Traveling around the world is one of the most valuable experiences you’ll have in your life. With jobs, obligations, and bills piling up, it sometimes seems impossible to actually make it to the destination of your dreams. Traveling on a budget is far from impossible. The only thing you need is patience, time, and a little creativity. I’ve listed a couple of tips below for you so that you can start making cheap holidays happen as soon as this summer!
Cheap Holidays Are a Fact If You Do This…
Here are 10 tips you need to start using as soon as possible. Believe me. I’ve traveled around the world and I’m here to tell you there’s no reason why you should pay for a holiday more than you need to. Let’s go!
1. Choose Your Dates Carefully
When booking your cheap holidays, it helps if you go for flexible travel dates. You can save hundreds of dollars just by adjusting your dates of travel by a few days to less popular times. If you’re willing to start your travel in the middle of the week, for example, you’ll likely find much lower fares. To view the cheapest flights for each date, you can use a feature like the JetBlue Best Fare Finder.
Try going on holiday during less popular times of the year, like the very end of the summer or during October break.
2. Check Flight Prices Everyday
If you decide that you’d like to go on a trip well in advance, you have a major advantage in finding the cheapest possible fares. Flight prices can fluctuate wildly from day-to-day. Luckily, there are many services that will notify you when there are unusual low prices to certain destinations. You can often find “glitch” fares. This is when the prices are lower than normally and the airlines have yet to correct the mistake.
Sign up for a service like Airfare Watch Dog to get notified of price drops. You can also join Facebook groups where people alert each other to awesome travel deals for cheap holidays.
3. Choose a Less Convenient Flight
If you’re willing to fly overnight on a “red-eye” flight, the trade-off is that you’ll save a ton of money. You can then use it toward having fun on your cheap holidays.
Similarly, flying on a non-stop flight usually costs more. Taking an indirect flight with one or two stops in other cities will add some extra time to your travel time, but it will be worth it for the money you save.
4. Hack Your Flight Itinerary
Along these same lines, some people use a method called “hidden city ticketing.” With this tactic, you buy a longer itinerary to a less popular destination that has a layover in the city you’re intending to go to. Then, you simply stay in the layover city and skip the last leg of your trip.
For example, if you want to end up in New York, you could buy a cheaper flight from London to Asheville that has a stop-over in New York, and then simply skip the last flight to Asheville. This would save you money compared to buying a direct flight to New York. There’s a handy website that will look into these types of fares for you. Check it out right here.
If you’d like to visit multiple cities, you can also use layovers to your advantage. If you have a long enough layover in a certain city, that’s a free bonus trip that doesn’t get added onto your flight cost. This is called a “multi-leg flight.”
5. Travel Without a Car
Traveling to a place where you’ll need to rent a car to get around will add on quite a bit of money to your budget. There are tons of exciting destinations where you can travel around by public transportation, by bike, or by cab. These are absolutely perfect for cheap holidays.
Public transportation may be uncomfortable and quite a bit different than what you’re used to. However, this will provide a greater opportunity for you to rub shoulders with locals and get a true sense of what life in that city is like.
6. Bring Your Own Snacks
Lots of cash can be funneled into feeding yourself en route to your destination, especially if you end up flying in the morning or night or have long layovers in the airport. Splurging on airport food can be satisfying, and it may seem like it doesn’t cost that much, but it tends to add up and surprise you! Rather than relying on buying all your food, pack some nutritious and filling snacks.
It’s also a good idea to bring snacks to your destination. When you first arrive, you likely won’t quite know where to go for cheap eats yet and you’ll be tired from your journey. You’ll need some immediate fuel to help you get settled.
7. Bargain, Bargain, Bargain
When it comes to booking hotels or tours, don’t just go by the advertised price. Give them a call and see if they have any last-minute deals available.
The same idea holds true for souvenirs and locally made goods. In some cities, in particular, you’d be a fool not to negotiate the price down!
8. Try a House Swap or Work Exchange
There are many services that allow you to actually stay for free as a house guest at your travel destination, swapping out your home for another. Of course, this means your own home must be suitable enough for others to stay in for their own holiday.
Another way to find free lodging is to do a work exchange. For the truly adventurous, you can volunteer a few hours on an organic farm each day in exchange for free lodging and meals.
9. Plan Your Own Itinerary
Some “all-inclusive” packages can be a great bargain. Most of the time, however, once you’re at your destination, the pre-planned sightseeing tours and excursions are quite a bit more expensive than the same activity would be if you planned and booked it yourself.
Also, tourist-centric areas are always pricier. Always eat locally. Investigate to see what cheap restaurants are popular.
10. Pack Light
Nowadays, some airlines charge extra just for checking baggage onto the plane. If possible, buy one large carry-on that will fit your essentials, making sure it fits within carry-on size parameters. Depending on the type of trip you’re going on, you may be able to save some money on your way to your destination.
You can also buy a packable second piece of luggage that you’ll use to check a bag on the way home. That way, you only have to pay for luggage once instead of twice, and you’ll have plenty of room to stock up on local textiles and souvenirs.
Saving money by booking cheap holidays will allow you travel with greater peace of mind and truly enjoy your trip. Be creative with your travel schedule, skip the car, bring snacks, and don’t be afraid to bargain.
Have you used any of these trips to book cheap holidays? What are some of your own go-to tips for saving money on travel? Let us know in the comments below — booking cheap holidays is all about helping each other out!