With one in three millennials prepared to spend £5,000 or more on a summer holiday, there’s no denying that travel is a priority for a lot of us these days. But if such pricey holidays don’t seem realistic to you right now, or you simply get more of a buzz out of budget travel, don’t worry – there’s plenty of ways to make your vacations more affordable.
Let a local be your guide
Rather than taking an expensive tour bus or paying over the odds for a walking tour, consider going along to one of the ‘free’ tours that can be found in most cities around the world. Although not technically free as you’re expected to pay your guide a tip, the pay-what-you-like business model makes these tours very popular and much better value than their more traditional competitors. Plus, they generally take the same route as the set-price tours, so you’re not missing out on any of the hot-spots.
Arm yourself with cheap data
Having internet on your phone when you’re abroad can make life so much easier. Not just for sharing photos with jealous family and friends back home, but for finding your way using Google Maps and searching for the best ice cream shop near you. Just in case you get carried away and end up booking your entire next trip using your phone, like 87% of people in India do, you’ll definitely want to ensure you have a cheap data deal. Contact your provider to check whether they cover where you’re going, else search for roaming sim cards before you go – just make sure your phone is unlocked!
Take advantage of offers
There’s not much you have to pay full price for anymore and travel shouldn’t be any different. Before booking any flights or hotels it’s always worth searching for special offers online. The same goes for tourist attractions – many offer small discounts if you book online, or two-for-one entry if you travel by train, as well as money-off for students, seniors, families and groups.
Consider alternative accommodation
Don’t be scared of cheaper options. There are many incredible hostels out there, many of which offer private en-suite rooms for a fraction of the price you’d pay at a hotel. Another great – and entirely free – option is couch surfing. This is also an amazing way to meet locals and get insider knowledge on the destination you’re visiting. In some countries, such as much of Scandinavia, it’s also very easy to find super cheap or even free camping spots in the most beautiful areas.
Make your own food
A whopping £4 trillion is spent in the travel and tourism industry every year and my bet is that a huge chunk of that is spent on food. Yes, trying local foods is part of the travel experience, but you can often do that much more cheaply by shopping at farmers’ markets for ingredients typical of the region you’re in and having a go at cooking some of the country’s national dishes yourself.
Earn money on the road
If you’re one of the 30% of workers that put the opportunity to travel above high wages in your list of priorities, why not consider having a taster of the digital nomad life. There’s plenty of ways to help fund your travels these day and they don’t all involve hard manual labour! If you have a computer-based job, consider asking your boss if you can do some work remotely, else you could seek out online tutoring or copy-writing gigs. Or, if you’re a photography buff, try selling your best snaps to photo agencies to make a little extra cash.