Travelling abroad is more affordable than ever! There are more budget airlines and a wider selection of accommodation options to choose from. However, so many travellers are still falling into the trap of expensive trips, by not spending the time to shop around for cheaper alternatives. A little research could reduce total trip costs by two thirds and extend the time spent abroad.
Follow these research tips to travel for less:
Beware Discounted Flights
Larger flight agents may offer a discount for booking early, but it may not always be the cheapest option. Ten percent off an expensive flight may be no saving at all, in fact you could end up paying much more than you need to. Be sure to check online for the best price. Check multiple websites and different flight routes, to make sure you have the best deal.
Choose A Destination Wisely
Think about all of the costs incurred whilst abroad, not just the flights to a country but also the expenses in the country. Surprisingly, it can sometimes be more cost effective to fly further away to experience a cheaper destination.
Asia is a great continent to tour on a budget. Accommodation, food and attractions are all affordable and many frugal travellers get by on as little as £10 a day. Even flying from country to country, there are plenty of low cost airlines that fly around Asia.
Backpackers and volunteers tend to think that Africa will be an affordable place to travel as the locals live in poverty. However, many businesses charge locals and tourists a different rate. Travellers can end up paying ten times more than locals do in the most basic guest house, making it difficult to travel on a budget.
There is a reason that South America tends to be full of middle-class backpackers. Flights from Europe are expensive, reducing the amount of tourism and competition between local business. Adding up the cost of accommodation on top of the large flight prices can put off potential travellers.
Volunteering is a great way to travel and get to know a country affordably. There are many low-cost volunteer sending organisations<https://www.originalvolunteers.co.uk/> available which often offer discounts for longer stay volunteers, reducing programme fees, costs can start from £10 a week.
Not only is volunteering an affordable way of travelling, you can sometimes even save money by doing so. Days are filled up with exciting activities of helping others, minimising the amount of wasteful spending done when out and about. Evenings are often spent socialising and playing cards. At the weekends volunteers head off to see more of the country together, splitting the cost of travel.
A quick search online will illustrate the vast pool of different grants available to travellers. Due to limited funds often these grants can be provided but are not advertised, so it is always worth asking.
Despite what many travellers may believe, you don’t have to be student to apply for a travel grant. There is no harm in working professionals asking their employers if they provide travel grants, especially if you are choosing to volunteer abroad. Some companies may not offer a travel grant, but may offer pound for pound schemes, offer to fund part of the trip in return for some PR/promotion, a mention in the company newsletter, or offer additional paid leave.
Stay At People’s Houses
Couchsurfing is a website which makes it easier to find a free place to sleep, either on a couch or a spare room. Hosts are very generous and sometimes even offer free food and themselves as a tour guide for the place you are visiting.
CampSpace is another useful website which helps travellers find micro camp sites and private gardens around the world. Options include: camping on an abandoned rooftop, in a jungle or on a beautiful beach. If you travel with a Bivvy bag<http://www.bivvybags.co.uk/>, you can enjoy the freedom of camping without having to carry around a heavy tent.
Use a Kitchen
When I first travelled I thought that hostel kitchens were only used by fussy eaters who disliked the local cuisine. I soon found out that most travellers use the kitchen to save money.
Now when I travel, even if my accommodation is free and I am couch surfing, I always make sure there is a kitchen I can use before I commit. The amount of money you save is insane, cooking food in a kitchen allows travellers to live on as little as £3 a day. It is impossible to do this without a kitchen, unless you want to live on one meal deal a day.
This is not a sponsored post.
Credit: This post was written by Astrid Halliday, an aspiring online journalist.
Images: Copywrite – Stacey Barbet