Vacations and getaways can be expensive. Travel, accommodation, activities, food, communication -all of this can cost a small fortune. However, it’s possible to successfully plan a trip on a budget.
Here are five tips towards a budget-friendly trip, including how to save on your travel arrangements and international calls.
1. Travel offseason
If you’re planning a trip overseas, try to avoid peak tourist visiting times. For much of the world this means school holidays. Those that travel off peak generally find travel and accommodation less expensive.
2. Fly the red-eye
If you intend on flying to your destination, try booking a flight that departs/arrives at unsocial hours. These are often less expensive than those that arrive during working hours. Also, check non-direct flights – you can potentially save a lot of cash simply by adding one (short) airport connection to your journey.
3. Use discount hotel sites
In the internet age it’s becoming increasingly easy to locate cheap hotel rooms. Plenty of websites offer reduced-rate accommodation, either well in advance or at the last minute.
4. Find free/inexpensive activities and attractions
Landmarks, attractions and vacation activities can soon break the bank. Plan your itinerary before you go, and make sure you search thoroughly to find out which attractions are free. Finding free attractions once you’re there often proves more difficult.
5. Benefit from cheap international calls
When it comes to hidden vacation costs, few can top that of using your mobile phone. Operators are quick to tack-on additional ‘one-off’ costs for making/receiving calls abroad, while you’ll also find that the general cost-per-minute is grossly inflated. Be sure to take this into consideration as you plan your trip. If you’re wondering how you can reduce the cost of international calls during your stay, try the following:
- Buy a local SIM card – you’ll get improved call rates and won’t have to worry about your domestic supplier charging extortionate roaming costs back home.
- Use internet calling – with Wi-Fi becoming widespread, using the likes of Skype is becoming cheaper than telephone calls.
- Subscribe to an international calling plan – a number of operators (including Local03) offer global calling plans which mean you need not worry about where you are when you make a call.