For a lot of people, the possibility of travelling can seem like an unattainable luxury, especially for university students and recent graduates. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. With a bit of smart planning and a few adjustments, you can definitely squeeze in some adventures even with a tight budget. Below are some of our tips to travel on a budget for an amazing holiday!
Tip 1: Don’t Travel by Plane, Book a Coach Trip!
If you are not going too far away, no need to book an expensive flight if you can take a coach. It’s way cheaper! Did you know that you can travel from Edinburgh to London for £14.40 by bus compared to £56.00 by plane? If you want to travel to Paris, you can travel from London by bus for £26.00 vs. £86.00 by train or £90.00 by plane!
Tip 2: Book your Flight at the Right Time
A little research can go a long way when booking your flights. If you know well in advance when you’d like to travel, taking the initiative to check flights several months in advance can really help you nab the best deals! Knowing the peak travel times for where you’d like to go can not only help you avoid the crowds but can also help you save some cash! Finally, if you really want to stretch your budget, try to book on a weekday, especially a Tuesday, to really do your wallet a favour!
Tip 3: Book your Flight in a Smart Way
In the internet age, it’s always good to be a bit tech savvy when booking your trip. Sometimes websites track you and raise prices, so it’s always good idea to use a private browsing window. Sometimes prices can also vary from region to region, so it’s also worth using a VPN to try to track down the best deals. This way you can pretend you’re looking for a flight from another country where it is cheaper. You can also save money if you book your hotel and flight together. Look at different regional airports for where you want to go. You’d be surprised by how much cheaper going to a smaller airport a little further off can be. It’s definitely worth a look!
Tip 4: Take Local Buses!
When you’re on holiday in an unfamiliar place, it can be really tempting to spend some extra cash for the convenience of taking a cab. Especially from the airport, which can be quite far from their respective cities, this can really make a huge dent in your budget. Instead, it’s better to look at local buses and airport shuttles. It can be the difference between a £5 bus ticket and a £30 cab bill.
Tip 5: Eat Local
Avoid expensive tourist traps and try to go where the locals are. Not only will you be able to save money by avoiding chains and overly touristic venues, but you’ll have a more authentic experience to wherever you’re travelling. Street food is also a great option when considering local cuisine, and if you notice particularly long queues, then it must be worth the wait!
Tip 6: Shop Local
Depending on where you’re going, bargaining for cheap deals can be a normal practice and it’s worth doing a little research to make sure you know the etiquette around this. It’s important to find a balance between getting a good price and knowing when to stop. Shopping at local vendors is usually the cheaper route, and it’s also more ethical in that your money will contribute to the local economy. Instead of going out to eat every day, consider cooking some meals at your accommodation to save some money too.
Tip 7: Be Smart on Accommodation
Try to be realistic when booking your accommodation. If you’re planning an event filled trip, then how much time do you really plan on spending at a luxurious hotel? A hostel can be a much cheaper option as well as couch surfing, and both are great ways to meet fellow travellers. If you’re planning on an outdoor trip, consider camping instead if possible. Renting a flat or an AirBnB gives you the advantage of being able to cook your own meals and can actually give you a taste of local life.
Tip 8: Choose the Right Hotel
If a hotel is the best option for you, then consider looking further away from the city centre, in areas that are still well connected by public transport. While tempting, all inclusive packages are usually not necessary, and just breakfast is usually enough since you’ll usually be out and about for most of your trip. Avoid resorts and opt for independent hotels and check out reviews instead of judging solely on appearances. While less extravagant, smaller establishments often shine through with local charm, and are typically far more affordable.
Tip 9: Consider a Museum Pass
Consider booking a museum pass prior to your trip for packaged deals, and also a chance to save some time by cutting lines. By planning out your ideal itinerary prior to your trip, you can judge how many museums or monuments you plan to see and compare costs to see if it’s worth considering a pass. Also, don’t be afraid to go off the beaten path, and look at hidden places which are a little less touristic.
Tip 10: Travel Where you can Afford it
Do a little research on different destinations and consider peak travel times, currency conversions and other factors that may affect travel costs at different times. For instance, in Europe, cheaper destinations include: Portugal, Spanish islands such as Majorca or Grand Canaria, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Austria, Czech Republic. In Southeast Asia, while flights might be more expensive, local prices are generally far cheaper.
At CheckMyBus, we believe that travel doesn’t have to be expensive. With some smart planning, a bit of research and some compromises, you can stretch your budget to cover an amazing vacation! For more travel tips, check out our 10 tips to be a responsible traveller.