10.19.2016

5 TIPS AND TRICKS FOR TRAVELING ON A BUDGET

There's something so special about traveling - whether it's for a day, a weekend, a month or longer. Taking yourself out of your normal environment and stepping into something completely unknown can be a life changing experience. However, as wonderful as travelling is, everything does come with a sneaky cost *sigh*. In a world where prices seem to be increasing, more and more people are finding it harder to balance everyday life with going away. So today I thought I'd share 5 top tips that have helped me save those pennies whilst exploring little bits of the world.


1 | BE OPEN TO LOCATION


There are so many fancy and aesthetically pleasing locations that have become super popular to visit over the past few years. It seems like every few months there's a new favourite place that everyone is Instagraming or blogging about (like Santorini and the very beautiful Maldives to name a few). As drop dead gorgeous as these places are, an increase in tourism there usually means higher prices and a bigger booking cost. If you have a particular country want to visit, rather than going to the capital or areas that are being heavily publicised, try heading to the surrounding areas. Try looking at the suburbs or cities within that country that are less well known. Yes it means doing a bit more research, but it's totally worth it. Not only will you get an authentic local experience that country has to offer, but you'll also find inexpensive hidden gems that aren't too tourist heavy. 

2 | LET'S TALK TRANSPORT 


When it comes to booking flights, a favourite website of mine is Skyscanner. I love being able to look at the whole year and compare which month or weekend is cheapest to visit the place I want to go to. I find that this website is particularly great when you're open to where you want to visit. If you're happy to go anywhere in the world, Skyscanner will show you a list of all the places you can visit from your location in order or price. How great is that? And when I say you can find cheap flights, I mean it. The other day I had a browse and found some return tickets to other areas of Europe starting at £13! Not bad at all if you ask me.

Another alternative: If you're not a fan of flying, travelling by train or by coach is another great option. Whilst plane tickets fluctuate throughout the year, train and coach tickets usually are less expensive the more you book in advance, so get in there early!


3 | HOTELS VS. HOUSE RENTING


As wonderful as it is to stay in a hotel, sometimes the prices can be extortionate for what you get - particularly if you're staying in a popular location. You may have guessed from my previous travel posts that house renting is my favourite way to travel on a budget. Companies like Airbnb allow you to rent flats, houses, or rooms directly from home owners around the world at a great price. Not only do you get more for your money, but it's a great way of feeling at home away from home. 

Every time I've stayed in one of these apartments, I've loved how personal the experience is. Whether it's a welcome note, a tiny gift, or list of must see attractions given to us by the host, every experience has been unique and special. Unlike hotels the prices on these websites usually don't fluctuate, so whether your looking for somewhere to stay next year or tomorrow, you won't get a nasty surprise when you get to the checkout.

Another alternative: Hostels are also an extremely inexpensive way of travelling, particularly if you're going away for a prolonged period of time. There's a lot of stigma around hostels being unsafe or too cramped - however due to their increasing popularity, it's very easy to find out which are the best ones to stay in with a quick google search. They're also perfect for making friends and getting to know other people who are also travelling the same area.

4 | THINK LIKE A LOCAL


In every country or city, there are places the locals go to eat and have fun, and there are places that they don't. If you're planning on going somewhere touristy or to a highly popular city, finding out what the locals love to do there will give you a great indication of what is worth paying for. I recently went to Venice during one of the busiest tourist seasons. It was absolutely beautiful, but it was also clear that a lot of the popular food areas were aimed at tourists. Outside certain districts people would even stand outside restaurants trying to call you in to eat there. After a disappointing and pricey meal in one of these restaruants, we decided to ask our lovely Airbnb hosts for a list of places to eat and attractions to visit. And boy, they did NOT disappoint. Not only were the places they suggested completely affordable, but they were also the tastiest and the most fun places to visit. So wherever you're planning on visiting, don't forget to ask your hotel/host or even a local passer by where they recommend eating or going. I promise you'll be pleasantly surprised!


5 | THINK DETAILS


Through a lot of trial and error, I've learnt that it's always worth looking in advance for any activity discounts for the place you're going to. I've ended up paying extra for transfers or fun activities just because I didn't realise you could book cheaper advance tickets online. Whether you're going to a country because of it's Watersport activities, or you're looking forward to a certain city tour, make sure you check for any discounted deals before you step on the plane. A lot of places, tours, and activities will have early bird or advance tickets you can buy before you arrive at the destination. So if you happen to be going to a particular city to do a particular activity, it's always worth digging around to see if you can save some money before you arrive!


You can find a video of my chatting all about my travel saving tips here on my YouTube channel.

Love J x






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