Friday 20 September 2019

How many times have you said to yourself or a friend about someone on social media 'omg they're always on holiday! Sometimes it might just be down to them having a lot of disposable income or rich parents who pay for everything, but travelling frequently can actually be cheaper than you think. Most of my money definitely goes on trips (or eating out), and at the moment I'm currently saving for a 10 week trip through Asia. Here are some of the ways I'm cutting costs when planning my trip, and  my advice on minimising costs when you're actually out there. 

cutting costs when travelling

1. Use price comparison websites 

I don't think I've booked any flights or accommodation anywhere other than through Skyscanner or in the last few years. I've even earned 'Frequent Traveller/Genuis' status through booking which gets me 15% off some hotels, for using them so many times! The great thing about Skyscanner is you can also set up price alerts so you'll be emailed when there has been a change in the fare price. 

2. Book at least three months in advance. 

Or if you're anything like me, you'll have your hotels booked (free cancellation of course) a year in advance! If you're planning on travelling in peak season or around holidays, then it's probably best to book even earlier. The app Hopper lets you know when the best time to book your flight for a destination is, and whether you should wait or go ahead and book. Apparently Thursdays are now the cheapest day of the week to book too, whilst weekends being the worst. 

3. Create a budget and stick to it. 

Part of the fun of planning a trip for me is creating spreadsheets and itineraries (lame I know). But it makes things a lot easier if you know how much exactly you need to save for your trip, for fixed items (flights/hotels) and for activities and spending. For each city I'm visiting I'll make a list of things I have to pay for in advance, and then divide the rest of my allocated 'trip' money between activities and eating out. 

4. Use cash. 

It's so easy to overspend when you're just tapping your card left, right and centre. When you're actually physically holding money and spending it you'll become more accountable and be wiser with it as you can actually see how much you have left. It will also save you money to change all your currency at once, instead of constantly withdrawing from an ATM.

5. Choose overnight transport. 

For my east coast Australia trip at the end of the year, I've got 2 overnight coach trips which means I won't have to pay for hotel stays that night. Especially if you're in beach locations, even if your flight isn't until 8pm you can check out that morning, leave your bag in storage at the hotel and just go lounge at the beach instead of paying for another nights stay. 

6. Ask yourself what you actually want to spend your money on. 

The first thing most of us do when travelling to a new city, is research the tourist spots and sight seeing attractions. One mistake we often make is visiting spots just because 'it's what you do there' even if you haven't got the slightest bit of interest in museums, gardens or the Opera. If you're a foodie and eating out twice a day is what you look forward to, then allocate your spending to that. If you love photographing 100 types of flora and fauna, then definitely go to Singapore or Fiji

7. Consider a short-term loan. 

If there's a trip you really want to take (friends wedding? hen party?) and aren't currently in debt as it stands, then asking for a loan could be an option. offers short-term loans and their services are completely free to use. You can choose anything from £100 to £1000 and can pay it back over 12 months, so it really is quite manageable. 

8. Don't splurge everyday! 

Admittedly I still haven't got very good at this myself. It's so easy to say to yourself being you go away - 'ok I'm going to pack my snacks for the plane, only eat out once a day and walk everywhere instead of getting taxis'. Next thing you know I'm sat in Starbucks at Gatwick Airport with a white chocolate frappucino and a bag of Maltesers. Obviously you're on holiday to have fun and spend a little more than you would back home, but be smart about it. Don't order dessert every night at dinner, share starters, use a refillable bottle of water, and so on! 

What are some of your money saving tips for travelling? 


* This is a collaborative post but all words and opinions are my own. 

how to save money when travelling

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