Do you want budget travel tips for free? Would you like to travel more often without breaking the bank? If you are at all interested, read on to find out how you can do simple things to save money next time you go on vacation.
1. Go Off-Season
It’s cheaper and less crowded.
Prices sometimes double in Summer, especially during school holidays. The worst part of travelling in high season is that it’s everywhere over crowded and the quality of the services gets lower and lower. In Italy: avoid the Ferragosto week (August 15th).
2. Compare and contrast travel and accommodation options.
I always make sure to check websites like Cheaptickets.nl, WTC.nl, Tix.nl, Hotels.com etc. for the latest and best price accommodation then compare accordingly. Depending on who your with your accommodation choice will vary.
3. Consider night train and flights
Nothing for me anymore, with 3 little kids. But if you are more flexible and if the transportation is going to be long, consider traveling at night to save money on accommodation and many hours of time. Many people have a tough time sleeping on these, but it’s all mental. Once you get used to it, you will be able to have a good night’s rest.
4. Travel Light
Airlines are starting to charge for everything now and if you have 2 bags or more, expect to be charged for it. Remember to not use over sized bags whenever possible and try to keep it all within one bag per person.
5. Sell your old stuff and don’t buy unnecessary items.
Prior to your trip, sell what you don’t need. Do you have an old camera gathering dust on your shelf, Websites like Marktplaats.nl or eBay.com have a large audience of people looking for all sorts of random things, so give it a try.
Once you’re on the road, really take a second thought about your expenses, do you really need that new pair of designer shoes, or a new bag that you might wear once? Think about it!
6. Book a vacation home
If you are staying at a destination for at least a few days, consider a vacation home instead of hotels. They are often are more comfortable and your cost will probably be cheaper.
7. Experience home exchanges
These are pretty cool and popular. Your trip might not be as romantic as The Holiday (movie with Cameron Diaz and Jude Law) but if you are of the adventure type, this could be exciting and refreshing). My colleague also experience a home exchange with 2 kids. She was enthusiast! Much cheaper than a 4 persons accommodation and the guests had left all local tips for them.
8. Buy food from supermarkets and minimise eating at restaurants/over spending on food.
When travelling, it is so easy to get caught up in all of the amazing food. You often may spend your day eating your way through a city (I love it!), however it is easy to lose sight of all of the money you are spending on unnecessary snacks and drinks.
Take note of this and try to limit excessive spending on food to one amazing meal a day, sit down and really enjoy it. A bit hard to say as an Italian who likes to eat 3 times a day out. But you know… sometimes situations change and you have to limit expenses. Purchasing breakfast and lunch meals at the supermarket and treating yourself with a more luxurious dinner at restaurant or also in your holiday accommodation means a big saving while still pampering yourself with good food.
If you want to save the most money, choose more Lunch than Dinners. Fancy lunches are often much less expensive than dinners. In many countries restaurants have the “pranzo lavoratori” or “menu ouvrier” at lunch. Fantastic meals for sometimes half the price.
9. Go to smaller cities for longer and bigger cities for less.
The mega cities are where you will find yourself spending so much excess money on the basics such as accommodation, food, and transport. Instead, choose to spend less time in these cities and more time in smaller cities, so you can travel for longer and live for less.
Less appealing to me, but an alternative option is to stay in a neighbouring city and visit the capital just for a day or two by train, allowing you to save money on accommodation and food.
10. Walk Around
Consider asking the locals directions and walking there. It’s a great chance for you to see the city and profit of amazing tips.