As many of those who follow me on social media will know I love to travel and strive to visit somewhere new at least once a year. With my first trip being straight after college (just turned 18) and since being a student at University it has always been important to find the cheapest and most effective way of travelling. Within the last two years, I have managed to visit a total of 10 different cities whilst on a tight budget.
Below are my top 10 tips to follow to a cheap and worthwhile trip!
My recent Air B&B experience in Marseille
1) Travel in at least a pair or if possible a group!
Finding accommodation can be one of the most costly parts of a trip however it doesn’t have to be as pricey as it originally may seem. Travelling with friends or family will bring your accommodation costs right down. It’s very rare that a hotel will offer single rooms so effectively if you’re travelling alone you will be paying for two by yourself. Find some friends or family members to come along with you I’m sure they’ll be grateful for the invite! The first trip me and my friends took (a trip around Italy) was cheap as we were able to split the price between more people as many hotels offer family rooms usually consisting of a double and two singles. So as long as you don’t mind sharing a room and possibly a bed I’d definitely recommend it.
2) Three’s a crowd
So we’ve all heard that saying “three’s a crowd” and I can tell you from experience that this is very true! Two’s or fours tend to work well but as soon as there’s a third person it just asks for conflict. As a result of my friend and I no longer talk to one of the members who came on a trip with us even though we believed the three of us were the best of friends whilst booking. The added stress of travelling from place to place and living in their company 24 hours a day for two weeks started to take its toll! However, if you can get through that with your friends I’m sure you’ll be the best of friends forever!
3) Flight Scanner
Flights, another costly part of going on holiday, however, this doesn’t always have to be the case. Have a look around online you might be surprised. Before booking your trip have a look at flights for around the time you’re thinking of going away. You may be surprised to find that your trip will be more expensive the week you were thinking but the price actually cuts in half the following week. Flight Scanner is a fantastic website which will compare all the flights from a majority of airlines from and to your location of choice. There are also filters you can use so if you don’t want to fly with a certain airline or there’s a specific time you would like to fly you can make your results unique to your needs.
4) Travel Light
Airlines often charge extra depending on the amount of luggage you plan to take with you. If at all possible try to use minimal luggage. If you can between two people try to share one 15kg suitcase this will reduce your flight costs. Obviously, this may not be possible if you’re going on a longer trip, however, can be a lifesaver if you can live on the bare essentials.
5) Air B&B
This one links back to the accommodation, however, is something that has only recently come about and could save you lots of money! Check Air B&B for places to stay in the area. Before my previous trip, I would’ve never imagined me staying in an Air B&B. As a young woman, I was afraid of having to share a home with someone I didn’t know in a place I didn’t know either however this doesn’t have to be the case. Air B&B has filters where you can choose whether you’d like to stay with the property owners or if you’d like the entire place to yourself. Myself and Elliott chose the latter on our last trip, however, there are plenty of positives to also staying with someone local. Air B&B allows you to experience the culture as though you’re a local which I believe to be an invaluable experience.
6) Travel Money
Research where you are going and get a rough idea on how much you’ll be spending a day and add a little extra for spending money (always bare in mind how much space you have left in your suitcase before buying loads). Travel money cards are also great! Some countries prefer card payment and it is also sometimes impossible to pay by cash. I’ve recently got a Caxton card. This is also a great way of spending what the locals pay rather than paying extra via card. Top Tip: If you use a travel card whilst away and get asked if you’d like to be paid in local currency or have it converted to your currency always pay as a local as conversion puts the prices up.
7) Don’t rely on restaurants for your food
If you have the facilities make your own food or pick up food to make a packed lunch from the supermarket! Eat out only occasionally whilst travelling to save lots of money. This is where Air B&B comes in useful again as often you will have a kitchen space to prepare and cook food.
Doing activities while away is great! I love being able to make memories whilst in a different city making the trip even more memorable. Activities though often come at a cost. Before going create an itinerary stating what you’re going to do every day of your trip and of course do your research beforehand! Many tourist cities offer a pass that can get you into multiple tourist attractions at a cheaper price. Some places may have free or cheaper entry depending on the day or you may save money by pre-booking so definitely check before you go!
9) Make travel your priority
So you want to travel? This now needs to become a priority. Save money where you can, pick up extra shifts at work and try to live on the minimum! I know it’s hard especially as a student, however, it is possible. If you really want it you can make it happen!
10) Enjoy your trip
So now you’re all ready to go on your next trip! I hope you have an amazing time and let me know where you’re going and your best travel tip.
Thank you for reading! Let me know your holiday plans on Twitter: @jessicabensonn_