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Money for Life work in partnership with the Money Advice Service, an independent organisation set up by government. Money AdviceService provides free, unbiased money guidance across the UK to help people make the most of their money.  If you have a question or need help, you can chat to them here.

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6 Ways to Keep Costs Down While Travelling

By Annie Button

Travelling is a wonderful thing to do and a high priority for most people. However, it doesn’t always come cheap with the high transport, spending and accommodation costs involved often putting people off.

So, if your wanderlust needs to be fulfilled and you’re itching to get away, we have some good news – it is possible to keep your costs down while you’re travelling. It really comes down to being sensible with your spending and planning your trip in advance. Follow our six tips below and you could save yourself a ton of money on your travels.

 

 

  1. Free activities.

While it may be tempting to spend money visiting every single attraction possible, most destinations will have an abundance of free activities for you to spend your time on instead. Museums, parks, and natural landmarks are all free to visit, and often have a ‘pay what you can’ service to save people money.

Free walking tours are also often available and are a great way of familiarising yourself with an area – giving you a better idea of where to go and what to visit. They’re also a great way of meeting people when travelling alone and can give you travelling acquaintances to split holiday costs with.

  1. Shop around for flights.

If you’ve ever used a flight comparison website, you will know how much flights can vary in price. This fluctuation typically depends on the time of year you are looking to go, the time of day the flight is, and the airline you choose to go with. It’s, therefore, best to shop around, rather than going for the first flights you see, as you could save yourself a lot of money by being flexible with your dates.

Also, if there is more than one airport in the area you’re visiting, compare the flight prices for each one. Murcia in Spain, for example, has multiple airports to choose between – from Corvera to Alicante to Valencia – so it might work out cheaper to fly to a less obvious alternative.

  1. Go in the off season.

Destinations become so much cheaper to visit in the off season so, if you’re not fussed about when you go, you could save yourself a lot of money. The summer is often the most popular time to go away, but it really depends on the location – Berlin, for example, is a particularly popular place to visit at Christmas.

If you’re looking to travel further afield, visiting South East Asian countries outside of the dry season will save a lot on both flight and accommodation costs. Likewise, much of Europe becomes less expensive to visit in the post-Christmas months, so shop around then to find a cheap deal.

  1. Sleep while travelling.

If you’re thinking of visiting more than one place while you’re away, why not consider sleeping while travelling? Booking a night flight or sleeper train could not only save you money on accommodation costs, but it could also mean you avoid wasting valuable holiday time travelling during the day.

  1. Book accommodation wisely.

Transportation costs can quickly mount up so, just because you’ve seen an incredible deal on a hotel outside of the city centre, you might actually spend more getting in and out. Again, it’s worth shopping around and doing some research on the area you’d like to visit before booking anything. If you’re visiting a city, for example, staying near a subway or bus stop will generally make your life a lot easier while you’re there.

  1. Eat and drink sensibly.

One of the biggest holiday costs you face while away is food and drink, of which there are multiple ways to cut down on spending. Here are some dos and don’ts to think about when trying to eat and drink sensibly on your travels:

  • DO – Shop at farmer’s markets and local stores for food produce.
  • DO – Ask locals where they go, as they’ll know the best places.
  • DO – Take picnic food with you, rather than eating out everywhere.
  • DO – Have big lunches, as lunch deals are typically cheaper.
  • DO – Look for accommodation with a microwave/kitchen area available.
  • DON’T – Eat in the city centre as it tends to be a lot more expensive.
  • DON’T – Only drink in bars and clubs. Pre-drink before going out.
  • DON’T – Eat at places outside of your budget.

Final thoughts…

So, there you have it – some great ways to keep your travel costs down. There are many other things you could think about too, like buying a pre-paid travelcard or updating your SIM card, but these six tips are the main ways to cut down on spending.

In general, the more research you do in advance of travelling, the more money you will save. Don’t rush in and buy the first flights you see – shop around for the best deals and be sensible about your spending. It’ll only make your holiday that much better as a result.

Annie Button is a Portsmouth based writer and recent graduate. Annie has written for various online and print publications and specialises in personal finance. Find out what else Annie has been up to over on Twitter: @anniebutton1994

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Money for Life work in partnership with the Money Advice Service, an independent organisation set up by government. Money AdviceService provides free, unbiased money guidance across the UK to help people make the most of their money.  If you have a question or need help, you can chat to them here.

Launch Chat

Chat to the Money Advice Service
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Saturday, 9am to 1pm.