Every young person dreams every once in a while about travelling. Often times, they want to take a year off of school or work in order to travel the world and visit countries they’ve never even heard of before. I am one of those people and if you are too, then do I have some news for you. Travelling can be easy and wallet-friendly. Many people look at travelling as an expensive luxury, and while for many it can be, it doesn’t have to be. I have been travelling practically all my life and have learned some tricks of the trade on how to cut costs and make travelling a fun endeavour for people with all wallet sizes.
Many people want to travel to extravagant places around the world like Thailand, Hong Kong, Africa, Italy, the list is endless. Let’s get one thing straight before we begin, travelling to any part of the world is as fantastic as travelling to the ones I mentioned. No place is greater than another to visit, they all have certain qualities that make them beautiful. So first piece of advice.
1. Don’t be picky
Travelling is much easier when you’re flexible. By that I mean, you have no certain preference as to where you want to go, you just want to go. This is great because there are high and low seasons for travelling to certain countries. For example, going to the Caribbean will be much cheaper if you decide to go during the American summer season as opposed to the winter season. Everyone travels to warm countries during the winter season and will ensure that prices will sky rocket. Trust me, the Caribbean is equally as nice in the winter season.
2. Use third party booking sites
This one has got to be a no brainer. Sometimes it can be quite frightening to put your trust into a no-name website, but alas, not all of them are as terrible as you image. Look into website like expedia, flight hub, and even google flights. These websites are terrific because you get to choose the date and the website spits out the cheapest airfares. In addition, if you’re flexible (as mentioned above) some airlines will actually provide even cheaper airfares if you choose to leave on a specific day (issued by them). For example, Airtransit is a wonderful airline that often times reduces their flight fares in half if you choose to fly out on a Tuesday.
3. Use apps
Thanks to the constant evolving technology available to us, new sites, and new apps, are available for our use when we decide to plan a trip. Let me introduce you to a very good friend of mine, AirBnB. AirBnB is a wonderful app available on the App Store and Google Play Store that allows you to browse incredibly cheap alternatives to expensive hotel costs. These living units are actual homes that belong to people who put them up for rent for us consumers to use. I have used AirBnB for all of my travel needs because of how inexpensive and flexible it is. It provides you with an endless list of homes or apartments from varying sizes, all of which are reflected on their cost. If you decide to book the day before, no problem. Late booking not your thing? Book at as soon as you know the dates, even if its months away.
4. Look for packages
Often times, when looking through websites such as expedia, they will throw at you some package deals. Save $200 on your flight if you also book a two night stay at this hotel. Packages are often made thinking about you, the traveller, to aid you in saving the most amount of money as possible. Do keep in mind, these are third party sites and these packages are made on their terms, whatever those might be.
5. Fly locally
New to the world (at least in Canada) of airlines are incredibly cheap local flights. Something that the United Kingdom is incredibly well known for. If you’re interested in going to the UK for some light travelling, be sure to look out for the incredible steals they have on airfares to other countries within the UK, by companies within the UK. From personal experience, I bought an airline ticket from Manchester to Dublin for 30 Canadian dollars. Yes. That’s three-zero. Unlike the Canadian prices of flying from Toronto to Vancouver that can be over $500 for a domestic flight (about what I paid to go from Toronto to Manchester – an international flight).
6. Travel alone – sort of
No one likes travelling alone, especially if this is a dream of your partner and you, or simply a bucket list adventure between friends. However, airfares are much cheaper when you book a ticket for one. For third party booking sites, they usually throw in deals for the last seat available and that’s why its so cheap. So instead I give you this piece of advice: Don’t book flight tickets for 2 (or more), instead, use these third party sites to find steals, one ticket at a time. Sure you might not fly sitting alongside your partner or friends, but to that I say, don’t be picky, you’re on a budget.
7. Use your parents credit card
Don’t get the wrong idea here. I’m not saying get your parents to pay for it. Many adults who have been working for a long time have developed a certain relationship with their bank. This relationship is important. They get all the exclusive deals in terms of credit cards and benefits that come with them. Some credit cards come with added travel benefits. This means you can totally skip out on paying the extra $200 for airfare insurance because most likely, your parents credit card already comes with it.
Following these 7 tips will ensure travel at a minimum cost. However, travelling is no inexpensive hobby and it will always rack up quite a credit card bill. But if you are passionate about travelling and will make it your mission to fly out for the sake of adventure, following these 7 tips will allow you to do that and save a pretty penny doing it. Let me give you a real time example, just in case you think I’m fibbing. Last week I bought a spontaneous airfare to Manchester (to be fair, my brother is living there). Together, he and I are travelling to Dublin (for $30) to spend a few days before I fly out of Dublin, back to Toronto and he returns to Manchester. A 7 day vacation for under $800 CAD, all thanks to these 7 tips. So to conclude I give you one last tip: START SAVING.