If there’s one thing I love more than travelling it’s finding a way to save money while doing it. There are a lot of things to consider when booking a trip away: Where can I get the best rate on travel money? Where can I find the cheapest flights? How can I use my phone abroad? I hope to spare you hours of trawling through google searches and paying out more money than you need to by telling you about some handy tips I’ve picked up on the way. Other than getting a job where you are paid to travel (which I can highly recommend!) these are my top travel hacks for saving yourself a bundle of time and cash when booking your next adventure!
1. Fly for less – Just like hotel rooms flight prices can vary hugely depending on where you book. To find the best deals online use Google flights. There’s a handy tool to compare prices on different dates and you can even track prices and google will email you when the price drops! If you’re undecided on where to go use Skyscanners handy tool. Just type in your dates and type ‘everywhere’ in the search bar to reveal the cheapest places to fly. Always take advantage of those frequent flyer points and earn points for upgrades whenever you fly!
2. A bit of a revelation to me recently was that tour companies can actually get you better deals on things like flights and hotels than you can get online. I’ve long since been a believer of booking everything myself online for the best price but it’s always worth checking with an agent especially if you doing a trip with them anyway, as they are likely to be able to get things at discounted rates.
3. While we’re on the subject of tour companies it’s true they’re not always the cheapest way to travel. They are however a great way to meet people, make full use of your time and taking away all the stress of travel. While solo travel can have it’s perks, I would always advocate group travel as well (variety is the spice of life!). I can personally recommend Contiki for 18-35’s (the company I work for) and Gadventures (I’ve travelled with many times and are leaders in sustainable tourism). Save some cash by booking trips in the online sales around Black Friday or throughout January.
4. Travel money. The best and safest way I’ve found to spend money abroad is on a travel credit card. While preloaded cash cards can be a good idea for those with a bad credit history, credit cards can offer a lot better protection should you’re card be stolen or cloned. The rates are also far better as there is no comission charge, just interest on ATM withdrawals. Make sure to always pay back in full by setting up a direct debit though. For years I have used the Halifax clarity credit card and can highly recommend the service. But make sure you get the right one for your individual needs, a wealth of knowledge can be found on Money saving expert from fellow penny pincher Martin Lewis.
5. The eternal search for data. Mobile phone companies seem to have caught up with us globetrotters in recent years and the horror stories of racked up data roaming charges seem to be a thing of the past. Two of my favourite Sims to grab are Three and Vodaphone. For pay as you go you can’t beat Three Mobile; clear, low rates with feel at home countries throughout Europe and the western world where the rates stay the same as if you were still in the UK. No brainer. For more avid travellers and people who live on the road Vodafone are the leader in the travel SIM product covering 110 countries with 4G! Visit www.vodafone.co.uk where you can find a plan to suit you, as with Three you can use your allowance at no extra cost in thier Roam free destinations, the difference being if you’re travelling somewhere a bit more far flung there is a one off daily charge of £5 to use your allowance. Of course there’s always free WiFi to be found in public spaces and cafés for those urgent insta posts! Just be sure to use a VPN to secure your connection.
6. Not sure what vaccinations you need? Do you meed malaria tablets? Is it safe? Do you need a visa? Our government is pretty helpful in the UK. Go to the sites below for comprehensive advice and always see a GP for health advice.
Vaccinations, malarials and more;
The latest travel advice and visa info –
Superdrug are great for last minute prescriptions which can be delivered next day, as well as providing a travel clinic service.
7. Rome2Rio is a great site for finding the best ways to get from point A to point B. Bus, train, taxi or plane this site will give clear comparisons and links on where to get tickets. Google maps is another invaluable tool when finding your way around, make sure to download offline maps before you go to save on precious data.
8. So check out is 10am but your flights not until 10pm! Not ideal for the massive bag of luggage you are lugging around. Bad times. But many Tourist info offices have the handy feature of storing your luggage for a small fee (often cheaper than in train stations and no size limits). City Stasher offer a similar service providing trusted locations to stash your stuff at a set rate but is currently only available in the UK and France.
9. It’s pays to be unorganized. Seems contradictory to the rest of this post but the whole fun of travel is living in the here and now and this works in your favour when booking a place to stay. Using sites like Trivago or Booking.com you can find some great deals on last-minute hotels. On rare occasions you might need to book in advance in peak season or for festivals and big events but generally there’s a whole host of great places to stay that don’t want their rooms left empty. Research the area and always read independent reviews and you can’t go wrong!
So I hope you’ve found these tips useful. Have some of your own? I’d love to hear them in the comments below or if you have any questions post away.