Tuesday, 8 August 2017

How To Travel On An (Incredibly Tight) Budget

Katy and I are always broke, and yet we always go on holiday, and a lot of people mention this to us, in fact so often that it’s become a running joke that whenever we book a holiday we always mention about who we think will be the first person to ask about just how we’re affording it. I wrote a little about How We Travel So Much back in March, as did Katy, but I felt like now it was time for an updated version to tell you just how we manage to travel on such a tight budget (and still manage to bring some make up bits back).

Be Flexible
This is always ideal when it comes to location, but even if you have a particular location in mind; be flexible. With your flight times, dates, months and days of the week - the more flexible that you can be, the better. Generally speaking, you obviously want to head on holiday outside of school holidays, and generally Sunday-Thursday or Monday-Friday are the best times to be looking for. Cheap flights tend to be cheap for a reason, but if you can be flexible enough to make them work, they’ll definitely bring the cost of your holiday right down.

Sit Apart On The Plane
Okay so there’s more to it than this, but don’t pay for extras. Don’t pay for a 20kg case if you’re only going for three days (and actually note that with most companies you have a choice of a bigger or smaller bag if you absolutely can’t live without a bag), and don’t pay extortionate prices to get seats together. Katy and I usually opt to sit together if we can get seats for £3 or less, but otherwise you’re adding unnecessary costs. If you’re doing a cheap holiday chances are, it’s short haul - and so use this to your advantage and sit apart knowing you’ll be back with each other in around 3 hours time maximum anyway.

Where You Can’t Eat Local, Eat Chain
Often the cheapest way to eat when you’re abroad is, of course, to try local restaurants. Not only does this make things more affordable, but you certainly get a chance to try food that you likely wouldn’t otherwise - however this isn’t always practical. If you’re out and about and don’t have the time or inclination to find somewhere local to eat, it can be just as cheap to eat chain for that one meal. Head to McDonalds, Pizza Hut or Subway - you’ll find one in most European cities, their prices are pretty standard and you can usually take out so you don’t have to stop sightseeing. Not ideal, but definitely an affordable option.

Don’t Automatically Choose The Cheapest Accommodation
It’s tempting to look for the cheapest accommodation and book it straight way, but don’t fall into the trap. Air BnBs are often cheaper than hostels, but may be considerably further away - there is absolutely no point in opting for a cheaper option if it’s going to cost you nearly double when you peg on your travel costs. Make sure you weigh up travel options and their general cost and make sure you make an informed decision to make the most of your money (after all; more money means more treats for you when your budget is this tight)

Know Your Budget
Now, this one should be obvious, but this is where Katy and I have fallen down on more than one occasion. To stick to your budget, you need to know what that budget is, and what it equates to per day; then make sure you’ve accounted for anything big that may not automatically fit in with the day’s planned budget. If you need to take money out, take less than you need and try to make it work instead of taking a huge amount out and then feeling like you have to blow it. A small tip, but one that’s surprisingly effective.

So there are my tips for travelling when you’re on a tight budget, but leave below anything on holiday you struggle to save money with and we’ll certainly share any tips we might have come across!

Sammy xo.

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