The economy might be in a state of flux – but that doesn’t mean that our dreams of travelling the world are any less bright. The hidden gems of the globe are just as magical as they’ve always been – even if financial stresses are making the reality a little more complicated. Fortunately, there’s still plenty of ways to get flying on a budget – all you need is some cheap travel tips, a money security belt to keep your limited funds safe, and a little creativity.
Remember, just because you’re pinching the pennies doesn’t mean that you can’t have an amazing vacation or travel experience. All it means is that you need to play your cards right, and be smart with your cash. Find as many ways as you can to cut the corners, and watch the way you spend throughout your journey.
Following, we’ve put together a list of the thriftiest tricks and cheap travel tips we can come up with – to help you make your dream of flying on a budget more of a reality.
1. Be Flexible When Booking your Travel Dates
First of all, when you’re arranging your vacation, it’s worth keeping in mind that your airline ticket prices will vary according to the time of the year, and day of the week you choose to travel on. For instance, it’s generally cheaper to fly somewhere in the middle of the week than it is to take a weekend trip – because most people prefer to wait for the weekend.
When you’re looking for methods of flying on a budget, it’s also worth noting that prices can be a little cheaper if you start your vacation after a major holiday. Late-night and early-morning flights are also less expensive, because people prefer to get their beauty sleep. The more flexible you are with your times, the better your chances will be of snatching up a great deal.
2. Stop Checking Your Bags
When you’re flying on a budget – sticking to nothing but carry-on luggage is one of the best ways to save cash. As long as you have your money security belt to keep your essentials safe, leaving the suitcase at home can be one of the best cheap travel tips out there. Many airlines have begun to charge a lot when you want to check your bags, and having a bag full of heavy stuffwill just slow you down – whereas opting for a carry-on bag will save you plenty of time and cash.
If you can fit all of your stuff into a backpack, then you may be even better off – because your hands will be kept free for checking your phone or playing games in the airport.
3. Walk (Or Take Public Transport)
Why spend the majority of your hard-earned cash on expensive taxi services when you can get everywhere you need to go with a tube, train, or bus service? Cheap travel tips go beyond simply flying on a budget, and also extend to how you choose to get around when you reach your destination.
You’ll often find that you can experience more in a new city simply by wandering through the streets at your own pace, than if you try to get everywhere by taxi anyway – which means that you get more of an impressive vacation for the cash that you do spend. Just be sure to have your money security belt on if you plan on taking some of the “roads less travelled”.
4. Try a Hotel Alternative
Hotels – even the cheapest ones you can find – generally cost a lot of money because you also have to pay for the amenities that come along with them – such as having someone else clean your room for you, or having the opportunity to sit in a fancy lobby. If you’re serious about searching for cheap travel tips, then start scouting out local hostels in your planned destination, which will offer you a bed and very little else.
If your plan is to go exploring most of the time anyway, then it shouldn’t be too much of a hassle to have to share your accommodations with a few new friends. Once again, you’ll need to keep your money security belt on you at all times just in case, but you should get a good enough nights’ sleep.
5. Pay for Groceries (Not Meals)
When you’re travelling somewhere new, it can be tempting to eat out for every meal in an attempt to explore as much local cuisine and culture as possible. However, heading to a restaurant every time you’re hungry – even if you find some cheap locations – will quickly add up.
Cut the costs of your time away by heading to a grocery store or market and stocking up on the basics instead, such as fruit, dairy, bread, and other simple items. A picnic in your new favorite park will be just as good as eating in a café – but it’s often much cheaper!
6. Avoid the Tourist Traps
Instead of automatically making your way towards the locations that are most popular with your fellow tourists – follow the locals instead. See where the people who live nearby go for lunch, and how they spend their afternoons, and you’ll generally uncover a range of hidden gems that are perfect for those flying on a budget, and trying to enjoy their vacation for less.
As cheap travel tips go, this one won’t apply all the time – as there will be some cases wherein you desperately want to check out a tourist attraction. However, if you don’t have much of a plan, you might be surprised what you find just following the local crowds.
7. Chat with the Locals
Finally, while you’re following the locals around – you might as well talk to them too. Not only will you have the opportunity to make some new friends, but you’ll increase your chances of getting a few personalized cheap travel tips from the people who know your destination best.
If you’re going somewhere where the locals don’t speak your language, then this might mean you have to stock up on a few simple phrases before you head out on your vacation.