KEEP YOUR FINGER ON THE INTERNET PULSE
Back from when I was a teen at Uni 8/9 years ago to now, i’ve always kept my eye on the internet to book cheap holidays. There’s some obvious sources like lastminute.com or booking.com but there’s also some less obvious sources, like secretescapes.com and a whole bunch of others. If you search buzzwords like cheap, last minute, luxury holidays etc, you should find some great sources that you can keep your eye on for holiday deals!
Don’t forget to clear your cookies though, it really helps with flight prices – sometimes just clearing the cookies will make the price go down!
GOING SELF-CATERING INSTEAD OF ALL INCLUSIVE
It’s all too easy to spend a lot of money on eating out when self-catering, however it’s also a good way to save a lot of money. Look for apartments with kitchens, and cook for yourself a couple of the nights. Also read guide books, blogs and take to instagram/social media to find the best restaurants that locals eat at. For example I know that in London there’s a whole stretch of restaurants that are overpriced, rubbish food but full of tourists. It only takes a little London blog search to find that there are restaurants half the price and a million times better, but are genuinely just around the corner from the restaurants aimed at the tourists. Every city is the same. Even though you’re not familiar with it, google it, ask friends, read so many blogs – we did this in NYC and we spent a small amount on food but ate at amazing, local restaurants without a single tourist in sight! Perfect.
GO ‘OFF-PEAK’ OR OUT OF SEASON
I’ve chatted about this before but some of the best holidays i’ve had have been out of season or ‘off-peak’. Basically away from the kids summer holidays, and visiting a destination when it may not be the most seasonal/popular time to go. For example visiting California in March. We got so so lucky with the weather as it ended up being 30 degrees every day which is *very* uncharacteristic but March isn’t really considered a time to travel to LA, so our flights, hotels, car hire… everything was cheaper. It made the whole holiday more affordable for us and George and I had the best time, relatively worry free!
RESEARCH ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING
Now above I mentioned reading blogs and researching food, but you should look up every little thing about where you’re going down to how far it is to walk places, where the nearest bus/train is and how you can get around, to what is nearby you and what you want to see – and then how you’ll get there. Spending time looking up routes and finding out that you’re near a great train station will save you money on a taxi you may have bought not knowing where to go. Also knowing about the area you’re in and whether it’s safe or not will help you judge your decisions. In San Francisco, we stayed in probably the roughest neighbourhood as it was the hotel we were going for – this hotel is worth going into the Tenderloin for – but we researched it beforehand and knew which way to walk, where to go and then decided to hire a car instead of spending money on taxis.
Research definitely does pay!
GO BY FOOT, & SPEND NOTHING ALL DAY JUST WALKING
One of the best things you can do that doesn’t involve spending any money at all is just grabbing a map/your phone and head out there walking! Whether you’re in New York City or Barcelona, or Tokyo or even Honolulu, walking around by foot and looking at the place you’re at is the perfect way to spend a day. We did this so much in New York and just absolutely loved it. If you’ve done your research, found an ace place the locals like to hang for lunch – spend the day walking around to get there! You’ll see the place you’re visiting in it’s natural state and it’s always great as a foreigner to look at how other people live and the shops that line their streets.
I’m bias because I love walking, but some of my happiest days travelling have been walking around the place i’m at, and when I look back at it with fond memory, I remember that I actually didn’t spend a penny to do that! I can’t be held accountable for any markets or shops you do spend in though…!
Happy travels. What’s your best tip for saving money travelling? Leave it below to help anyone reading this post!