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As more and more of us aspire to travel the world, not only has it never been easier, but it’s also never been more possible to travel extensively on a budget. This article is here to provide some tips for finding the best prices and having the best time abroad on a budget.
Getting the best deals on flights
Flight booking traditionalists tend to believe that the best time to book a flight is months in advance, and also earlier in the week as that’s when airlines adjust their fares. However, these days there is no specific time that guarantees you the best deal.
Flight deals and timings will depend on the airline, and the best you can do is research your chosen airline or destination. It is also a great idea to subscribe to airlines on social media and sign up for rewards programs, then keep an eye out for tempting deals.
Tips for rental cars
The more seasoned budget travellers will be able to tell you that it is always best to book the smallest possible rental car and choose the earliest pickup time. This is because the earlier it is in the morning, the more likely it is that most customers haven’t returned their cars yet. And the most popular cars with customers are the smaller, cheaper, more compact cars. This means the rental agency is obligated to instead give you a larger, nicer car at exactly the same price.
Research Resort Fees
So, you’ve found your dream all-inclusive resort and it couldn’t seem more affordable – that’s until you’re handed the bill at the end of your stay and it comes with an unexpected, incredibly hefty resort fee. This is why it’s always a good idea to research each hotel’s resort fees before you go ahead and book. That way you know exactly what you’re letting yourself in for, and whether the seemingly budget-friendly hotel is actually going to cost you an arm and a leg.
If you can’t see this information readily available, try to inquire directly with the hotel. When it comes to all-inclusive resorts, it is also worth asking which foods and drinks come with the deal and which you’ll have to pay extra for.
Make the Most of Public Transport
Many tourists and travelling families think they need a car to be able to make the most of the towns and cities that they visit – but this simply is not true! Make like the locals in these
destinations and utilise public transport. It just takes a little bit of research beforehand and you’ll quickly find maps and information that will help tourists get to know the (albeit sometimes complicated) transport systems.
The world’s biggest cities like London, Paris and New York are renowned for their incredible rail links, and smaller places also offer useful train and bus routes. Head to an information kiosk and inquire about day or week passes, you’ll be surprised by how budget-friendly they are.
Visit Smaller Towns
Big cities and famous destinations draw big crowds and even bigger prices. The smaller towns in many countries offer some unique sights that are off the tourist’s beaten track and just as spectacular landscapes as the more popular destinations.
Many countries also have fantastic public transport links that mean if you stay in a small town near a more popular big city, it could be possible for you to hop on a quick train to see the more touristy attractions. Many small towns also offer their own amazing experiences, such as cutting edge galleries, fine food and a vibrant local culture.
Get Clued up on Travel Insurance
Travel insurance may add a little extra expense to your trip, but it might not be something you want to scrimp on if you’re travelling on a budget. Travel insurance provides you with peace of mind on your travels and that in itself is priceless. However, it’s also a good idea to check out your existing insurance policies to see if they actually cover health, car and possession insurance while travelling – you may be pleasantly surprised!
It is also worth paying the small premium of cancellation insurance for package tours and cruises if you think there’s any chance you may end up cancelling.
Make the Most of Free Museums
There are many top-rating museum attractions with hefty admission prices, but most cities and destinations also have plenty of museums that offer free entry too. This allows you to absorb plenty of culture and history while still operating on a budget.
It is also worth researching if any museums offer free hours or days each week or month and see if they fit into your itinerary. Many museums also offer guided tours and hands-on session for kids, both great ways to learn a little more than the average museum-goer.
Kieren is the avid traveller behind the blog. His adventures have included Interrailing through Europe, road tripping the US and backpacking SE Asia.