With the ultra-fast pace of modern life, it is more important than ever to take a break and get away from it all. Financial pressures and today’s 3G-connectivity make it extremely hard for many British workers to relax, even after leaving work for the day. Travel is the perfect antidote.
Travel provides quality time with your family and loved ones. You can experience cultures and activities different from the norm and, if all goes to plan, you’ll return to work feeling refreshed and renewed.
The common problem, however, is that taking even a short trip can be an expensive affair, particularly for a group or family. With this in mind, we have put together an easy-to-implement list of money-saving tips for travellers looking to get away in 2014.
This might seem blindingly obvious but when looking to be cost-efficient it is important to get to know the local economy and currency. Major tourist destinations tend to increase their prices to extortionate rates during high season; who wants to pay €9 for a cup of tea? The Internet is jam-packed with travel blogs, tourist information and local reviews and write-ups. Read up on your top destinations before you book.
Something else to keep in mind! You would be surprised by how many people are seduced by relatively cheap flights without giving a thought to their spending budget on location. Expensive accommodation and activity costs will quickly catch up and take over the money you saved on flights so, again, make sure you do your research!
Avoiding big-brand chain hotels is always a good idea, as they are usually charmless places to stay with no connection to the location in question.
With the huge array of comparison sites and services available, it takes very little effort to find a smaller, independently run hotel or B & B. Research popular options at:
and, of course, Trip Advisor.
Spending just a little bit of time browsing these sites will not only save you a lot of money, more often than not it will result in a more memorable holiday experience.
Going for self-catered accommodation is also a huge money saver. Buying and preparing your own food not only offers much better value and variety, it also allows you to really get involved in the local community. There’s nothing quite like browsing through foreign market stalls, hunting for a cheap but wholesome lunch. You can always treat yourself at dinner-time.
Being flexible with flights is a huge bonus when counting the pennies. Timing, for instance, is hugely important. Travelling mid week rather than at the weekend can make a serious difference, as can going for a less-trafficked time of year (although, admittedly, this can be tricky with young children). It is also definitely worth looking at several different routes and airlines.Flight Matrix searches through and compares a large range of different flights, allowing you to purchase your ticket, secure in the knowledge that you’ve got a good deal.
If you’re holidaying closer to home, why not drive across the English or Western European countryside, which provides another dimension to your holiday and, if planned with precision, can allow you to take in some truly breath-taking views and experience some places that would otherwise go undiscovered.
There are so many ways to cut down on costs without detracting from your overall experience if you take the time to prepare. Diligently researching and using the host of money-saving resources available online will land you a huge saving before you’ve even left! Getting to know and talking with locals will also make a surprising difference. They’ll help you avoid tourist traps and recommend fantastic local haunts that would otherwise be hard to find. If you’re new to the language, check out charity shops for discarded phrase-books and utilise free online resources like the BBC website, YouTube and the Word Reference language forums: http://forum.wordreference.com/ (this one’s a goldmine)
Saving money while travelling does take time and effort. It will, however, get easier the more you practice. So keep learning and reading and you’ll soon be enjoying that dream break away!
Do you have any money-saving travel tips? Let us know in the comments.