You may be familiar with the situation of coming back from a trip and seeing a large red number on your bank statements. Although most people plan ahead with a travel budget, there are often additional costs involved. But many of these costs could be greatly reduced. In other cases, you just want to go to another location but don't have a lot of money to spend. If you're going anywhere else and want to know how to travel cheaply, check out my tips on that!
1. Be flexible
Years ago travelers only had 1- or 2-week deals when booking their trips, but that has changed. Nowadays customers have a lot more performance and flexibility, so you can book almost any trip with almost any length of stay. If you are looking for travel packages or flights and hotels, you can be flexible in the number of days of your stay and also in the travel date - then a 9-day stay can be cheaper than a 7-day one.
2. Cooking at home
Dining out consumes a large part of the vacation budget, but there are actually many ways to cook while traveling. Just book an apartment with a small kitchenette instead of a hotel room, which often doesn't make a price difference. Private apartments are an alternative to commercial accommodation: For example, at Airbnb, millions of users worldwide offer their houses for sublet.
3. Consider other departure points
It can be very rewarding to look at the prices for different departure locations - this doesn't necessarily mean that you should only look at the second nearest airport or train station. You may want to fly from Barcelona, but it is much cheaper to fly from Madrid!
4. Avoid doing business in the main tourist streets
Obviously it's most expensive in the tourist miles, but somehow a lot of people still spend a lot of money on souvenirs and food. Souvenirs you might want to have when you go home, but food and drinks are usually better and cheaper options not too far from the main attractions.
5. Eat where the locals eat
If you want to know how to travel cheaply, mingle with the locals. Before starting your trip, it is a good idea to do some research online and get an idea of the country and people (and local prices). Most of the larger cities have local food forums, some of which are also visited by tourists. However, if you go into the details, you can find plenty of local posts and pointers as well.
6. Only travel with hand luggage
Depending on where you are going and for how long you may not necessarily need a large suitcase. So think about how to make the most of the space in your backpack before booking your plane tickets! The low-cost airlines in particular make a lot of money on baggage fees, and you can often avoid this by packing wisely. Just be sure not to exceed the weight limit.
7. Book as many travel services as possible on site
With the exception of major events, you can usually expect your travel destination to not be fully booked. If you book on site, you save the commission for travel agencies and booking platforms and you have more room to negotiate. Almost everywhere you can find local accommodations or tours that do not have an excessive advertising budget and that offer good but definitely cheaper service.
8. Avoid the high season
If you can plan ahead, it is wise to look for major holidays in the country and the skin price time. Once you've discovered the most popular periods, avoid them and book at least two to six weeks before or after. Not only will this save you a lot of money, but you'll also experience more local life and less busy streets.
Travel can be costly. If you want to use your money more effectively, consider the tips above about cheap travel. However, the best tips don't come from the internet or a travel guide. First ask your friends and acquaintances. Who has been there before or who has local friends?
A simple post on Twitter or Facebook is often enough to get valuable information about a destination. Local connections and tips on good and cheap accommodation, restaurants and shops are therefore invaluable.