Pretty much everyone wants to travel. But if you’re on a budget it may often seem like there’s a financial barrier in the way. Luckily there’s lots of help out there if you’re planning a trip while also keeping an eye on your bank balance. So in order to help you, we’ve put together this short guide to give you some ideas of where to look for savings, as well as some tips for money-saving.
One of the first ports of call for the budget traveller should be the various money-saving forums – these are good for asking questions in the money-saving community and can invaluable for getting specific information. Sites like Money Magpie also have a wealth of blog posts specifically relating to travel – check out their travel section here
. Money Saving Expert also has good forums – and quite a strong, vibrant community.
Looking for budget travel inspiration? Then check out the newspaper travel sections, many of which even have a sub-section devoted entirely to budget travel. One such can be found in The Guardian newspaper which takes in a wide range of options and destinations. Ever heard of ‘microadventure breaks’? I hadn’t either – well worth investigating!
Then of course there are the many (many) blogs devoted to travel without too much outlay. However, it can be difficult to find the best budget travel blogs since there’s a lot of them out there. Step forward Flipkey, whose handy list of the Top 25 Budget Travel Blogs
is a really great place to start.
Travel health. Sadly there’s no room for compromise here. In fact going uninsured could cost a lot more in the long run. Especially if you needed to be flown home under medical supervision. Citizens of European Economic Area nations can get an EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) when going between countries in that area. But be aware that the EHIC isn’t actually an insurance policy – it just qualifies people for emergency treatment, and that treatment won’t always be gratis. You can find out more on the EHIC on this page
Staying on longer than a holiday? Then you’ll need international cover – it’s a different product from holiday cover – you can find out the basics here
Accommodation. There was a time when cheap meant grotty. But that time is long, long gone. Since the economic downturn, we’re all budget-focussed, and these days the choice of cheaper stuff is better than it’s ever been. In terms of hotels there are budget chains as well as sites that will trawl the online data and bring you the most competitive prices. For mega-cheap accommodation the whole idea of couch surfing has grown up and gone global with sites like airbnb.
It really opens up a world of choice for the budget traveller – and not just in terms of price – the range of accommodations is very wide indeed.
Split fare flights. And not just flights – rail journeys too. it’s worth checking out whether your ticket is the best deal available. Sometimes booking two singles works out cheaper than a return – and of course non-direct flights are usually cheaper too.
Money. Depending on your destination (and its banking system) it may be better to get your holiday money before you go rather than withdraw money once you get there. Always check this stuff out before you go as you’ll want to make sure you’re getting the best deal – and with a bit of luck you may also benefit from extra spending power due to the vagaries of the exchange rate.