Tuesday, 17 June 2014

My Tips For Budget Travel

A few of you might know, a few might not, but I have been lucky enough to travel quite a lot in my twenty years of life.  Either with family, friends or through my sport I've managed to see a lot of the world and picked up a few travel tips on the way.  With summer on the way I thought a few of us might be getting bit by the wanderlust bug - I know I am. 

And in the spirit of being a #poorstudent I thought I would write down my best tips for budget travel.  These are perfect for students, especially if you're not constrained by tight deadlines or set dates. 

1 - For flights use skyscanner 

I've found Skyscanner.net to be the best place for finding deals on flights.  The best thing about it is you can pick an airport to fly from and then select "anywhere in the world".  When you need to just get away and you're not really fussed where this function is great.  My brother and I did it in the middle of exams to find £40 return flihts to Brussels! 

Which leads me to: 

2 - Be flexible 

On most sites, like Skyscanner you can view the prices for a whole month at a time so you can pick your cheapest days to fly in and out of and find rooms.  For flights Thursdays are usually a good day, for some reason! 

3 - For rooms I like Hostel World 

Hostel World is my go to for accommodation.  It's so easy to book and to read reviews which is a definite for me.  Plus there is usually hotels to pick from as well if you want something a little classier than an 8 bed dorm!  So far *touch wood* I've not had a bad experience with them.  

4 - Go all inclusive, but only really in Europe

I've found that although everyone seems to think all inclusive means you're getting a cheap holiday it usually isn't!  It kind of ties you to the hotel or resort which I hate because I love exploring.  Countries which use the Euro tend to be more expensive so I can see maybe going all inclusive then, but otherwise if the city you're in is cheap you will probably eat for less - unless you're just in it for the booze.  But that's a different story.  

5 - Find a supermarket 

This will save you on snacks and for basics you might want like bread, ham and breakfasts which means you can save your money for other things!  

6 - Start every day with a big bottle of water in your bag

Especially when you're in a hot place, like when we were in Venice, if you buy small bottles of water or soft drinks those 2Euros will surely add up over the week.  A 2 litre water from the supermarket in the bag every morning is a life saver.  
7 - Couch surf

Although I've never braved it but I can see the benefits of couch surfing or using Air BnB.  Cheaper rooms and a local's insight into your city, sounds great but I'm yet to try it.  Have you tried it?  What's the verdict? 



8 - Find Sister Banks 

By talking to your bank you can not only keep your card active when you use it abroad.  But you can also find out who the sister banks are, which means you will get cheaper (or even free) charges when you use it abroad.  And remember bigger but fewer withdrawals are the most economical! 

9 - Travel Insurance 

Pay for it, honestly it's worth it.  And this is a budget tip because if worst comes to worst this will save you money!  Big time!  I have ridiculously good travel insurance and don't resent the money at all.  

All of these wonderful photos belong to M.M Hall Photography, see his Facebook here.
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