When you’re planning out a holiday, finding out the costs involved can quickly get you down. The most expensive costs are airfare and accommodation. Other costs involved, such as transport at your destination, can also start to hurt your wallet.
Fortunately, there are many ways around these. If you plan smart, there are many secrets you can use to make the big costs a lot smaller. Here are some tips to save some money when planning your holiday.
Book At The Right Time
The price of plane tickets can vary depending on which day you travel. A 2016 study found that airlines offer their cheapest deals on weekends. This is largely due to the fact that weekend travel is usually for leisure, as opposed to business travel which is usually more expensive.
Tuesday is also a good day to buy. However, cheap days aren’t necessarily consistent. Airlines often change prices for different flights multiple times a day based on demand. The best thing to do is compare different departure dates and times when you’ll be available and see if you can save some extra money.
Also keep in mind that booking in advance can be cheaper. The cheapest economy flights can generally be found 2-months in advance, so don’t check too early or too late.
Save On Airport Parking
Parking on-site at an airport can cost you a lot of money. One secret many people don’t know is that many nearby parking lots will offer cheaper deals. They can even shuttle you between your car and the airport terminal.
If you’re planning on leaving your car parked while you travel, you can find nearby airport parking. Services like these generally offer 24-hour security to keep your car safe. With cheaper daily rates than the airports themselves, you save more money the longer you’re gone.
Check Different Airports
When travelling by plane, most people check the prices from the nearest airport to them. However, did you know you could potentially save hundreds by flying through a different airport?
If you’re not in a major city, the chances are you won’t get the cheapest flights. But if you live close enough to a major city you may find you can fly internationally a lot cheaper.
For example, if you live in London, you should compare prices between Heathrow, Gatwick and London City airports. If you live in Oakland, you might find a cheaper flight from San Francisco. Different airports offer different prices depending on where you’re going. Some have better travel links to certain destinations than others.
You might even want to travel to a different city or state for a better deal. While this might mean more spent on gas, it’s worth it if you spend a large amount of money on your flight. You could also save some money on the cost of driving by getting a coach, train or having a friend or family member drop you off.
Websites like SkyScanner allow you to add nearby airports to your search. Checking different airports for both your departure and arrival locations can potentially help you save a lot of money.
Use Cheap Public Transport
Once you’re at your holiday destination, you may be tempted to get from your accommodation to different sights by taxi. This can be one of the most expensive ways to travel day-by-day. One alternative is to rent a car for the duration of your trip, but you can also find cheap deals on public transport.
Uber operates in many countries all over the world, especially in tourist locations. Uber involves using a simple smartphone app to find a local self-employed driver to transport you. This is usually a lot cheaper than using a regular taxi.
You should also check deals for local transport wherever you visit. Coaches, buses, trams and trains usually offer cheaper, extended tickets which can be used for a week to a month.
If you’re travelling around Europe, you could even get an Interrail pass. These allow you unlimited travel within a country or even across different European countries for a month.
Much like with air travel, you can find cheap deals on accommodation by comparing hotels. Checking different dates and locations close to your destination can help you find the cheapest possible deal.
You may also find the cheapest prices by looking for last minute deals. If a hotel has rooms available they need to fill up, you may be able to get them for much cheaper than the regular price. This can also be done for flights, so if you feel like an adventure and don’t mind where you go, you can find somewhere cheap last minute!
Consider Different Kinds Of Accommodation
Hotels aren’t your only option, there are cheaper ways to stay in tourist locations.
Staying in a Hostel is often the cheapest accommodation. This will usually involve staying in a dorm room with other travellers. This is particularly suited to solo travellers, as you can meet like-minded people and make new friends. Hostels usually offer security lockers for your belongings. If you’ll be spending most of your time outdoors, a hostel might be a good idea.
You can also stay at somebody else’s house. Airbnb features people from all over the world who rent out their spare rooms or apartments to travellers. You can often find a nice place to stay here for cheaper than a hotel.
Travellers often use Couchsurfing to stay at other people’s places completely free! Keep in mind that if you choose to stay with other travellers for free, you may also be expected to offer people to stay with you for free. This can be a fun way to travel if you want to meet new people.
Use Travel Apps
In addition to the ones mentioned above, there are various smartphone apps designed for helping you travel for cheap. HotelTonight gives you up-to-date last minute hotel deals. Cheapflights helps you compare and book cheap flight deals. There are many available, so check out the Travel sections on Google Play for Android apps and the App Store for iPhone and iPad apps.