The Top Ten Tips on Saving Money when Travelling

Amy Mugglestone
12th September 2022

Are you longing for a foreign holiday, but not sure you can afford it? Or perhaps you just want to visit as many places as possible with the budget you have available. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to save money on your next trip, from booking ahead to going off the beaten path. Follow our top ten money saving tips, and you may find that you have enough left over to start planning your next adventure.

Choose your destination wisely

If you’re flexible about where you go travelling, your money will stretch much further in some places than others. Travelling around Southeast Asia is exceptionally inexpensive, and the breathtaking scenery and architecture is sure to make it a holiday to remember. You can marvel at the ancient Khmer temples of Cambodia, or the lush tropical waterfalls of Laos for less than £25 a day, including food and accommodation. You’ll need to balance this against the cost of a long haul flight, of course, but there are bargains to be had (more of which later!)

Staying closer to home is likely to mean cheaper flights, and while Europe has a reputation for being expensive, there are many Eastern European destinations that won’t break the bank. Bulgaria, Poland and Romania all offer gorgeous, unspoilt scenery, with mountains, forests, pretty villages and stunning architecture, without the crowds of tourists. 

Travel out of season

Taking a holiday during peak season, and particularly during school holidays, comes at a premium. Booking outside this busy time could save you serious money, and you’ll get to beat the crowds, too. Check the average temperatures and rainfall per month for your chosen destination against the cost of travel, and find your happy medium. Sun-worshippers may wish to book just outside high season, but if your perfect holiday is a little more active, slightly cooler temperatures are ideal. 

Compare flight prices

Find the best deals on flights using a flight comparison site like Skyscanner or Monomondo. Both of these sites allow you to compare different flights, and even show which days are cheapest to fly. If you’re still undecided on your destination, you can check costs for several different cities and see if there is a big difference in price. 

It’s also a good idea to book your flight well in advance, as tickets tend to be cheapest when they’re first released, around a year before the actual flight. After this, prices tend to go up as more people buy them, leaving fewer tickets for people to fight over. Even if tickets are reduced slightly right before the flight, they tend not to be as cheap as when they were first released, so it’s generally not worth holding out for a last minute deal.

Airport Parking

Pre book airport parking

Just like flights, airport parking is cheaper the earlier you book, simply because there are more spaces left available. Booking a few months ahead can save up to 70% off your airport parking bill, so it really is worth remembering to do. There are even price comparison sites for secure parking near your chosen airport, so you can look for the very best price. If you’re worried about cheaper car parks being less secure, look for somewhere with a Park Mark, which shows that the facility is inspected regularly by the police to ensure it meets security standards.

Go off the beaten track

Avoid tourist traps. Not only will your accommodation be more expensive here, all the nearby restaurants, bars and shops are likely to charge top prices too. Look out for less touristy destinations, or consider staying in residential districts, where prices are set with locals in mind. This is also a great way to immerse yourself in the local culture. Instead of huddling together with other Brits in the same old holiday resorts, you can get a real feel for the place you’re visiting, find the places where locals like to hang out, and maybe try some local food. 

Use hostels

Staying in a hostel is another way to save money on your trip, and it’s also a good opportunity to meet other travellers and swap tips on the best places in the area to visit. If you don’t like sharing your room or bathroom facilities, many hostels now offer private en-suite rooms, and while these won’t be as cheap as staying in the main dormitory, they’re still significantly cheaper than staying in a regular hotel. You may not find those little luxuries, like a coffee maker or a TV in your room, but there will likely be something similar in the common areas of the hostel, with coffee making facilities in the kitchen and a TV in the living room. Some hostels are livelier than others, so if you’re looking for a quiet night, check the online reviews before you book.

Pack light

Pack light

While some flights do have a free hold luggage allowance, many of the cheapest airlines offer it only as an optional extra. Hand luggage, on the other hand, is almost always free, so many money-savvy travellers will simply pack everything they need into their hand luggage. This has the added benefit of saving time spent in queues both before and after your flight, and there’s no heavy suitcase to drag around, either. Only pack items you really need, and be prepared to wash clothes and wear them again. Most hostels will have a washing machine, but if you’re staying somewhere that doesn’t, bring a small bottle of laundry liquid and wash things through in the sink.

Eat with the locals

Avoid paying tourist premiums for food by searching for places where the locals eat. These could be in residential districts, or near places where people work, looking to catch the lunch crowd. If you have cooking facilities, go shopping at local markets, pick up some local produce and prepare a meal back at your accommodation. Local cafés and markets are also a great way to try regional specialties at a fraction of tourist prices.

Public Transport

Use public transport

Car hire is a big holiday expense most of us could do without, especially when many countries have good, cheap public transport systems. Do a bit of research before you go to find out about the reliability and cost of local transport - in most cases you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Also be sure to check out how things work. In some cases you’ll need to pre-book your tickets, while in others you may be able to purchase them onboard. Buses in particular are a cheap way of getting from a to b, but it could be worth checking out the trains, too. Even in relatively expensive European countries you’re likely to find them much cheaper than in the UK. 

Get a bargain on your accommodation with hoo

Booking your accommodation with hoo is a quick and easy way to save money on your holiday. Simply search for where you’d like to go, and choose from one of the many hotels, guesthouses, hostels and holiday lets we have on offer. But instead of paying the price advertised, you can make an offer. If your hotel accepts, you just saved money on your holiday. It really is as simple as that!


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