How to travel on the cheap

Travel does not have to be expensive. Many people on budgets are travelling more today than ever before. Ever wonder how they can do it? There are a few simple strategies you can adopt into your weekly budget so you can have that holiday you’ve dreamed about.

If you really have a desire to travel and explore the world, committing to a savings plan will be easier than you  may first think.

  1. Analyse your budget. Or if you don’t have one, now is a good time to start. Make a list of all your expenses and income and be prepared to ask yourself some tough questions. What luxury items can you go without while you save for a holiday?
  2. Make a plan to only buy what you really need. Not what you want. If you feel that you need it, ask yourself why you have to have it. I have saved a lot by cutting out things I do not really need and only want. My desire to travel is stronger than buying something which may only last a short time.
  3. Research the destination/s you plan in travelling to. This includes; flights, accommodation, transport, insurance, activities and meals. Do not forget spending money or foreign currency conversions either.
  4. Once you have your budget in order, work out how much you can comfortably save each week to achieve your travel goal. Keep a low (or no fee) separate bank account and only use it for travel savings.
  5. When it comes to booking flights, tours, etc. Look at those companies which offer payment plans. Paying off your holiday over a 12 month period can be more accessible for your budget than trying to pay it all at once.
  6. Decide when you want to travel. Summer is a popular time for destinations like Europe which means it can be more expensive. Some airlines do offer special fares, but look closely at what is and is not included. Shoulder seasons (March/April or October/November) are generally cheaper as airlines are trying to fill seats.
  7. If you have a credit card, look into linking it with an airline frequent flyer card. You do not have to spend extra on items you don not need. Simple everyday purchases like your weekly shopping or payment of bills can add to your frequent flyer points. But shop around for the right loyalty program that suits your needs and gives you the most benefits.

I use these techniques frequently when there is a new destination I need to explore. Once you start refining your expenses and budget, you may notice that it really is easy to have that dream holiday.

 

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Paraportiani at sunset, Mykonos in the Greek Islands

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