‘Work, Save, Travel, Repeat’

By Zainab Khawaja
Tue, 07, 19

You can also avoid having to pay unexpected excess baggage charges at the airport by weighing your luggage before you leave home.....


“Travelling - it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller,” - Ibn Battuta.

Someone rightly said, ‘adventure may hurt you but monotony will kill you’. Travelling over the holidays is one of the joyous things one can do. It refreshes your mind and gives you that much needed break you have been longing all the year round. While travelling is lots of fun, it does not come free. The expenditure, attached with travelling, makes you go crazy. Travelling over the holidays can be at times expensive and demanding but as they say, ‘better to see something once than hear about it a thousand times,’ so it’s always a good idea to save some money for travelling. There are plenty of small strategies you can implement while travelling that will help save dough without ruining the fun and spontaneity of being in a new place. We have complied some tried and tested tips to help you plan a holiday on a budget.

Book your flight ahead: You can get the best deal on flights, if you book your flight 54 days before your trip. When booking flights, sometimes it is cheaper to fly into airports close to your final destination, and then take a train or bus to where you need to go. Buses and trains are cheaper than planes. It’s that simple!

Travel in off season: Travelling out of season will mean cheaper flights and less busy destinations - a win-win situation. Even the most popular destinations typically have an ‘off season’, and if you can find out when it is, that’s the time to travel there on the cheap. Many times, you will find that plane tickets, hotels, and activities cost less, which makes for a great vacation and - the best part - less tourists.

Peak times of the year and week depend very much on the destination. For holiday destinations, such as the Northern Areas, peak travel is in July and August so it is cheaper to go in September when you still get the good weather, but at a lower price.

Avoid Taxis: While it’s tempting to rely on taxis and Ubers in a foreign city, they can be a real money-suck. Walk at your destination rather than taking a taxi. There’s no better way to see a place than to stroll around, taking in the architecture and looking up at those exciting new skies. But if you’re too tired to walk, then work out the metro asap before you’re tempted to jump in a cab!

Pack light: It’s OK to wear the same t-shirt a few days in a row. Take half the clothes you think you will won’t need as much as you think. Write down a list of essentials, cut it in half, and then only pack that.

You can also avoid having to pay unexpected excess baggage charges at the airport by weighing your luggage before you leave home.? With a carry-on-the-plane size bag, you’ll never struggle with porters or cabbies,

Spend less on water bottles: Know the local word for tap water. While cold drinks and coffee are wonderful parts of the travel experience, drinks cost travellers a lot of money. Tap water, however, is free and drinkable almost everywhere. Use a refillable water bottle for juice and water.

Spend all coins: Spend coins before crossing a currency border. While you can always change paper currency, coins are generally worthless outside their domain.

Go grocery shopping: When you are travelling, you can often feel like you have to eat out, and this can get expensive. Try buying some supplies you can make for yourself at your accommodation (even if it’s just snacks), and then you can be more choosy about when you decide to enjoy restaurants rather than feeling it is your only choice for getting food!

Make smart choices: Cheap lunches can be bought in a supermarket or even a local fresh food market, rather than in an overpriced cafe or restaurant. Alternatively, most expensive restaurants offer lunch specials featuring the same food they would serve for dinner but half the price! That’s the best time to eat out when you travel.

Value added Tax: If you do a lot of shopping, you may be eligible to get a refund on the local Value Added Tax (usually around 20 per cent) at the airport when you leave. For major purchases, this can be well worth the paperwork. Local merchants explain the process.

Use your smart phone judiciously: In the era of technology and gadgets, your smartphone can be a handy money-saving travel buddy. There are apps on the market for everything, including travel guides, maps, phrasebooks and even torches! Download these and you’ll save not only a wad of cash but also a lot of space in your case.

Search hospitality websites: The sharing economy has changed the way people travel allowing you to meet locals, get off the tourist travel, and save mega money! Here are some sharing economy and hospitality websites:

Couchsurfing: This website allows you to stay on people’s couches or spare rooms for free. It’s a great way to save money while meeting locals who can tell you much more about a city than you will find out in a hostel/hotel.

Airbnb: Another good accommodation alternative, this site connects with homeowners who rent out their homes/apartments to you.

You could even stay with family or friends. Reach out to people you know or plan a trip to somewhere that a long-lost cousin or school friend now lives - this could take you to visit places you’d never have thought of before.