Top Tips For Travelling Abroad While On A Budget

Friday, October 01, 2021

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With the pandemic restrictions easing, travelling the world is at the front of many minds. I've never had the chance to travel abroad, but I am excited to start next year. There are so many places to visit, but travelling can be expensive. When you consider travel, accommodation, food and activities, it all adds up. For many, spending on luxury holidays isn't always an option. However, what if there was a way to make the most of your holiday on a budget? With the help of some fantastic bloggers, here are some of the best budget-friendly travel tips! 

Avoid Paying Extra For Flights

Do you have the option to pay extra and pick your seat? Save money and avoid this additional cost to your holiday. Instead, have the randomly allocated seat for free. It can be fun to see where you're sitting, and you can meet some new people on your flight. Some airlines will let you pick your seat closer to the flight date anyway, although it's not guaranteed where you will be placed. 
If a checked bag is not included in the cost of your ticket, try travelling with just hand luggage. Not only will this save you money, but you'll avoid the waiting time to collect your luggage. It's also less likely that you'll lose any personal belongings! Steering clear of this optional extra is a great tip to save some money (as long as you can fit everything you need in your hand luggage!). Make sure you check the weight of your bag. Anything too heavy, and you may need to pay a charge!

Travel In Off-peak Times

One of the things I love about working is that I can take time off whenever I like. It means that I get a lot more flexibility when booking and I can save money. I have just booked a Centre Parcs holiday for March, which is HALF as much as I paid for over the summer. If you're not able to book random weeks off, you can still travel in off-peak times. For example, trains have off-peak and peak times. Usually, it's between 6-9 and 5-6 where the trains will be the busiest, so the prices go up. If you can get a train in the afternoon, very early morning or late at night, you can save some money on travel. For those travelling abroad, check to see if your destination has off-peak months too. 

Related: Travelling Tips For Large Groups

Reconsider Your Accommodation

Hotels and rental properties suck people in with gorgeous lobbies, fancy pools, and fitness centres. It's tempting to go for luxury accommodation, but it can increase your travel expenses. If you are visiting a foreign country, how much time will you be spending in the hotel? You may want to look for an accommodation which has a few treats like a pool.

Instead, book a cheaper place with fewer amenities, and spend the extra money on all of the experiences that the city has to offer. When I travel, I look for clean-looking hotels near public transit. Skipping out on the bells and whistles of luxury rooms has saved me a fortune on travel expenses, and I don't feel that it took anything away from my experiences. There are so many affordable places to try! You don't have to stay in a tent but shop around for accommodation. Learn to compromise if you're not going to use all of the facilities.

Use Money-Saving Websites

There has been a boom in UK staycations, and we have seen the prices of holiday camps, getaways and hotels in the UK almost double since opening back up. This will no doubt also be the case for foreign holidays when they open back up, which is why saving some money on your travel plans is imperative. The first thing to do is to set your budget and stick to it! There's no point searching for a month-long cruise if your budget can only stretch to a weekend in Skegness!

Then book smart! Groupon and Wowcher offer great deals on travel in the UK and abroad. Loveholidays offer absolute BARGAINS on foreign holidays (remember to read the reviews). The Sun has £9.50 holidays throughout the year, which can be a lifesaver for those on a budget. There are also a lot of cashback websites that you can use to save money on trips. You can get a small percentage of your holiday cost back. 

Use Cash Where Possible

It's so easy to spend on your credit card. If you need to use a credit card, use one with international rewards. You should also check if it costs you to withdraw money. However, a budget-friendly travel tip is to use cash where possible. Taking out a budgeted amount of money will help you stick to the goals you've set. It makes you more aware of your spending, and you'll avoid impulse purchases. You could use cash envelopes for each day, and anything you save, you can use for the next. While cash isn't for everyone, it's a good tip for those who like cash budgeting. I've also seen people using gift cards where possible, although it may be better for staycations than abroad trips! 

