Travelling is one of life’s greatest adventures, but it can often be a huge burden on our bank statements, DESIblitz guides you on how to travel on a budget.
Avoid the crowds and inflated costs by travelling during off-peak times.
If you haven’t been travelling much because you believe that it is too expensive, then think again!
If you know how to find a bargain, you can take a holiday for a fraction of the price. No matter what you want to do, there is a way to do it for less.
If you plan ahead and budget right then your travels don’t have to cost you a fortune.
So don’t let high prices put you off travelling. DESIblitz has all you need to know for travelling on a budget, the do’s and the don’ts.
Avoid Peak Travel Times
If you have some flexibility to your schedule, try to travel during March or October. Summer is the peak time in most areas and that means higher prices. Avoid the crowds and inflated costs by travelling during off-peak times.
The weather is actually better in many places during the late autumn and early spring so it’s an all-around good choice.
Watch out for local events when you choosing your dates. A major sports game or festival can double the hotel prices for a few days so check in advance. Especially if you aren’t actually going to the event, you definitely don’t want to pay more for those dates.
Be Flexible with Accommodation
Hotels are typically going to be your most expensive option but you can find equally comfortable accommodation for a lot less. Look at short-term flat rentals in local classified ads or on websites like Airbnb and Wimdu.
If you are travelling in a large group and will need more than one hotel room, private flats will nearly always save you money.
If you are travelling alone or as a couple, renting a room in someone’s home can save you as well.
You won’t have the same level of privacy but you will get local travel advice and a deeper look into the local culture of the country.
A lot of hostels offer private rooms so don’t avoid them just because you don’t want to share a space. And, if you’re willing to share a bathroom, this could mean saving up to £40 a night.
Be flexible. Just book for one night then try a different place if you don’t like it.
Shop Around Before you Buy
Loyalty to an agency or website doesn’t always pay off. Flight and hotel costs can vary a lot from website to website. Prices change by the hour and some sites are better for different regions.
Before you book anything, spend at least a week browsing.
Tickets typically cost more when you buy them during the weekend, regardless of your travel date.
Booking between Tuesday and Thursday will usually give you the best prices.
Get Comfortable Asking for a Good Price
Don’t be shy about asking for a better value package. Bargaining isn’t just for the markets. Even major corporations can offer discounts and upgrades but you will never know until you ask. Ask about special promotions or discounts for last minute bookings.
If you aren’t happy with the service or product, say something about it. Be polite about it, of course, but don’t ever think that you need to pay for something that you don’t want.
If the AC in your hotel room isn’t working, ask for a different room. If your flight is delayed overnight, ask for a hotel room voucher. A good company will make things right and often offer an upgrade or discount.
Sign up for Discounts
The emails might be annoying sometimes but signing up for discount programs can help you find the best prices.
If you like a particular travel website or agency, join their mailing list.
You can always cancel the membership after your holiday and it’s free so it’s definitely worth a try.
Pay Attention to Dates and Times
Friday and Sunday flights are usually the most expensive. If you can fly in the middle of week, you will typically get the best prices. Saturday flights are your best option if you need to leave at the weekend.
Also look for late night and early morning flights for a better discount. Many websites will allow you to search with a flexible date option so you can see exactly what it would cost for each day.
Be realistic about your comfort level. If you can easily sleep on trains, book an overnight journey to save time and money.
Sure, there are times when you need to get to your destination quickly but don’t rush when you don’t need to. Sometimes a long train ride or an overnight layover can end up being the highlight of your trip. Don’t just focus on getting to your final destination.
For many destinations, you can get major discounts when you book a long layover or fly into a different airport.
Rather than thinking of these things as inconveniences, look at them as opportunities to see a new place. Remember: it’s the journey, not the destination!
Travelling the world doesn’t have to be expensive if you plan it right. With some research and a little patience, you can easily go on your dream holiday without breaking the bank. Explore what is out there and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime.
Indian athletes PV Sindhu and Sakshi Malik are amongst those awarded India’s highest sporting honour for their performances at Rio 2016.