7 smart ways to keep your holiday costs down

Holidays don’t have to cost a fortune!

Written by Darren O Reilly


They say that travel is the only thing that you pay for that makes you richer. Traveling broadens your horizons and allows you to experience the history and traditions of other cultures and to create memories that last a lifetime. “How can you put a price on that?” one might ask. Well the truth of the matter is that travel can be really expensive. But like everything, there are ways to be savvy with how you travel which can help cut down on costs. Check out these tips on how you can travel cheap while getting that rich experience.

1. Be flexible with your dates

Instead of sticking with a set of fixed dates, look at the prices of airfare to your chosen destination over the course of a month to see when the cheapest time to fly is. Google have a handy search tool that allow you to visualise price fluctuations over any time period.

2. Use Skyscanner

Skyscanner is a really handy service that searches across dozens of airline providers to bring you the best deals. Available on desktop and on mobile, you can easily search and compare flights to any airport in the world. When you use Skyscanner, it’s advisable to be flexible with your dates and destinations. A cool feature about the service is that you can set up flight alerts so you’ll always be in the know for cheap deals.

3. Avoid unnecessary upgrades

Avoid the unnecessary expenses of checking in baggage, priority boarding and choosing your seat ahead of time, as these are all little extra expenses that can be opted out of and in the long run will save you a lot of money. At the end of the day, it only makes travelling marginally more comfortable and you would be way better allocating your holiday budget elsewhere. 

4. Stay and play with Airbnb

Airbnb apartments and houses fall into that budget accommodation sweet spot. Less expensive than a hotel yet more comfortable and private than a hostel. Using Airbnb, you can find hosts with extra rooms or entire homes! You can filter your search based on any budget and they have secure listings across 190 countries. Why stop at renting? Become an Airbnb host and offer your space up while you are on your holidays. That way, you can make back some of the money you’re spending on your own accommodation!  

5. Research and plan

Putting together an itinerary or a daily/weekly plan of your trip will allow you to allocate your budget effectively based on the activities that you want to do and keep tabs on what you are spending.

6. Check out ‘Free Days’ and activities

There’s lots of things you can do to have a rich cultural experience with a modest price point. It’s just a matter of doing your research. For example, oftentimes museums have ‘Free Days’ midweek. In most cities you are sure to find free walking tours available provided by local guides. These tours are often just as good if not better than the paid tours as the tour guides often have a great passion and knowledge of their city to share so take this opportunity to ask about the best deals on local food and activities. This is also a great opportunity to meet more travellers who may have some savvy traveling advice to share too. As a courtesy, make sure that you tip your guide!

7. Find out where the locals eat

One of the biggest holiday expenses is food. Tourist and backpacker destinations are notoriously expensive so ask around and find out where the locals eat. This may be outside the main commercial areas or strip but you are sure to have a more authentic experience and to find some hidden gems.

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