A collection of travel tips to help boost your travelling adventures!
Check the Price!
This one might sound like we’re stating the obvious but stick with us! Sometimes, we’ve been looking at flight prices for a particular place and we’ve thought “great, that looks cheap, let’s go!”. However, once we’ve looked further into it, adding baggage or pre-booked seats ramps up the flight price. Alternatively, flight prices might be fine but accommodation prices are through the roof. Or the travel from the airport to the accommodation adds another £50 each. Sometimes, it’s cheap to get there and stay, but food and activities cost a bomb – it all mounts up and suddenly, what started as a cheap weekend trip costs the same as a few weeks away somewhere exotic! Do your research, check out what the costs are. You might find that those cheap flights are accompanied by an expensive place to stay. On the flip side, you might also find that more expensive flights are balanced out by really cheap accommodation, meaning you can travel further or stay longer than you first anticipated!
We can’t stress enough how much research we do before a trip! It’s great to simply turn up to a place and go with the flow. There is nothing quite like the sense of adventure you get with a flexible route – however, when you are short on time, it can mean that you don’t get the most out of your trip. By researching properly, you can be informed about the best approach: to just go with the flow or to book things in advance so that you don’t miss out. A good example was when we visited Alcatraz: without booking, we’d have missed out on an amazing experience! Do your research – what is nearby? Can you add a stop over into your trip? What do you absolutely need to book? By working out a good plan in advance, you can maybe get to see a few extra places for very little cost. Make sure that your time and your budget work for you!
Think About When You Travel
Particularly for short breaks away, consider when you travel. Most people can get away over a weekend, however this obviously means that there are more demands on flights and accommodation at these times. For short breaks, we try to pick times of the year where most people are not looking to travel – in term time, through the week, avoiding national holidays at the destination we are travelling to. This means you can usually get cheaper fares with less crowds. Using Skyscanner’s ‘price alert’ email will let you know of the best times to travel to your chosen destination.
For big trips, we book our flights around 6 months in advance and pay them off bit by bit. It allows you to get a clear savings plan in place to afford those trips that are a little more expensive. For long-haul flights, we tend to use Trailfinders in the UK – usually putting down a small deposit and then paying off the flights month by month until around six weeks before the trip.
Ask The Locals
How often do we hear of people visiting our local area and think ‘I wouldn’t have gone there!!’ It’s exactly the same when we travel! Find a local, a waiter, bar staff or park worker and ask them where they would spend an hour or two if they weren’t working. You get lots of cool ideas and often, they aren’t the ones on the usual tourist lists. You are far more likely to get a personal experience of the place you are visiting and there is a chance that you’ll make a new friend!
Ask other Travellers
This sounds simple, and it really is! Similar to the previous tip, travellers have their own set of experiences and knowledge about places to visit, travelling on the cheap and sharing ways of making your adventure even more awesome! Part of travelling is meeting new people, so start a conversation! I’m terrible at speaking to new people so I’ve learnt to start small; ask for a recommendation on what food tastes great and build up to asking about good places to spend an hour or so. We’ve found some real gems through this method that we would have otherwise missed.
Consider How Long To Spend In a Location
When you are looking at planning a trip, write down all of the ‘must do’ activities you want to experience. Estimate how much time they will take, then add on an extra day to ensure that you have time to ‘go off plan’ or be side tracked by something shiny (it happens to me a lot!). This should give you a good idea of how long to stay in one place without missing out on the main things you want to do.
Do you have other tips to make your trip go smoothly or to get more from your money? We’d love to hear from you!!