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Work, everyday duties, stress... Each and every one of us needs rest - especially during such an intense year as 2020! Sometimes, however, our plans for dream trips can be thwarted by a limited budget. Nobody likes to overpay. There are several simple ways to look out for our budget without giving up an unforgettable, stress-free vacation. Check them out!

How much do we usually spend on vacation? 

Research shows that EU citizens spent an average of EUR 700-1300 on their holidays. For example, a typical, UK family of four spent around EUR 4800 on their two-week break. We, on the other hand, are sure that you can save a lot of money on each trip - however, we often do not plan our trip sufficiently, we do not know where to look for savings, we only go to known places or our expenses accumulate during the holidays. In this article, you will learn sixteen ways to travel cheaper. 

How to keep a budget while on vacation?

We have several proven ways to stay on budget while traveling. It turns out that we can make some significant savings already at the stage of planning the trip, as well as for a long time before it. We will briefly discuss practical ways to save at each stage of your journey. 

Planning a trip 

  1. Choosing a destination

The first step we can take in order to save some money on the trip is to choose the right destination. Avoid the most popular resorts visited by Westerners.

    1. When deciding to travel to another country located in Europe - it is worth visiting the eastern countries - the Czech Republic, Ukraine, or Serbia instead of Spain, Scandinavia, or the Netherlands. 

    2. When traveling to the tropics, we also do not have to spend a fortune - although airline tickets are expensive, when flying to India or Thailand instead of Japan or Australia we will save thousands of euros on accommodation or meals.

  1. Choosing a date

When planning a trip, choose dates before or after the season. This will allow us to save money, avoid crowds of tourists, and in addition - get to know less crowded attractions. 

  • Remember that the season in different countries falls on different months! Let's also check the temperature, the number of sun hours, and rainfall to avoid being disappointed and spending the long-awaited vacation in a hotel room. 

  • Many travelers believe that the best idea in this case is traveling at the very end of the season or just before it starts. We can then count on attractive prices for accommodation, most of the attractions will be available to us, the weather will probably be favorable to us, and at the same time, we will avoid the crowds of tourists. 

  • Where to find information about the season and how crowded our destinations are? Google Trips has a useful "popularity" feature that can be a great help in planning your trip.

  1. Choosing the optimal transport 

The transport we choose depends largely on our budget, the amount of time we have, and how important convenience is for us. Regardless of whether you decide to travel by plane or coach, browse incognito ticket offers to let search engines suggest more profitable offers. 

  • Airplane

    • Remember that sometimes it can be cheaper to fly from an airport located in a city other than ours. It is worth making a calculation including the time needed to travel to another city and the cost of parking near the airport. 

    • In the case of cheap flights - check carefully that the airport to which you will fly is not an hour away (or even longer!) from the nearest city - as in the case of cheap flights to the Netherlands or Scandinavia. Then, to the attractive price of the air ticket, we often have to add a considerable cost of transport to the city... And we can lose even a few hours.  

    • Warning! If you can afford to choose any departure day, try to search for flights on business days rather than on the weekend. They are usually much cheaper. 

  • By car

    • If you are planning a trip for three or four people - consider driving to your destination by car if you are going to travel to places a day or two away. This will allow you not only to save money, but also to pack more luggage, and in addition, you can stop in many picturesque places, inaccessible when choosing another means of transport. 

    • If you plan to rent a car, be sure to compare several offers, because we can save up to several hundred euros by choosing the most favorable rental company. (Beware of additional fees, such as additional, optional car insurance, the purchase of which is sometimes forced on us by rental companies! Let's also check whether the report that we receive when handing over the car to us is marked with all existing scratches or damage to the car, so that we do not become later charged with the cost of their repair.) 

  • Coach 

    • A coach is not a very comfortable solution, especially when we travel with children. However, it is extremely profitable - for example for students. 

    • Remember that last-minute tickets at the bus station are often much more expensive than these bought online well in advance.

  1. On your own or with a travel agency.

Consider whether you decide to travel with a travel agency, or if you prefer to organize your trip yourself, using applications and portals such as SkyScanner, Airbnb or Couchsurfing. The advantage of a travel agency is that you know in advance how much money you will spend - while traveling on your own allows you to significantly cut costs if we are willing to plan our trip carefully or not succumb to the temptation of impulsive expenses or expensive attractions.

