 7 day holiday, can you squash it into 3/4?
This way you won’t have to pay for the extra days food and overnight stay, giving you more money to spend actually on enjoying the place you are. If you’re not one to lounge about and do nothing, plan your time wisely.
A second recommendation is instead of squashing it into less days, could you visit anywhere else from where you are, either on a day trip or visit a second place and fly home from there.
8. Flights are cheaper Tuesdays and Wednesdays rather than weekends. Avoid peak travel times. Pick the overnight flights.
I think this one is pretty self-explanatory. If you don’t need to fly Friday/Saturday or week to week, don’t. It also shortens your work week for two weeks!
9. Check out the Free Museums and Art Galleries
Lots of places have free museums and art galleries. If you do want to do something cultural, pick the one where you can do it for free!
10. Take Photos Home not Things
Do you NEED that dodgy fridge magnet or that other souvenir? No!
Take pictures of the place you are and when you do have a little bit of spare money once you’re home, get them printed and frame them. My favourite photo frames are from Wilkinson and Ikea. They look great and you’re more likely to have them on display in your house in 10 years time than the dodgy souvenir.
11. Work at a Festival
There are lots of festivals where you can work at the festival in exchange for a free ticket. This can save you quite a bit of money, without you missing out on the experience. Persuade some of your friends to do the same and then you’ll all have the same experience. Most will offer a meal per shift you work saving you money there as well.
12. Book in Advance or LAST LAST Minute
The further ahead you plan, the best deal you are likely to get. The same goes for the other way around. If you’ve booked holiday off work anyway, check the day before and see where you can get some really cheap flights too. (I know this goes completely against my plan ahead theory, but you can do a lot of research in the airport, or pick up the Lonely Planet Travel Guide to read on the plane.
13. Pack Your Student ID.
Take advantage of this time. Lots of places you visit will have reduced rates for students. Many places around Europe even offer reduced rates to Under 25’s.
Have you got any other Tips and Tricks for Travelling on a Budget? Share them below.
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