We’ve all been there.
The bucket list is overflowing, the heart is yearning, winter is drawing in and… the wallet is empty.
So I’m not going to wave a magic wand and say that you can travel with an empty wallet, because, well, you can’t. However, there are some ways in which you can save and actually make money if you are savvy enough, which I have come to learn about in my own experiences.
My numéro un, nummer eins, number one go-to before I book anything is to visit TopCashback. Like most people, when someone says ‘free money’, my automatic response is to be dubious. However, TopCashback is literally like free money. Make an account and then anything you wish to book, such as airport parking, flights, accommodation and insurance, check to see if it is linked with Top Cashback. If it is, then simply click the link provided on their site and continue with your booking! It is as simple as that. You then get rewarded cashback just for following their links. Try it, I earned just over £20 from booking everything for my last trip through them.
Secondly, compare your flights through skyscanner, selecting “whole month” when asked to input a date. This way, if you are able to be flexible with your booking, you can compare prices of the same flight across the whole month and bag yourself the cheapest journey. You could also do a little research to see if there are any airports a bit further out with a decent train or bus link service to the location where you want to be.
HOSTELS. Love ’em or hate ’em, it doesn’t take away from the fact that they are cheap accommodation. Just, do your research. It is worth spending an extra few minutes googling the name of that hostel you’re about to book to see if the incredible reviews are similar on other sites too… (Hostelworld can also be booked through TopCashback, just sayin’.)
Of course, everyone has heard of Airbnb by now, but if you are travelling as a group, or even in a couple, this can sometimes work out at a similar or better price to hostels. Again, it’s all about the research. My best friend and I managed to find a beautiful little apartment for a cheaper price than the going rate of hostels when we stayed in Dubrovnik, after we spent time researching.
Research your transportation options. Sometimes a train can be faster and cheaper than a bus. Sometimes the same bus journey is a vastly different price at slightly different times in the day. Also check to see what the prices are locally compared to when booked online. I almost spent £15 booking my backpack into the luggage section of my coach until I saw that it was only 7kuna locally.
In addition to all of the transportation and accommodation, think about what you want to do on your trip. You could research to see if their are any free city tours, places of interest to see for free, or even package deals online that tie in the best things to do in that city.
All in all, you might have noticed a little theme going on here. Research. Whilst anyone and everyone can give you advice, if you really want to save money you need to spend a little time researching before you go. Time-consuming? Yes. But when you grow tired of tapping away into your keyboard, just think about all the beer money you’re going to be saving. It’s worth it, trust me!