As you all know, I love travelling, and I try to travel as much as I can each year. I’m always on the hunt for cheap deals/flights to escape to. When I come back from one trip I book another, because I don’t think I can ever get over the travel bug (can you blame me?). Since I’ve moved to London, I’ve learnt a lot about booking holidays and how to make the most of it.
My friends constantly ask me how I’m able to travel all the time and how do I afford it. I’m here to tell you It’s actually not that difficult! Though I mostly travel with my family, I do tend to take trips with my friends and we like to stay on budget. The truth is, it’s really not that expensive, especially if you live in Europe. Here are some ways you can save up and travel.
This is the most important thing, you have to be flexible on the dates you want to travel in. That’s the best way to get the an amazing bargain. I’m always on the hunt for cheap deals. Ryanair has some amazing flights – I flew to Berlin, Budapest and back to London for a total of £30! Also, I know for a fact Ryanair does £20 return flights to places like Copenhagen, Berlin and Stockholm. You just have to be available on those exact dates. Skyscanner is the best place for cheap flights.
Book in advance
I know, it’s too hard to book a holiday for the year later because you’re not sure where you’ll be. But if you truly want a cheap bargain, that’s one of the best ways to score an amazing deal. Holiday Pirates always post about great deals on their Facebook page, and with these kind of deals, you can’t wait for long as the price may change really fast. It’s great to always be on the hunt!
Stop spending money on unnecessary things
Seriously, do you really need your £4 soya vanilla latte from Starbucks every morning? Or do you need to pop into Primark every now and then? (guilty as charged) The best way to save up on travelling is to not spend money on small things. You’ll end up realising how much the money you save adds up to! It’s also worth adding a little bit of money to your savings every month – even if it’s just £50!
If you truly want to spend as little money as possible, skip the hotel and go for a hostel or airbnb. Before living in a hostel, I had this weird stereotype that it would be full of weird people and I’d have my items stolen, and I’d hate it. But it was the complete opposite! I had loads of fun, and it was so affordable. After all, if you’re travelling to a city, the only thing you’re looking for an accommodation is a bed to sleep in. I’d recommend St Christopher’s Inn – I paid €20 for 2 nights in Berlin with breakfast included. Plus, you meet so many random travellers, it’s a great way to connect with other like minded people.
With airbnb, you can opt for an affordable apartment in a great location, and save up on eating out. You can always cook your own meals in the apartment, unless you don’t mind spending the extra cash.
Look at Flight + Hotel packages
Websites like Kayak, British Airways and Expedia have some great packages for every kind of budget. You can get a European city break for around£200pp from Heathrow/Gatwick (which I personally prefer over going to Stansted). Low season is the best time for these package deals – for a beach break, May and September are great times to go.
Sign up to a frequent flyer programme
I could write an entire blogpost about this (which maybe I might) but signing up to a frequent flyer programme has so many benefits! I’ve been signed up to Iberia Plus and Emirates’ Skywards programme for years! Basically, every time you fly, all the points you accumulate are saved into your account. You can buy flight tickets, get upgrades and get flight discounts with those points. With Iberia, I managed to get into silver level which allows me an extra baggage on any flight and I can check into a business class counter (aka no queue). Every programme has its benefits, and I’d recommend choosing one you fly with a lot and that gives you great rewards. Plus, a lot of airlines are partnered with other airlines which you can accumulate miles with i.e. with Iberia, I can earn air miles with BA, Qatar and Qantas for example. Plus, you can also gain points by booking hotels with them!
So you know how everytime you re-check the flight you want to take, the price increases? That’s mostly because you’re browsing normally and your browser saves the cookies of the website you’re visiting. If you go on Chrome or Safari, in the New tab option click ‘new incognito tab’. Whatever you browse on that window won’t be saved, which will prevent the price from increasing (unless the airline increases the price).
Travel on weekdays
There’s a myth that on Tuesdays, flights are generally cheaper for some reason? And Tuesday is the best day to travel as there’s not a lot of people. It depends on the flight and destination of course, as I know whenever I take a flight to India it’s always full. But, when we were booking for Ibiza, it cost us £40 return during the weekday. If we booked during the weekend it was triple the price!
Look at cheaper airport transfers
Taking the train might get a little expensive, especially in London with the Gatwick and Stansted Express. I usually get the coach to Stansted, it’s far cheaper! The least I’ve paid was £3 return through Easybus. The buses are very frequent and you can choose the bus stop that’s closest to you! It makes all the difference. Easybus is also available around Europe so you can find cheap transfers from European airports too!
I hope you guys found this helpful! Do you have any budget travel tips to share? Let me know in the comments below!