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Five unexpected travel tips for a budget friendly holiday

Without sacrificing a moment of fun.

If you’re doom scrolling for hours and dreaming about a Euro Summer vacay but your bank balance disagrees – fear not. Whilst the fun of planning – and of course, taking – a holiday can often be eclipsed by the eye-watering costs, there are a tonne of budget travel hacks that can save you money

Here are some ways you can trim your holiday budget.

Be flexible with your flights

Before you even set foot on a plane, you can shave extra costs off your trip by simply being flexible. If you aren’t tied down to ultra-specific dates, try playing around with your intended departure date and you could save yourself hundreds.

Typically the most expensive days to fly are Fridays and Sundays, whilst Tuesdays and Wednesdays are significantly cheaper.

Don’t be an accommodation snob

The bottom line is, your accommodation is simply a place where you rest your head at the end of the day.

If you don’t mind sharing a room – or simply not having pillow mints in your accommodation, then you can save yourself quite a lot of money. Though a hotel is traditionally favoured by travellers, they can be extremely pricey depending on the city. 

Hostels are a great cost-effective alternative to hotels, as are AirBnBs. However, some people can stretch their dollars even further by house or pet-sitting when travelling abroad. 

Look for free walking tours

Another costly part of your trip is being slugged with exuberant costs for a tour of the city you’re visiting. Though it’s a great way to get your bearings in an unfamiliar place, you can be out of pocket up to $100 for a tour. 

If you’re wanting to save some unnecessary costs, you can find cheaper alternatives. You can find walking tours and guided hikes on AirBnB Experiences for as little as $20 a head. And, if you’re especially tech savvy, you can download audio-guided tours online for as little as just $5.

You can save lots of money doing a self-guided walking tour.

Take advantage of free food

If you’re really looking to shave a substantial amount of costs from your travel budget – try re-evaluating how you eat on a holiday. 

Whilst it’s tempting to fully immerse yourself in local cuisine wherever you go, buying breakfast, lunch and dinner can quickly add up. Some hotels and other accommodations have a free continental breakfast included in the price. Similarly, some hostels have snacks that you can pack into your bag for the day ahead.

That way, you can splurge on dinner and drinks but keep breakfast and lunch frugal.

Set yourself a travel budget

This is perhaps the least ‘fun’ tip, but will make the biggest difference. Whilst holidays are meant to be fun, setting yourself a daily budget can save you a lot of money from frivolous spending. 

Before embarking on your trip, sit down and evaluate what you might need to spend each day on food, transport and experiences. This means you can keep an eye on exactly how much you are spending as your trip goes on – and ensures you don’t return home to a nasty credit card bill.

But again, this doesn’t mean you can have fun. 

“Having a daily budget in mind can stop you accidentally overspending and avoiding guilt when you come back from holiday,” says co-founder of the investment platform Sharesies, Brooke Roberts.

“Setting aside a bit of money for a ‘spontaneous budget’ is also key, when you’re travelling you live in the moment,” Brooke adds. “Having this money gives you leniency to do something that normally wouldn’t fit in your travel budget.”

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