  • If you want to save by choosing a last-minute vacation with a travel agency - always check hidden costs, hotel standards, and distance from attractions or the beach. It is also very important that there are no hidden tricks in the contract, such as that the travel agency has the right to transfer you to a hotel in another place of a similar standard if there are no vacancies in the hotel of your choice.  Also, make sure that you are entitled to a refund if for any reason the travel agency cancels your trip. 

  • When choosing both a trip on your own and with a travel agency - consider whether it is worth saving by choosing a room of a slightly lower standard, i.e. smaller or with a view of the street, not the sea. Think about how much time you will actually spend in the room - if you come back there just to sleep, there is no need to pay a few hundred euros for an attractive view or a few extra square meters of space. 

Preparing for the trip

  1. Tickets bought online 

If you plan to visit crowded attractions, such as amusement parks, museums or viewpoints - check if it is possible to book and buy a ticket online before departure. Not only you will save a lot of time - it is often a much cheaper option. Similarly, in the case of cheap flights, which generally land at airports remote from the city center, it is worth checking whether it is possible to purchase a cheaper ticket for a bus that will take us to the city in advance. 

  1. Currency

Think about setting up a currency card, such as Revolut, which will allow you to significantly save on currency conversion and fees in exchange offices.

  1. Discounts

Check what discounts you’re entitled to! And we are talking not only about the student ones. Did you know that people up to 30 years of age can set up a Euro26 card, which entitles them to enjoy discounts on admission tickets, accommodation, meals in restaurants, or transport in the European Union? Its cost in the basic version oscillates around EUR 10 - less than we’ll save during the first purchase of a reduced ticket to the museum.

  1. Watch out for luggage! 

If you are planning a flight by plane - be sure to check that the airlines have not changed the conditions and the table of fees for the carriage of hand luggage! It may turn out that the bag you took on board for free a year ago currently does not meet the airline's standards and you will have to pay a few dozen euros to take it with you. 

Saving during the trip 

  1. Avoid shopping in tourist places - there are very expensive souvenirs, gadgets, and you will pay a fortune for a bottle of water in the local shop. The same goes for buying tickets for tourist attractions at the last minute.

  2. Check out some local restaurants and attractions, for example on blogs or when talking to local residents, instead of choosing these crowded by travelers - not only will you have closer contact with a certain culture, but you will also save a lot and bring home unique memories. 

  3. Set a daily budget and stick to it! You can use handy phone applications where you will write down your daily expenses. Since we most often exceed the budget when buying snacks or drinks during the day, always take something to eat and drink with you, so as not to be tempted by buying ice cream, coffee or sandwiches in a cafe every day. 

  4. Always leave yourself money for a rainy day - cash or a reserve of money on the card - because there are accidents such as the need to change flights, pay extra for luggage, or simply - something gets lost.

  5. Track your expenses - for example in a budget planning app! It may turn out that by spending 2 euros on water in the morning, then 3 euros on a sunbed, and finally buying ice cream for 1.50 euros - you suddenly spent another EUR 50, not even knowing what for. By saving on such trifles, you could have a budget for tickets to the aquapark or for an exclusive dinner. 

  6. Check if there are any free attractions in the place where you are resting. In most cities, you can take advantage of a wide range of free activities, such as free walking tours guided walks allowing you to discover interesting, themed corners of the city, concerts, open-air film screenings, and exhibitions. Search for information on this topic on Facebook groups, Facebook event calendar, or local blogs. 

  7. If you want to eat out - take a look at the local lunch offer, which is often more profitable than the afternoon one. 

  8. Avoid using ATMs at airports - by using them, you can expose yourself to high fees, unfavorable currency conversion and you will lose up to 3-5% of the value of the entire transaction. 

You don't have to spend a lot to spend an unforgettable, stress-free vacation and take a break from everyday life! Regardless of whether you are a solo student who wants to visit museums, or you go to a hotel with the whole family for an all-inclusive holiday - it is important to pack in a proven way so that you do not have to pay extra for excess luggage or buy the necessary items at the location. Download the MyLuggage app and let us take care of your safe and convenient packing for your dream vacation!