Happy Friday, friends!!
As a student, money isn’t something that I have a lot of at the moment. Traveling for me is something that can I can only do if I budget really well.
Wanting an inexpensive trip is something that I can imagine many people like the idea of. Some people of course can afford to pay for pricier flights and pricier accomdation. This guide however is for anyone who is in need of a cheap holiday asap!!!
Step 1: Pick Your Budget
Being based in Europe, I have to keep all of my trips within the European Continent as I can’t afford to fly any further than that. For any followers not from Europe, I would imagine neighbouring states or countries would probably be the cheapest time to fly abroad.
Before you can pick where you want to go, check what your budget it for each part of your trip. For Europe, I try to pay no more than €50 for return flights. Hostels and hotels tend to vary in price based on where I’m going. Once you have decided where you want to go, next you have to find out when it the cheapest time of the year for that particular place. My favourite time to travel is in May and September. I tend to find that the prices are not at peak yet, the weather is warm but not too hot, and, it probably isn’t tourist season.
Step 2: Book your flights and book a hotel
Whenever I’m booking a hostel or a hotel, I always make sure to book one that doesn’t require prepayment and which allows free cancellation. This will mean that I won’t have to worry about the payment just yet. Booking.com is a great website for finding great hotel prices and is the website I use most. Other options include Airbnb or couch sharing if you’re brave enough. My tip when booking a hotel is to check where in the city it is based, and, what the public transport system is like. If the city has a reliable and cost effective system, it may be worth it to commute around. Check if your airport has a train station. Some airports don’t have a trainstation which may mean you will have to pay for a coach or transfer. This can quickly add up for families who are traveling.
When it comes to flights I tend to buy them as far in advance as possible. I also try to travel only on week days. The cheapest time to book flights is three months before you plan to fly. The most expensive time is two weeks beforehand. One of the things which allows me to have cheap flights is to be flexible with my dates.
- Fly on Weekdays – Tuesday being the cheapest
- Be Flexible with your dates
- Book within Three months of your trip.
- Travel in offpeak times – you can save up to 15%!!!
- Know when the school season is in the country.
- Make your the airport has a train station to city centre to avoid paying extra fees.
- Check if your hotel has free wifi – a lot of hotels do and this is a cost which can be avoided.
Step 3: Find out what free things there are
Every city has tourist attractions which are worth paying money towards. However, there are many things which are free to do. I also enjoy finding out what the locals like to do as I believe that sometimes visiting non-tourist attractions is much more of an adventure. People traveling with children can find so many free attractions too.
Step 4: Food
One of the easiest ways to overspend and go out of budget when traveling is when buying food. I tend to budget how much I am willing to spend and see how much I have left for eating. One of the main things I do if find out what places have the best quality food and avoid overpriced restuarants. I also look to stay in hotels which have a communal kitchen so that I can make my own food.
I tend to eat at lunch time when traveling – the menu is cheaper and a big meal will fill me so I don’t have to buy dinner. When drinking, I buy local wines and beer because they are cheaper. I often try to avoid the main tourist areas when eating as these are more expensive.
Step 5: Buy A Travel or City Pass
In some cities, it is well worth buying a travel pass. In Berlin, I bought a daily travel pass which made life so much easier since Berlin is such a big city. Some cities won’t need such a thing. If you are traveling with young children, it’s always a good idea to see what age it’s free until (many cities in Europe under 3’s are free). If traveling to a city which speaks a different language, check how to buy your tickets and how to validate them. The last thing any tourist on a budget needs is to have to pay a fine.
Step 6: Find out what you are entitled to
Many countries have free entry to certain tourists spots if over 65, under 25, or, a student. Students may get discounted transport prices. Rules apply differently in different cities so read up on what applies for different people.
And most importantly… Have fun!!!
Well these were my tips on planning a holiday on a budget. What ways do you save money when going on holidays?