Travel costs money; it is inevitable really isn’t it? It is however possible to travel without having a huge budget. Much of this will depend on the nature of your travels, but whatever your plans are it is always a good idea to find the best deal. Finding the best deal has many facets. One of the main costs of traveling any sort of distance is actually getting there. Then there is accommodation, costs of living, and attractions within the country. Here are some great ways to find great travel deals.
Use Services and Apps that Find Great Deals
Trip Advisor- Nothing beats opinions of other travelers. Whilst many sources, blogs, and people can provide these opinions, trip advisor is perhaps the largest collection of opinionated travelers anywhere on the net. You might not be able to find deals as straight forward as “50% off,” but you will be able to gauge whether a hotel, area, restaurant, club, hostel or just about anything is good value for money.
Skyscanner- Skyscanner is basically a travel comparison website, but it can definitely take some hassle out of the search. The problem can often be that there are too many options, and it is useful to have a database like Skyscanner search out a bargain for you. Hotels, flights, and car hire can all be found, and booked using the site, which also has an app.
Travelzoo- Here we get into the realms of direct deals. Its like those little yellow “reduced” labels at the supermarket, only this time its for lush hotels, and Moroccan Spa experiences. For all sorts of travel deals travelzoo really hits the spot. It is easy to search through deals, and recommends its top 20 every week.
Whether getting deals online, or from estate agents, or spotted on a company website, it is important to be flexible in order to allow for the most options, and the highest value deals. If you have a specific hotel in mind, on a specific date, you might be waiting a long time for an offer, or for it to be featured as part of a special package. Be as open as possible, and choose to travel depending what is on offer.
Travel at Times When It is Cheaper
This will vary depending on what country you are planning on flying to, but generally whenever a resort or country is considered “out of season,” is probably the cheapest time to fly, and the time when accommodation deals are most abundant. Booking early might also be important especially during the summer months when many people travel.
If it is possible to do so why not travel during the winter? There are many destinations that offer an opportunity for some winter sun, such as Tunisia, Egypt, or Morocco, among many others. The cheapest time to travel may be during November and December, so if it is possible this is a great way to beat the rush, and to save some pennies. There are also deals available during the summer, so if this is a more suitable time for you then don’t despair. Again the more flexibility the better, and always try to book in advance for discounts.
Be Willing to Take Buses and Coaches
Okay, so this might not be the best tip for a week long family holiday, but for long term traveling; you are going to have to get used to traveling on cheaper public transport. Booking in advance for trains and planes does offer considerable discounts when compared to paying on the day, but it is not always possible to think this far ahead, and either way buses are cheaper.
Finding the cheapest way to get around is important. In some places it is possible to get a bus across an entire country for next to nothing. It might take days, be cramped, and not offer on board meals, but this is a sacrifice some might be willing to make. Even in Europe, where all transport is relatively expensive, companies such as Eurolines offer incredibly cheap long distance travel across the entire continent. I once got a coach from Brussels to London for £30; cheaper than it would have cost me to get a ferry across the channel.
I’m going to level with you, and this is not going to appeal to everyone, especially those who want a nice easy holiday. If you can think like a local you will get the best deals, if you think like a tourist you will pay tourist prices. This is as true in Paris as it is in Thailand. Sometimes the best deals are to be found when you get there, by not booking with an agent, and not staying at a resort.
If a local wants a place to sleep when they visit another area of their country they will pay less than you, for the same. Seek out family run hotels, small restaurants that serve great home-cooked local food, and cultural events rather than over-priced tourist-traps.