Are you a student considering a gap year? Or maybe you just have a month off and are looking to make the most of it and travel somewhere. In this article, we’ve covered a few tips to help you to save money and get the most out of your travels.
Plan your trip as far in advance as you can. That way you can look out for cheaper train tickets that have promotions and discounts.
Sign up for travel alerts to find cheaper airline tickets. You can do this through Skyscanner which monitors daily rates and emails you when the price goes down. Many services and airlines offer cheap one-way or round-trip tickets for specific seats and dates.
For example, some apps have ready-made deals with great discounts and credit from different airlines. On airline websites, you can often see “hot airline tickets” at reasonable prices. You can also use a VPN to find the best prices on international tickets. When you search for a ticket online, most companies track your location and show you the prices of the region you are in in the local currency. If you hide your location with a VPN and log in from a lower-affluence country server, you can find the same ticket for the same flight and even in the same currency, but cheaper. You can also change your IP address to the server of the airline country you're going to fly with, and the price for the same flight will be different: airlines provide cheaper prices if you're in their country.
Nowadays with airlines charging for hand luggage, it’s worth looking at different airlines such as ones that include baggage and ones that don’t to see which is cheaper overall. To make extra money for your trip, you can save on an essay for money service.
Travel in the off season if you can and avoid holiday dates. Demand is always higher in the peak seasons (school holidays) which also means that ticket prices are higher too. It not only affects prices but also the comfort of your trip. Meaning more tourists, long lines for attractions, more noise, and even the inability to get into some major attractions because of the capacity limit.
Look for destinations that the majority aren’t travelling to. Sometimes a week-long holiday in a European capital can be more expensive than a two-week trip through several small European cities. The more popular the destination, the higher the price for a ticket there. Plus discovering a brand new place may even surprise you.
There is so much choice out there when it comes to accommodation. Platforms such as Airbnb or Booking.com offer you the chance to rent an apartment, a room in a local’s accommodation or a hotel room. There are filters you can use to help you select where you want to stay and a map of the city with prices for different areas. Check for last-minute deals on LastMinute.com or search by the lowest price for accommodation.
Hostels are great for students. They are cheap and sociable and if you’re planning on exploring all day and returning late at night, then it may not matter where you decide to sleep. The more beds in the room, the cheaper the price. If you don’t mind sharing a dormitory room they are a great way of saving money on accommodation.
Couchsurfing is the cheapest option because it is free. On the Couchsurfing website, you can find locals who are willing to give you a place to sleep in their homes. Registration on the site is mandatory, and there are some requirements for security such as proving your identity with documents and photos. You can always look for a women hosts if you feel more comfortable.
Depending on where you are planning to go, you may want to take a tour. It may sound as though it will be expensive in the long run, but places such as Turkey and Egypt can be cheaper on a ready-made tour. That’s because airlines work with hotels and transfer companies to create package tours which quickly sell out due to less expensive prices and amenities.
When travelling, the cheapest way to save money on food is to cook by yourself, especially if you rent an apartment or choose to stay in a hostel that has a kitchen. Supermarkets may have cheap options so balance out the money you will pay on ingredients versus pre-prepared meals in supermarkets and cafes.
If you have time, walk around where you are and look for menus of the day, happy hours or special deals in a selection of cafes and restaurants to help you plan which ones to dine at during your stay.
For travel within the city, it is worth looking at city passes. In some destinations, a pass for a day, a week or a month is cheap, and if you travel a lot on public transport, it may be better to buy a pass rather than pay for each trip separately. For intercity travel, there are different services for finding transportation tickets.
There is always the option of renting a car but most times this is not cheaper than the train or even flying, especially if you’re travelling alone. Instead, you can use a platform like BlaBlaCar where you enter your chosen destination and city that you want to travel from, and then find a driver who is planning to drive this route on the same day that you would like to travel. You then sign up with the driver, pay the agreed fee and get a lift to your destination with them. The app also has safety rules: both drivers and passengers are required to register.
Hitchhiking is a free ride for outdoor enthusiasts. Hitchhiking is not well developed in all countries, but in Europe and the United States, it is used quite often. You do need to use your own discretion with this and go with your gut instinct. It is worth preparing and learning how to protect yourself in an emergency, as well as the best place to hitchhike.
If you do choose to rent a car, there’s an app called Rentalcars.
You don’t have to take a day tour as you can walk and visit places of interest on your own. But if you can get a student discount on tours, make use of them. Ask in your hostel or accommodation for recommendations from locals whether it’s for restaurants, local markets or things to do in the evening. You may stumble across undiscovered places that aren’t in the guide book.
Some cities have free tours from amateur guides and other students who are happy to show you around their city.
So there you have it. There are lots of ideas on how to travel on a budget. Cheap travel not only saves you money but definitely gives you an adventure too.