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Top Travel Tips

Although the squeeze on the pound has been mitigated by a similar downturn in other currencies, it is increasingly difficult to keep to a budget when going on your travels. New airport taxes, surcharges and increased fuel and food prices are all taking an additional toll. However, with planning and the right mind-set, the holiday on a shoe string can still be pulled off. Here are some ideas that could save you money on your next overseas adventure.

Before You Go

The cost of insurance can vary widely between providers, so it’s well worth looking for the best deal on annual travel insurance before you jet off.

Shop around for the best fares for travel by air or train. Use search engines to sift through the gamut of airlines and travel companies and find the best deals. Go to a few individual websites as well to see if the search engine is doing its job. Make sure you check prices for both one way and return fares, even if you are only going one way. For reasons best known to themselves, travel providers often price return tickets significantly cheaper than single fares.

Try integrating auxiliary expenses such as long stay travel insurance, bus transfers and hire cars in with your airfare. Airlines often give bulk discounts and you can also claim points or air miles if you are registered with a company’s club or loyalty card.

Book outside of the school holidays if at all possible and try to travel midweek, when fares are at their cheapest. For the non-superstitious, note that fares also tend drop for the 13th of every month, especially if it’s a Friday!

Pack wisely. Make room in your luggage for disposable utility items such as toiletries, razors, medicines and sun cream – anything you would otherwise be spending money on at an overpriced supermarket. Once used, it will leave space for anything you want to bring home, without you having to pay premium rates for excess baggage at the airport.

It can be cheaper and more enjoyable, in the long run, to book extra baggage allowances for sports equipment that you might need for activities such as hiking, camping, surfing and snorkelling.

When You Get There

Stay away from the purpose-built tourist zones, where you often pay far more than other areas. Explore elsewhere and perhaps take the risk of booking a hotel or hostel when you get there. When booking online, before you set off, you can end up paying an agent as well as the hotel or hostel. If you look around when you arrive, you can usually find a better deal.

Buy your own groceries, take packed lunches when you go out for the day or make best use of any meals included in your hotel booking. You don’t have to eat out all of the time.

It is amazing how much more people are willing to spend to speak to somebody who understands English, sleep on a new mattress, or sit in an air-conditioned coach. You can do those things at home!