Use Food Saving Apps

Staycations are becoming more popular this year. Make sure you have food saving apps downloaded, such as Too Good To Go. Too Good To Go helps reduce food waste by showing you treats about to be thrown out by businesses. You can claim them for a reduced price or even for free. It helps to reduce food waste, and you can try some new treats. There are some great bargains to be had from restaurants, supermarkets and cute independent coffee shops. You pick up your order at the designated time, so it can fit around your holiday. 

 It’s a fab way to get restaurant-quality food and snacks while you’re out and about exploring at knock-down prices. Even better if you’re self-catering as it would save on a big shop. The app works best in big cities and has huge brands such as Greggs, Costa and even Morrisons offering magic bags of food that would otherwise be wasted. Saves money in your back pocket and helps reduce food waste!

Use Your Student Discount

Travelling is a lot of fun, but it can also cost a lot of money. For university students, travelling can be difficult. Students don't always make a lot with their part-time jobs, and most holidays can only be taken in half-term. Take advantage of your student status and take a student ID with you while travelling! If you're still studying or recently graduated, this can get you a lot of discounts. I carry a student ID without an expiration date, which has worked for me for years now.

When showing your student ID, you will often get discounts when visiting museums, parks, or other places that require an entrance fee. It may only be a little bit cheaper at every site, but you can save serious money when you're travelling long-term. It may also be worth looking to see if you can use your student discount when you book flights, hotels and attractions before you go. Researching ahead of time can help you to save more! 

Cook Your Own Meals

This tip is for those who are camping or staying somewhere without a kitchen. When we go camping, we always prepare our food before going, which helps save money and the hassle when we are there. Before you go, prepare a picnic or meal. Freezing your evening meal in a tub can mean it defrosts slowly overnight and is ready for the next day. It will also act as an ice pack if you want to bring cold food for a picnic. You don't always have the space to make lasagne in a tent, but you can heat it if you make it the day before you go!

If you're staying in a lodge or somewhere with a kitchen, cooking your meals will also save you money when you travel. Why not visit the local market and see what delicacies you can pick up. Markets will offer a lot of budget-friendly food that are also cultural, so you don't miss out. You may want to eat out a few times, but each meal can cost upwards of £20 per person. Bringing your own lunch and snacks can really help your budget! 

Go Through Cashback Sites

There are websites like Topcashback, which will give you money back for the purchases you make. Even before you book flights and hotels, you should use cashback on your typical purchases. That way, you'll have some money back for your next holiday! Cashback websites will only give you back a small percentage of your spending, but it all adds up. You'd be surprised at where you can get money back from, so make sure you check every time you spend. I'd recommend signing up for a few and using the one with the highest cashback offer for the shop you're using. Sometimes it can mean a few extra pennies back into your pocket!

Thank you to the lovely bloggers who contributes to this post! Their links are in the header of their tips! I am so excited to travel and explore the work. Travelling can be expensive, but you can do it on a budget! Plan ahead of time and prioritise what you'd like to do. There are so many places to visit, and budgeting can help you to visit them all. Where would you live to go? I'd love to hear your travel budgeting times and where you plan on going after lockdown! 

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  1. My parents and I never go in the typical school holiday time to try and save some money. I've just signed up for Topcashback so I'm looking forward to getting a bit of money back there too x

  2. Fab tips! Now that you've pointed it out I realise how much better it is to go with cash, haha. I'm also planning on going away next summer and will hopefully be going just hand luggage! Thanks so much for sharing, will definitely refer back to this nearer the time if I do end up going x

  3. Yes to this post! Travelling cheaply can be done easier than most of us think - I love all these tips x

  4. Great tips, especially with travelling starting to resume. I absolutely love booking my hotels (and sometimes flights) through cashback sites, even more so when they increase the cashback percentage! I also agree with reconsidering the accommodations - sometimes it's nice to stay in a fancy hotel, but at the end of the day, you're only heading back there to sleep!

  5. I am so happy to see your travel posts back and I am chuffed to be able to travel more. I've just come back from eloping in Mauritius and that was not on a budget. However, we'd love to get away next year to Spain or the Canaries for a cheap escape. Love your tips, they're my favourite!