Are you a student who has limited pocket money or a working professional who is paying loans? If you are motivated to travel , you would want to do it cheaply .Here are some points jotted down from my experience on how to avoid unforeseen costs and avoid regretting a lavish vacation. What are the three major expenses you incur for your travel
Transportation costs the most in a short travel. If you do a long travel the amount you spend in paying for stay equals or outdoes the amount you spend on transport. Some transport tips
Travel off season.
“Peak season is defined as “the time of year when a lot of people travel and prices are usually at their highest” . Unless you are travelling with family and climatic conditions are a major concern for you , you should try going offseason.
Peak season of tourists in Europe are present in months of may to August. If you can bear the cold a bit why not try going during the cold months. You can enjoy having the place to yourself. Confused about the offseason and peak season? Just look at the ticker prices and they will tell you. Plan your trip accordingly.
My experience: We planned a trip to Santorini during November which was off season. There were hardly anyone on the island and the prices for flights and hotels were cheaper than peak season.
You can use this trick if you are going with friends but with family I think it wont work. Your family(Mom, dad and siblings) would want to go particularly during the peak season.
Do a little research, take the cheapest means of transport to explore the city
If you are not careful the money you spend within the city t to travel can equal your cost of arriving at the city.
Get a day pass or weekend pass if you are going to travel extensively for two days.
Get down at a strategic location from airport and walk your way around.
Unless you are really tired or drunk don’t take taxis. Taxis can be expensive in touristy places
Book tickets way in advance
Just have one faithful friend to trust and book your tickets for the end of the year with him/her. If you start planning it in a group people will be enthusiastic and slowly drop out of the idea. In real they are waiting for someone to confirm the move. If two of you have booked and all planned, surely a group will follow. Especially now that the iternary is fixed , people feel comfortable joining. If no one does then you both can travel.
If booking too early take a cancellation insurance so that if due to unforeseen circumstances you cant travel you get your money back
Avoid hotels and take home stays
Airbnb offers wonderful offers at cheap rates at the places you go. It is friendly and you can use their kitchen if you stay at someone’s house. Hotels on the other hand charge a hefty sum and you don’t the feeling of someone who came to explore the town.
I can seldom do this when I go with parents. Their thinking is that we should not trust home stays and stay in big decent hotels . That is true when you go with family when they are worried about your safety and don’t want you to experience any discomfort
Here are some interesting facts
Try couch surfing or staying with a friend
Don’t be afraid to go out of your comfort zone . I went to Germany with friends I met in Amsterdam. One of the friends suggested we stay at his friend’s place in Germany (A friend he had not talked to in 5 years). Surprisingly we managed to stay at his home for free. Many of my friends here said they tried couch surfing for their travels and hosted some people and found it good.
Take food and snacks with you
Food is extremely over priced at touristy places. You spend average 10 Euro a meal -700 Rs. If you buy stuff from super market and can cook them in your rental that can save you a lot of money. Also with the snacks you take you can avoid your temptation to buy snacks and munch.
Reduce your luggage size
If you can just carry a hand luggage it can save you time and money. We seldom check in through the counter and drop our bags. We check in online and go straight to the airport gates. After you land you can go straight to the trains or buses and avoid waiting for your luggage at the wheel.
Say due to unavoidable circumstances you have to carry a big bag with you, try to limit the clothes and other unnecessary stuff in there. Because there is a good possibility you will be carrying those bags around. If it is a small bag you could drag it and walk around the city after you check out. Else you need to always find a safe place to keep the luggage
Go on a free walking tour
In the App Meetup you will find free walking tours by the native people. Sign up for that to know more about the city. It will require a lot of walking but it will be worth it than sitting in a car and arriving at destinations
Avoid museums especially if you are young . They overcharge you! It’s a fanciful place to get money from tourists. Every city will have its ‘Architectural ‘ and historic heritage’ museums. If you want to get a flavor of the city, walk around , hit the café, the parks, talk to locals, explore whats special in the city, go to a cathedral. I am not suggesting you avoid ones like Louvre which have paintings of great artists but the insignificant ones. When I type 10 best tourist attractions in Tripadvisor, I often get 10 museums to visit. They are all suggested by the elderly people who make a visit to the city. The entrance fee for the museums are very high.
My Cheap Norway trip
We left from Amsterdam to Norway. The total distance is 1364 Kms. We got a cheap flight of 62 euros – 4580 rs. We stayed at an Airbnb apartment which cost 70 euros for three people – 1721 Rs per person. The apartment had a kitchen and the host offered us the groceries we had. So while we were out we spent hardly 10 Euros- 700 Rs on snacks. We went to a Skii resort which cost us 28 Euro-2068 for a day pass.
Trains to and from Airport and inside city cost us 20 euros
In total we spent went to another country skied there and stayed over night . Not bad for travelling to another country huh!