Travel is something most of us like to do as much as we can, but life all too often gets in the way. After you’ve tackled the problem of finding time in the year to find opportunities to fly to new exciting destinations around the world, the next big problem to face is affording it.
The good news for those whose jet-setting dreams are all too often scuppered by an insufficient bank balance is that there are a few simple ways you can bring the cost of your trip down.
Here are our five simple hacks to help you travel on a budget:
1. Head off the beaten track
Most of us head straight to the capital cities of Europe on our trips away and end up paying a premium as tourists. The rule of supply and demand means that the more popular the place you stay, the higher the price will be. So, what about if you stay in locations just outside the city at potentially half the price?
The perfect example is the Danish capital of Copenhagen, which is one of the world’s most expensive cities, and Malmo, Sweden’s third largest city. You might think that being in a different country, the two cities must be miles away. But actually, Malmo is just a short hop across the spectacular Öresund Bridge – a journey you can do in less than half an hour. And, with hotel accommodation a huge amount cheaper, this is a sacrifice you’ll be willing to make.
2. Eat street food
Eating food from local markets and street food stalls is certainly no sacrifice given the quality of much of the produce on offer, but it will save you a huge amount when compared to the cost of a sit-down meal. Street food really is some of the best in the world and an excellent way to experience authentic local cuisine. Here are some more tips to help keep your food bill down.
3. Do your research for the best accommodation
What’s the difference between a private room in a hostel and a hotel? Should you stay with friends or splurge for safety? Do your research about the town or city you are visiting and book in advance to save money on hotels. Use airline rewards or credit card points to make the booking even cheaper and and don’t be afraid to check with the hotel directly to see if they are running any deals.
4. Think carefully about your payment options
Everyone knows that you should never change money at the airport as you’ll receive an appallingly bad exchange rate. But what happens if you run out of currency while away? Foreign exchange fees are one of the banks’ dirty little secrets, so be wary of making payments on debit and credit cards. The most cost-effective way to get more money is simply to withdraw cash from an ATM using your debit card, as this will allow you to avoid exchange fees altogether.
5. Pack an empty bottle of water
Travelling is thirsty work, and staying hydrated is a must when jet-setting. When you’re paying a few pounds for a bottle of water, it can quickly become pretty expensive. Packing an empty bottle of water that you can fill up before you leave your accommodation and at drinking fountains around the city may not save you a huge amount every time you use it, but it will soon add up.
Do you have any simple ways to save money when you travel? Please share them with our readers in the comments below.