Most of us love to travel, but not all of us can afford to travel as often as we’d like. A trip to Europe or the US might seem like it’s out of reach, but there are ways to rein in your travelling expenses and get to the places you love, more often.
Travelling cheaply needn’t mean you miss out. If you plan ahead, work out a budget (and stick to it), you can have a better, longer – and cheaper – holiday.
Ten ways to save and budget for your overseas holiday
Here are ten tips on how you can save money on your travels – and have a cheaper, better, longer holiday.
1. Fly for less
One of the few downsides to living in Australia is that you're miles from anywhere. Getting much beyond Bali will cost you, but there are ways to reduce flight costs.
2. Avoid peak holiday times
Travelling at the height of the European summer, for example, not only costs more, it’ll mean half your holiday is spent in a queue.
3. Compare flights as well as airlines
Remember, the cost of a flight can vary a lot, depending on when and how you purchase it.
Check out flight comparison websites to get a good deal. If you do book through one of these sites, be sure to read the small print. Their change/cancellation policies might not be as flexible as you need and could cost you more than you save.
4. Find an inexpensive bed
Halve your accommodation costs and you might be able to travel for twice as long.
5. Consider homestays
Go into this with the right attitude—be generous and ready to share—and you could end up with a free roof over your head, a tour guide, and a lifelong friend all wrapped up in one.
6. Check out a house swap website
You’ll be surprised to know how many people from Tuscany are eager for a holiday in Tasmania.
If you’re a bit more adventurous or love the outdoors, try backpacking, (no longer just for the young) or camping.
7. Go somewhere, not so obvious
Paris. New York. London.
Of course, the great world cities will always be magnetic places, but there’s a whole world out there. How about Marseille? Portland? Manchester? Belo Horizonte? Naples?
8. Get off the beaten track
It’s quieter, cheaper, and often more ‘authentic’. So long as you don’t tell too many people.
9. Eat like a local
Your greatest cost after accommodation will be food. Take the opportunity to sample the local cuisine – and cook when you can.
10. Do your research before you leave home
If you have a smartphone, get a good, cheap mobile data plan. Check out the public transport, perhaps download the transport apps for the cities you’re travelling to. Oh, and a free wi-fi finder app also might be worth getting.