8 Money Saving Travel Tips
1.Be wise with your holiday dates
We all know that booking your trip in the school holidays and bank holidays means you will be paying the premium rate for travelling. If you do have to go on a break during the summer holidays, try and choose the latest date that you can. The later the booking, the cheaper the holiday will be. Usually, the very last week in August and the first in September are much cheaper than the rest of the school holiday period. If you really want to save money, you could have your summer holiday during the October half term as you will find much lower fares. You may have to find a destination with nice weather later in the year or go somewhere like Florida or Morocco.
2. Utilise your hand luggage
Although there are often size restrictions with hand luggage, there are no restrictions in terms of weight, so make the most of your travel-on luggage. Any items (liquids must be 100ml) that are particularly heavy can go in here so that you do not risk going over your luggage allowance and incur charges. Not a good start to your holiday!
3. Get cheaper flights
This trick only works with EasyJet, but ‘Flexifares’ allows you to change your flight date by a few weeks, without paying any more money. You can move the ticket to a week later or three weeks earlier and the idea is to book a Flexifare on the route you want but at a less busy time, so that flights are cheaper. 24 hours after booking your flight you can change it to a flight which would have cost you much more money at a busier time (in theory). Flexifare tickets are more expensive than standard tickets, but as long as this is still cheaper than the peak ticket you will still save money using it. Using sites like skyscanner can also help you to find the best times to book flights on a wide range of airlines. Studies show that you can get cheaper flights if you book exactly eight weeks in advance and also buying a flight in the afternoon is usually cheaper than buying the same flight in the morning.
4. Change money before your holiday
Never, ever wait to change your money until you get to the airport as the exhange rates are terrible and you will lose out financially. Places such as the Post Office have much better exchange rates, so plan ahead and change your money in advance.
5. Think about alternative travel
Although trains are typically faster, if you are planning on travelling around the UK and the continent, travelling by coach can be much cheaper. Always check the major coach companies for special offers and deals, for instance National Express recently had a deal where fares from London to Paris were from £38, much lower than the Eurostar. If you do have to travel by train or plane, booking two or more stopovers/changes can vastly decrease the price of your ticket. You can find out more about split ticketing and book your train tickets here.
6. Swap your house
If you live in a nice area or in a location which is close to places of interest, you may want to try house swapping. You can make large savings if you are willing to lend your house and possibly car out to other like-minded people. You can choose where you would like to stay and find a family willing to swap homes with you. There are a number of companies who do this and you get to stay in a great holiday location without paying for accommodation. Another money saving option is renting out a private room such as on the ever popular AirBnB or you can find a bargain at one of our hotels across the UK.
7. Turn off data roaming
Make sure that before you travel you turn off your data roaming, otherwise you risk getting a very hefty phone bill when you return home. Data roaming can cost £3 for each megabyte used so check your settings before you travel abroad. If you do want to use Wi-Fi for free, there is an app called "WiFi Finder" which will tell you where you can pick up free wi-fi wherever you are in the world.
8. Swap books for apps
In the ‘good old days’ holiday makers would spend money purchasing maps, travel guides and phrase books. Now, with the modern era of smartphones, there are free apps you can download for all of these onto your phone or tablet. This will save you money, space and weight in your luggage. You can get apps for booking flights, hotels, learning a new language, maps and more in a wide variety of countries and destinations.