Tips to save money when travelling
Nothing comes for free and unfortunately, travelling is no exception to this rule. Fuelling your urge to explore can be unexpectedly expensive, especially when you haven’t accounted for everything that will cost you. Not to worry, though, we’ve put together this list of money saving tips to help you save as well as enjoy your travels whether you’re staying close to home or venturing further afield.
Most airlines charge you if you want to check in a bag, but hand luggage is free! Make sure your hand luggage is the correct size (you can check these measurements on your airline’s website). If you do need to check in a bigger bag, make sure it doesn’t exceed the weight allowance (again, you can check this on your airline’s website), or you will have to pay extra.
Make sure you have an EHIC card
Your European Health Insurance Card is free when ordered through ehic.org.uk, and entitles you to free (or lowered cost) medical treatment in EU countries.
Home exchanges are a great way to save money when travelling. If you’re happy to let someone else stay in your home, it’s pretty much a guarantee of free travel accommodation. Plus, saving money on accommodation means more money to spend exploring.
Book out of season
Travel prices rocket during the school holidays, so try to avoid booking in July and August. Off-peak holidays are always cheaper, and who doesn’t love a bit of winter sun? If you do find yourself booking in peak time, make sure you check prices on different days (a holiday from Saturday to Saturday will be more expensive than a holiday from Wednesday to Wednesday, for example.
Turn off data roaming
Though lots of mobile networks now have travel deals (for example O2 travel, which gives you access to data, texts and calls for £1.99 a day), data roaming can put your phone bill through the roof. So, to save money make sure you have data roaming switched off, and connect to free WiFi when you can - lots of bars and cafes have it.
It is always worth checking for last minute deals. For example, lastminute.com often offer cheap package deals the closer you get to the actual dates, and some airlines will drop their prices in the final few weeks before departure in order to fill up their planes.
Arrange your own excursions
Tours or excursions with tour operated companies can be expensive. Have a look online at the sights you want to see, and plan your route there. The internet and guide books can tell you just as much as a tour guide!
Of course, walking is the cheapest mode of transport. Though it is not always possible, try to walk from place to place when you can. You may even stumble across some hidden gems you weren’t aware of!
Beware of the minibar
Minibars are an easy way for hotels to make fast money - often you get charged just for picking an item up, even if you don’t open it. Keep away from the minibar to avoid accruing those unexpected costs.
Make sure you don’t get ripped off by a taxi rank going out of the city to the airport, call City Cabs in advance on 01273 55-55-55.